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EGP-Guizhou Project Closing Workshop

2015/3/23 14:53:41

March 12th 2015, the Final Conference of the EGP-Guizhou project was successfully held in   Guiyang,  Guizhou  Province.  For  the  Final  Conference,  local stakeholders from all target groups were invited as well as representatives from MEP and the EC. The aim  with  the Final Conference was to highlight the project’s  outcomes and results as the project is reaching its end  but also to discuss the next steps  on developing  environmental justice in Guizhou and  China.  The  Final  Conference  was  divided  into  a  morning  session  with  presentations  and  an afternoon  session  including  a  site  visit  to  an  industry  demonstrating  the  Guizhou  best  practice  of third-party supervision. 

The  Final  Conference  was  moderated  by  Mr.  Lv  Keqin,  Deputy  Secretary   General  of  All-China Environment  Federation  (ACEF),  who  opened  the  conference  by  welcoming  the participants  and invited  stakeholders  and  experts.   Continuing,  welcoming  remarks  were  put  forward  by  high-level speakers.  The  first  welcoming  remark  was  given  by  Ms.  Li  Jingyun,  Deputy  Director  of  Laws  and Regulations Division at the  Ministry of  Environmental Protection.  She underlined that environmental protection will  become  the  new  battlefield  and  that  the  government  needs  participation  from  the public to protect the environment, an aspect that EGP-Guizhou project  successfully  has put  a lot of effort  into.  Next,  Mr.  Dimitri  De  Boer,  Team  Leader  of  the  EU-China  Environmental  Governance Programme  (EGP),  highlighted  that  the  Guizhou  experience  working  with  environmental  rights protection  from  the  EGP-Guizhou  project  needs  to  be  spread  and  promoted  to  the  central government,  which  will  be  one  of  EGPs  main  tasks  ahead.  Mr.  Chen  Song,  Chief  of  Policy  and Regulation  Division  from  Guizhou  Environmental  Protection  Department  (EPD),  put  forward  his opening remarks thanking the EGP-Guizhou project for their efforts helping the EPD to strengthen its environmental  enforcement  and  hoped  for  more  cooperation  in  the  future.  Giving  the  last welcoming  remarks  was  Mr.  Mikael  Olshammar,  EGP-Guizhou  Project  Manager  from  IVL  Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), highlighting the main impact of the project and thanking all project  partners  and  stakeholders  for  their  hard  work  and  efforts  in  improving  access  to environmental justice to protect people’s environmental rights in Guizhou Province. 

The welcoming remarks were followed by a number of presentations on the  result and impact of the EGP-Guizhou project.  First,  member from the project  team gave a joint presentation providing an overview of the project and its main impact.  Mr. Peter Stigson, IVL, presented the efforts put into awareness-raising  of  environmental  rights  protection  highlighting  the  TV-programs  and  handbooks produced  by the  project.  Mr.  Johan  Strandberg,  IVL,  together  with  local  stakeholder  Mr.  Yin  Jian, Policy and Regulation  Division from  Guizhou  EPD, put forward the main work and impact from the capacity building activities carried out by EGP-Guizhou  project, focusing on Environmental Damage Assessment  (EDA).  Ms.  Gao  Xiaoyi,  ACEF,  then  gave  an  overview  of  the  main  policy  impact  the project has had during the last two years successfully promoting policy changes both on central and local level. Ms. Anja Karlsson from IVL next highlighted the visibility of the project, both in media and through the project website, and the dissemination of project materials encouraging the participants to keep using the project website and project partner’s websites to access project materials. As a last part of the presentation,  Ms. Yao LingLing  from ACEF presented and displayed the short version of the TV-program produced by the project as well as the cartoon with instructions on how to protect ones environmental rights.  

Mr.  Luo  Guangqian,  Chief  Judge  from  the  Qingzhen  Environmental  Court,  put forward the impact of the EGP-Guizhou Project on present and future work in Environmental Court and  possible  influence  beyond  the  province.  Mr.  Lou  especially  highlighted  the  impact  the  EGPGuizhou project has had  on increasing the capacity of the environmental court by providing  trainings on basic environmental knowledge and  EDA. Mr. Lou also emphasized the lessons learned from the Study Tour to Sweden with the result that the Qingzhen Environmental Court  now is looking into the possibility of introducing a system of technical judges in court  and discussing how the court could be involved in issuing permits for environmentally hazardous activities. Moving on,  Mr. Dan Guttmann, visiting Professor  at the Peking University School of Law, introduced  the results from the latest study produced  by  the  EGP-Guizhou  project.  The  study  puts  forward  what  Chinese  environmental  NGOs can learn from  EU environmental NGOs  experiences making  environmental  law work  and how these experiences  can  be  used  by  Chinese  NGOs  to  develop  their  work.  The  last  presentation  of  the morning was held by Ms. Bai Min,  Vice President of Guizhou Province Lawyer Association, who gave an introduction to the best practice of NGO third-party supervision tested by  Qingzhen  government and  Qingzhen Environmental Court  in order to improve the environmental supervision of functional departments and enterprises in the province. 

In  total,  more  than  50  participants  attended  the  Final  Conference  including  representatives  from Guizhou  EPD,  the  local  Environmental  Protection  Bureaus  (EPB),  media,  Guizhou  Academy  of Environmental Sciences, Guizhou Lawyer association, industry and the local environmental courts.  

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