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Tag Archives: open information

Progress and Retreat for Environmental Transparency in China: Announcing the 2009-10 Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) Results

Environmental transparency in China showed both progress and retreat over the past year, and many implementation challenges still remain. This was one of the overall findings of the second annual Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), which the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and NRDC launched in Beijing earlier this week. PITI is an assessment and ranking of environmental transparency in 113 cities commenced by IPE and NRDC in 2009. This year’s PITI launch included for the first time participation from local Chinese environmental officials. Representatives from Ningbo (the top ranked city in the PITI ranking), Chongqing (the top … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Announcing the Release of the Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI) in English

We are pleased to release the English version of our 2008-09 Pollution Information Transparency Index (PITI), a collaboration between the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). As you may recall, PITI is an evaluation and ranking of environmental transparency in 113 Chinese cities. We released these results (in Chinese) last summer and the response has been very positive.

At the end of last year, we learned that China Economic Times, an influential national Chinese newspaper, selected PITI as one of the top ten environmental events of 2009, saying:

[PITI] can be called a model of non-governmental organizations playing their role of supervising government. Here, NGOs have not simply relied on passion and a spirit of protecting environmental interests, but have drawn from the power of expertise, and used legal channels and dialogue with the government. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Assessing the State of Environmental Transparency in China

I was in Weihai (en), a 2.5 million person city in eastern Shandong Province, last month to talk about environmental transparency with more than 50 government officials and scholars from around China.  As far as I am aware, this is the largest gathering to date of Chinese government officials focused on implementation of China’s Open Government Information Regulations and Open Environmental Information Measures, which went into effect on May 1, 2008. The workshop in Weihai, which we co-sponsored with Environmental Protection Magazine, the Wendeng Municipal Government and the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs (IPE), was a chance for government … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(2)

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UN resource (in Chinese) on freedom of information

UNESCO has published in Chinese what looks to be a good resource on freedom of information principles and practice around the world, entitled Freedom of Information: A Comparative Legal Survey, by Toby Mendel. The English version can be found here. A Chinese translation can be found here.

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The 2010 Annual Report on China's Environment: Friends of Nature's China Green Book

Last Friday, Beijing-based NGO Friends of Nature (En) released its Annual Report on China’s Environment and Development 2010, a collection of articles from some of China’s top environmental groups, legal and environmental scholars, and journalists.  FON has published an annual Green Book since 2006 and this has become the definitive account of the top issues in environmental protection each year since. The “2010 Green Book” includes a chronology of major environmental incidents and events in 2009, as well as 27 articles on environmental health, the handling of municipal waste, sustainable consumption, pollution, ecological protection, and environmental policy. As one commentary … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(1)

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Chinese officials talk environmental and climate governance at the National People’s Congress meetings

As I’ve blogged about before, one of the keys to fighting China’s pollution problem is strengthening China’s environmental governance system. This is a view not just held by environmentalists, but one that is also held by a growing number of Chinese government officials at the highest level. The topic of environmental governance received a surprising amount of attention last Wednesday at a high-level press conference convened to discuss China’s actions on climate change and the environment. The press conference was held in conjunction with the annual legislative session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and featured three speakers: (1) Zhang … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(2)

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Recent Environmental Law and Public Participation News

Ma Jun: Pollution emissions data should be disclosed at the enterprise level (Google translate)
In a Beijing News editorial, Ma Jun, director of the Institute for Public and Environmental Affairs, examines the results of China’s first national pollution census. The inclusion of new sources of pollution, most notably agricultural waste, in assessing China’s Chemical Oxygen Demand total has resulted in a new estimate significantly higher than previous figures. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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China Environmental News: More open information, stronger rights protection

As we mentioned a few days ago, China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) posted an article on the Ministry website making a strong case for more open information as the way to attack pollution before it leads to accidents like those we have been seeing in recent months in Shaanxi, Hunan, Yunnan and elsewhere. We post a translation of that article here:

After expansive media coverage of the Hunan Liuyang City cadmium accident, the problems were quickly handled. The factory involved Changsha Xianghe Chemical Factory was permanently closed. Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(0)

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Recent Environmental Law and Public Participation News

Guangzhou City’s Procuratorate provides public guidance for the four main difficulties of public interest litigation (Google translation)
The Legal Daily examines how recent cases of environmental public interest litigation taken up by the Guangzhou Procuratorate have provided crucial insight to legal experts on tackling the four major problems of public interest litigation in China: taking on cases, collecting evidence, appraisal, and winning the lawsuit. (Source: Legal Daily)
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Transparency and China’s Recent Pollution Accidents (UPDATED)

Let’s say information about factory emissions of toxic metals was readily available to the public in Hunan and Shaanxi provinces.  Would more than 1,600 children still have been poisoned by lead or cadmium recently? Or would local citizens instead have had the information about health risks in their midst needed to protect themselves or to push the local government and factory officials to take necessary steps to protect the community?  Could these pollution problems have been resolved before they reached such a late and devastating stage?  Would there have been the sort of unrest seen in recent days? My colleague … Continue reading 阅读全文 » Add comment 发表评论(1)

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