According to a new report released on Thursday, one of the most effective ways to stop climate change is through individual acts and not through organised movements or through green organisations.
The Green Book of Environment, lists ten environment protection events that occurred in 2011. For example, an Apple customer’s request to investigate suppliers violating environmental laws. In the Chinese city of Xiamen, the government after intense public pressure agreed to stop construction on an environmentally unfriendly chemical project. Protest occurred through SMS.
The Green Book of Environment, made by Friends of Nature, said more residents are becoming involved in environmental protection and they have learned how to effectively affect authorities’ decision-making.
In the past, the public tolerated infringements on their environmental rights, and they would turn to laws only when their losses became unbearable. Now people believe it is their natural right to be involved in environmental protection and that their participation helps make government’s decisions more efficient, said the report.
The organization also listed the top 10 environmental protection events that the public was involved in 2011.
The list included concerns raised by the public about PM 2.5 – particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter – in the air, customers’ request for Apple to investigate its suppliers suspected of violating environmental regulations, and Nanjing residents’ opposition to removing trees to make way for subway construction.
Residents’ and NGOs’ strong concerns about PM2.5, a major health hazard that can trigger cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, pushed authorities to amend the country’s air quality standards.
In March 2011, residents of Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, noticed that the crowns of some trees had been cut, preparing them for removal. They expressed their disapproval by tying green ribbons on those trees, and a local environmental group launched an online campaign that included collecting “smiling” photos of people who supported protecting the trees.
Local authorities finally agreed to destroy no more trees for underground transportation construction and it later released a rule saying that construction projects would make way for tree protection and any removal of rare trees would first solicit opinions from the public.
In 2007, the government of Xiamen, a port city in East China’s Fujian province, agreed to suspend construction of a highly polluting chemical project after the public expressed strong opposition. About 1 million text messages were sent to pressure the government to cancel the project.
Source: China Daily