CHINA / DIPLOMACY
NGOs’ efforts in eco protection in China not disrupted by global politics
Published: Jan 25, 2021 07:53 PM

WildAid and Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of Customs communicate on cracking down wildlife trade in 2019. Photo: Courtesy of WildAid



China and the US saw sanctions to each other during the Trump administration with the bilateral ties hitting the low ebb, especially in the past two years, affecting cooperation and exchanges in many areas between the two countries. However, some international non-governmental organizations, including those with the US backgrounds, told the Global Times that their normal work in China in environmental protection area was not disrupted by global politics.

Many NGOs have smooth and intensive cooperation with the government in environment aspects. 

For instance, WildAid, with headquarters in San Francesco, started to work with Chinese State Forestry Administration in 2005. In the past years the NGO has combined its experience in public communication with the demand of government departments and has been working with the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Agriculture in promoting banning wildlife trade and publicizing other environmental-friendly concepts.

One of the NGO's most notable projects is former NBA player Yao Ming's advertisement on rejecting wild animal products such as ivory with the State Forestry Administration. In December 2018, the General Administration of Customs and WildAid published a video and poster, reminding tourists not to bring ivory souvenirs back to China. The advertisement is released at 147 customs ports in 42 cities around China. Greenpeace, the international NGO proud of its independence and transparency in promoting environmental protection work, has applied to operate in the Chinese mainland since 2002 and been working with several governmental departments.

In May 2021, the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in Kunming, Yunnan Province. The Greenpeace will serve as an observer to share suggestions for the negotiators of China while introducing China's stories on ecologic restoration and protection, according to a statement sent to the Global Times.

Insiders of the environment NGOs in China told the Global Times that their organizations have many projects working with the governments and do not feel that their space has been squeezed in the past years as some overseas media have reported. "I am against linking environment protection to politics," an anonymous NGO employee said. "Many of the ENGO employees in China are Chinese. We have seen the progress of China in the area and would like to make our contributions to environment."

By December 2020, China has 554 registered overseas NGOs, including 136 from the US. There are 11 registered at the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and nine at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, news website thepaper.cn reported.


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