Thursday, February 19, 2009

Good news for environmental regionalism in China- and sustainable development in Tibet

One of China Greenspace's favorite causes is environmental regionalism in China (see previous posts on international cooperation and regional environmental protection).

It's good news, then that China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) is embarking on its "first large scale river basin enforcement campaign," which will cover the Yangtze and 10 tributaries (see China Environmental Law Blog). This kind of regional approach makes a lot of sense, particularly for watersheds (see previous post on Payment for Ecosystem Services for more on this). But the whole point of regionalism is that it liberates local authorities from central control, so we'll have to see whether MEP's role is more as coordinator or more as autocrat.

In addition, a recent post from China Dialogue offers some nice lessons about community-based sustainable development in Tibet. These lessons are worth a read, especially since they seem relevant to environmental protection in traditional-society contexts elsewhere in the world.

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