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Clark University

Publication Date

Spring 2008

Program Name

China: Yunnan Province – Language and Cultures


“China’s economic miracle will end soon because the environment can no longer keep pace.” – Pan Yue, deputy environmental director (Larson, 21)

In recent years, the causes and impacts of global warming have increasingly garnered press on an international scale. Scientists have confirmed global warming as being mostly anthropogenic (Rosenthal and Revkin; Xuequan). More wildlife species have become endangered or extinct (Roach) and natural disasters such as storms have increased in severity (“New study”; Schmid). With the 2008 Beijing Olympics quickly approaching, the international community has turned its eye to China and its policies, including those towards the environment. Since last year, news articles including a report made by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, have been released stating that in 2006, China surpassed the United States in being the world’s greatest carbon dioxide emitter (Gregg, Andres, Marland 1). China, with a burgeoning population of over 1.3 billion people (China Population Development and Research Center) and an average GDP growth rate of 9.4 % (Xiong), is still struggling to make headway on environmental protection. To understand the current mentality of many Chinese people, who believe that environmental degradation is an acceptable consequence of economic development, the history of environmental protection in China must be examined. From there, potential for increasing sustainable development and reducing pollution through means of renewable energy will be investigated using a rural village in the Lashihai Wetland Reserve as a case study.


Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy


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