The China Environment Yearbook, Volume 4

Tragedy and Hope - From the Sichuan Earthquake to the Olympics


Editor: Dongping Yang
This volume of the China Environment Yearbook is the fourth in the seminal series by China’s first environmental NGOs, Friends of Nature. The fourth English translation updates readers on environmentally significant issues of 2008, a year of both tragedy and hope. 2008 was an eventful year that included such setbacks as the Sichuan Earthquake, debilitating snow and ice storms, an algae bloom at the site of the Olympic sailing venue prior to the games, and a worsening global economic crisis. But there were also events that filled the country with optimism, including a successful Beijing Olympic Games with good air quality, the upgrading of the State Environmental Protection Agency to ministerial level status, and significant developments in China’s environmental legal system and environmental public information disclosure mechanism.
Other topics explored in this volume include marine pollution, wetlands, road ecology, eco-compensation, debates surrounding the newly instituted “plastic bag restriction” policy, public interest litigation, the concept of a low carbon economy, and the environmental performance of enterprises in 2008. Volume four is essential for those looking for a window into issues affecting China’s environment from the viewpoint of civil society.

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Yang Dongping is co-founder and vice president of Friends of Nature and professor of education at the Beijing Institute of Technology.
Friends of Nature was the first environmental non-governmental organization in the People’s Republic of China, established in 1994 by Liang Congjie, Yang Dongping, Liang Xiaoyan and Wang Lixiong. The organization has more than 3000 active members and has been recipient fifteen prestigious national and international awards.
International Advisory Board:
Judith Shapiro is the Director of Global Environmental Politics programs at American University's School of International Service in Washington, DC. She has published extensively on modern and contemporary China, including Mao's War against Nature (Cambridge, 2001), an account of China's political campaigns to conquer the natural world.
Guobin Yang is Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University. He has published over twenty journal articles and book chapters on contemporary social issues in China, including environmental activism, voluntary associations, and the politics of the internet.
"Like its predecessors in the China Environment Yearbook series, volume 4 contains extensive data and many case studies to update Western readers about China's environmental challenges and how they are being addressed. The contributors suggest numerous actions to remedy deficiencies in existing policies and further improve the environment."
Herman F. Huang, China Review International: Volume 17, No. 4, 2010
Yang Dongping

We Are All Victims of Pollution and Responsible for Our Planet
Li Dun

1. Beijing’s Environment during the Olympic Games and Post-Olympic Outlook
Li Hujun

2. Large Projects in Quake-Stricken Areas after the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
Fan Xiao

3. Forestry Decentralization May Lead to Crisis
Feng Yongfeng

4. Plateau Wetlands: Functions, Values, and Environmental Deterioration
Tian Kun

5. Pastoral Industrial Policies and Grassland Ecology
Gai Zhiyi

6. Opportunities and Risks of Genetically Modified Crops
Zi You

7. Road Construction: Ecological and Social Problems
Piao Zhengji and Shen Xiaohui

8. Air Quality and Quality of Life
Peng Yan

9. Agriculture Pollution Zoning and Comprehensive Control Measures
Liang Shumin

10. Marine Pollution: A Gloomy Outlook
Yu Chen

11. A Turning Point in China’s Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction?
Qie Jianrong

12. Significant Developments in China’s Environmental Legal System in 2008
Feng Jia

13. The Ministry of Environmental Protection: From Organizational Upgrade to Functional Enhancement
Zhang Shiqiu

14. Natural Resource and Environmental Issues in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
Chen Hongwei

15. Plastic Bag Restriction: An Unfinished Mission
Mao Da

16. Environmental Public Interest Litigation
Lü Zhongmei

17. Promoting Open Environmental Information
Wang Jingjing and Ruan Qingyuan

18. New Developments in Environmental Economic Policy
Hu Kanping

19. China’s Comprehensive Engagement with a Low Carbon Economy
Zhuang Guiyang

20. Ecological Compensation and Payment
Zhang Ke

21. Environmental Performance of Enterprises in 2008
Su Jianhua and Guo Peiyuan

Annual Indexes: Environmental Trends

Terminological Glossary


All those interested in developments in China's environment and environmental policy. Also an excellent primary source for analysis of the political climate for NGOs and public intellectual and policy discourse in China.