Secrecy in China’s Environmental Monitoring

Zheng Ge, assistant professor at Hong Kong University, writes for Caixin about China’s environmental monitoring, calling for transparency in the release of data and decentralizing of government control:

Environmental authorities above the county-level are required to publish relevant information with the approval of the central agency. The regulations also state that local governments should not release information that is not consistent with different departments.

[…] Many foreign countries with developed legal systems view environmental monitoring information as the common property of all human beings. This means that no one, not even the government, has the right to stop others from releasing information so closely related to public health.

[…] Everyone has an obligation to protect the environment. It is not the government’s job to take full responsibility. The voluntary participation of NGOs relieves government agencies, both understaffed and underfunded, of pressures to keep up with environmental information.

For more on government regulation on environmental monitoring, see New Regulations Require Monitoring of Air Pollutants, via CDT.



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