How We Work in China
Before, Green Stone was really a student group, and it was very hard for us to scale up our impact on the environment; through Pacific Environment’s support we were able to hire our first full time staff, and gradually transform from a student group to a community based group with our own position in society.
-Li Chunhua, Director, Green Stone
Since the 1990s, Pacific Environment has been supporting the growth of China's environmental movement -- comprised of grassroots community leaders, journalists, students, scientists, and others who are raising awareness about their country's environmental problems and encouraging their fellow citizens to take action.
The movement faces challenges, among them a society that has prioritized rapid economic growth over environmental protection and a government wary of conflict.
Nonetheless, the Chinese government has carefully encouraged public participation as a way to help address the country's environmental problems. In 1994, the government passed a law allowing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to officially operate in China; environmental groups were among the first to register.
Today, NGOs are an important component of China's environmental movement.
Chinese NGOs are engaging community members in a variety of ways, from bird watching and clean-up brigades to internet-based consumer awareness campaigns.
By providing capacity-building support, and networking opportunities to dozens of grassroots NGOs in China, Pacific Environment is working to strengthen China's homegrown environmental management. We partner with small NGOs across China to work on two critical environmental issues- water pollution and marine conservation and wildlife trade.
Pacific Environment uses the following tools to advance local partners through their inception and maturation:
- Training and mentorship
- Building robust activist networks
- Strategic planning and provision of more sophisticated support tools (e.g. legal services)
- Joint campaigning, including communications and media services for campaigns that target international corporations and financing institutions.
- We supported Green Anhui to shut down polluting chemical factories in Bengbu, China, in 2008.
- We helped earn recognition in Time Magazine for Green Camel Bell's work to monitor and reform the practices of polluting factories along the Yellow River.
- We helped Green Camel Bell secure clean drinking water for a rural village in Gansu Province that had been plagued by water pollution for over a decade;
- We developed a Water Network in China to audit polluting factories;
- We have led an Annual Water Pollution Meeting since 2005 to help groups across China to brainstorm and share ideas and information.