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The Third EPG Annual National Conference Completed Fruitfully

2014/7/7 15:05:16

On June 19th, 2014, The EU – China Environmental Governance Programme (EGP) held its third national conference in Beijing. The theme of the conference is ‘Innovation and Implementation of Environmental Governance in China’, with a focus on the increasingly important role of public participation in Environmental governance. The conference also introduced the EGP progress and achievement regarding its four themes of environmental information disclosure, public participation, access to justice, and corporate environmental responsibility.

Mr. Tu Ruihe, Deputy Director-General of Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) opened the event and spoke highly of the programme. In his opening remarks, Mr. Tu Ruihe reviewed the gradual acceptance of environmental governance by the Chinese government. The idea now has become an important consideration for state-level policy formulation and practices. For example, marked by the idea of “multi-level governance”, the new environmental protection law amendment promulgated recently made great breakthrough by incorporating articles on environmental public participation, environmental information disclosure and environmental public litigation. The EGP Programme hence meets current demands and trends of Chinese government in environmental protection and has so for contributed great efforts to improving environmental governance in China. 

Mr. Bie Tao, Deputy Director-General of Department of Policy and Law, MEP also addressed in the opening session. He has been supporting the EGP Programme since its inception phase and understands how the programme has improved over time. He praised the programme of its current progress, especially its efforts in programme management and policy results extraction. As one of the key legislators in the drafting of the new Environmental Protection Law, Director Bie delivered an impressive keynote speech in the later session on the theme of interpretation and enforcement of the new environmental law. The morning session continued with presentations on the theme of public participation in environmental decision. Representative from Peoples’ Standing Committee of Hebei Province was invited to introduce their work in establishing environmental public participation legislation. The presentation was followed by the introduction of the Jiaxing Model, a successful public participation pattern initiated by one of EGP’s 15 local Partnership Projects (PP). In the afternoon, other representatives from EGP local projects shared their progress and experiences with case studies with regard to environmental information disclosure, access to justice, and corporate environmental responsibility. 
Mr. Lars Gronvald, Head of Cooperation Department, EU Delegation, and Ms Luo Yu, First Secretary of International Economic and Trade Cooperation Department, Ministry of Commercial also addressed in the opening session to express their expectation for the programme and future cooperation between China and EU in environmental protection. 

More than 150 people and stakeholders from various sectors including government, international community, academics, local PPs, media and etc. participated in the event. A press conference was held at the end of the conference to allow further communication between representatives from local PPs and media. 

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