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EGP-Guizhou Press conference and awareness-raising seminar

2013/6/5 14:20:17

On Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th of May, a joint press conference and an awareness-raising seminar on environmental justice were successfully carried out by the EGP-Guizhou project. The events took place at the Forest City Wanyi Hotel in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province.
In the morning on Thursday 23rd of May, a press conference was held to release the results of the Baseline Study carried out by the EGP – Guizhou project on the current situation on environmental justice in Guizhou Province, aiming to trigger both media interest as well as interest by targeted stakeholders on the issue of environmental justice.

The press conference was opened by Mr. Peter Stigson from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) who welcomed the participants and gave a brief introduction to the EU-China Environmental Governance Program (EGP) and EGP-Guizhou project as one of 15 Partnership Projects (PPs) within EGP.

Next, Ms. Gao Xiaoyi  from All-China Environmental Federation (ACEF) and Mr. Wang Shekun from Peking University presented the methodology and results from the Baseline Study on the current status on environmental justice in Guizhou. The presentation was followed by a question and answers-session on the results of the Baseline study. The press conference concluded with information regarding upcoming awareness-raising and capacity-building activities within the EGP – Guizhou project, presented by Ms. Anja Karlsson from IVL.

84 participants attended the press conference, including representatives from Guizhou Provincial People’s Congress Committee, Legal Affairs Office of Guizhou Province, Guiyang Ecological Civilization Construction Foundation (local NGO), Guizhou Provincial and local environmental courts, Provincial Environmental Protection Department and Local Environmental Protection Bureaus, as well as villager representatives from Zhongshan Distric of Liupanshui City and Congjiang County of Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous City. Representatives from media included China Daily, Xinhua News Agency Guizhou Branch, China News Service, Guiyang Evening News, Guizhou Commercial News, Guizhou TV, Guiyang TV and Guizhou Environmental Education and Communication Center.

The press conference also constituted the first session of the awareness-raising seminar, aiming at local governmental officials but also welcoming representatives from NGOs, media and the public to participate in a dialogue on environmental justice issues. The aim of the seminar was to raise awareness amongst participants to ensure they encompass a certain level of knowledge to engage with the public concerning environmental justice and also inspire different ways for raising the awareness among citizens in their areas.

The next session of the awareness-raising seminar opened with a discussion on implications of the baselines study results for officials to engage with the public. Moderating the discussion was Mr. Zheng Mingjie from Guizhou International Cooperation Centre for Environmental Protection (GZICCEP). The discussion was followed by a presentation from Mr. Ma Yong (ACEF) on environmental rights and justice in China, introducing the development of the Chinese judicial system and environmental legislation. Mr. MA Yong also presented a few case studies handled by ACEF for protecting the public’s environmental rights.

Next, speakers from four different organizations presented their good experiences in engaging with the public concerning environmental rights and justice. The speakers included Mr. Luo Guangqian from Guiyang County Ecological Court, Ms. Xie Yuhong from ACEF, Mr. Kevin Schabiner from GIZ and the EGP PP “Training the judges” as well as Mr. Huang Chengde from Guiyang Public Environmental Education Centre (GPEEC). The first day of the awareness-raising seminar was concluded by a discussion among participants on through what information and how environmental rights and justice should be communicated to the public.

On Friday 24th of May the awareness-raising seminar continued, and was dedicated to in-depth discussions between the participants on environmental rights and justice as well as the sharing of experiences on protecting the public environmental rights and how to raise the awareness of environmental protection and environmental rights among the public. The participants also discussed how officials, media, CSOs and the public could cooperate to raise awareness about environmental rights and justice.  Moderating the discussion was Ms. Gao Si from IVL.
84 participants attended the awareness-raising seminar, where 43 participants joined the discussions on the second day,  including representatives from Guizhou Environmental Protection Department, Guiyang Ecological Civilization Construction Foundation (NGO), villager representatives from Zhongshan and Congjiang, High court of Guizhou,  Local Environmental Protection Bureaus and Guizhou TV.




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