On China Dialogue, environmentalist Ma Jun calls on Chinese citizens to take a more active role in protecting the environment:
The public should participate in environmental protection because the environment is of crucial public interest. In the face of increasing environmental challenges, traditional models of participation – such as picking up litter or planting a tree once a year – are no longer effective. A deeper level of participation is needed: the public needs to get directly involved in the management of environmental public affairs and work together to find solutions.
Environment departments have been strengthening their administration for some years now. But the shortsightedness of certain local governments has meant that local officials are often unable to enforce the law. Moreover, the cost of observing the law is often higher than the cost of breaking the law: a strange situation, which has led to companies sacrificing the environment for the sake of a profit. [Full text]