China's Dams

Enterprises called to frontline of green battle

South China Morning Post
September 13, 2002

‘Environmentalist Yu Xiaogang and his Green Watershed group, based in Kunming and famed for its opposition to dams on the Nu River, were awarded this year’s top prize.

Senior mainland environmental officials have called on foreign and Chinese enterprises to help the government fight the depletion of resources, severe pollution and the water crisis. “China has encountered massive environmental problems and the government cannot deal with them alone,” said Qu Geping , a vice-chairman of the All-China Environment Foundation. “All entrepreneurs in China, including those from foreign countries, should contribute as much as they can to improving the damaged and polluted environment.”

Speaking at an environmental awards ceremony at the Great Hall of the People yesterday sponsored by Ford, Professor Qu suggested that both the public and enterprises had a bigger role to play. But he also said local authorities were the key to building an environmentally friendly society, a far-reaching goal initiated by President Hu Jintao .

“A lot of government officials do not understand how serious our environmental problems have become. There is a big gap between their understanding and the need to implement the concept of scientific development,” said Professor Qu, a former chairman of the National People’s Congress Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources.

Also at the event, Wang Jirong , a deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (Sepa), said environmental problems stifled the economy and that issues of water pollution and shortages deserved immediate attention. Ms Wang praised Ford for providing funds each year since 2000 to non-governmental green groups. Environmentalist Yu Xiaogang and his Green Watershed group, based in Kunming and famed for its opposition to dams on the Nu River, were awarded this year’s top prize.

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