The opening ceremony will be performed in the presence of the Chinese Environmental Authorities represented by Mr. Xie Zhenhua, Minister of State Environmental Protection Administration and co-hosted by the director of UNEP,Mr. Klaus Topfer. Also present will be the Director of GRID-Arendal, Mr. Svein Tveitdal.
Chinese authorities now make it clear that they also wish to take an active part on using the Internet as a tool for disseminating information about the environment in China.
By launching the State of the Environment for China on the Internet official figures and findings about the state of the Environment will be easily accessible to the rest of the world, and to a rapidly growing group of people in China getting access to the Internet.
Chinese authorities tell openly about some of their environmental concerns: A rapidly growing population and an expanding economy put the natural resources of China under heavy pressure.
Dramatic deforestation in the last hundred years has resulted in serious consequences such as soil erosion and decertification.
The report states that Chinese authorities have ambitious reforestation projects, e.g. at the flooded Yangze river. Increasing demands for energy leads to heavy air pollution in the cities, and considerable areas of China have been damaged by acid rain.
Many rivers and groundwater in urban areas are severely polluted, and increasing urbanization increases the pressure on water resources even more. The agricultural land per person is very low and diminishing.
The State of the Environment China uses The State of the Environment Norway on the Internet as a model.
The co-operation between GRID-Arendal and the environmental authorities of China is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development(NORAD) GRID-Arendal staff in co-operation with UNEP/GRID-Bangkok have been responsible for the training of Chinese personel of SEPA.
The State of the Environment China is efficiently linked to the Internet through the Mercure antennae and UNEPnet, which is a "global,green Internet" managed by UNEP with technical support from GRID-Arendal. Web address: http://svr1-pek.unep.net/soechina/index.htm
Pictures from the launch in Beijing
Statement by Director Svein Tveitdal at the launching ceremony of the State of the Environment of China on UNEPnet in Beijing August 24 1998.