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Environmental round table

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					Environmental Round Table: Extensive Participation of the Public
——Guangdong's Experience
Wen Xiaoyong
Department of Political Science Guangdong Party Schoo

Abstract:By analyzing the implementation of environmental round table to solve environmental problems , which includes comprehensive roundtable, Officials roundtable, enterprises roundtable, the public roundtable, professional roundtable, environmental emergency treatment roundtable and the classroom scenario stimulated, the essay summed up the main forms and experiences of Guangdong Party School in facilitating the settlement of environmental problems. Based on effect evaluation of these experiences, we come to the conclusion that environmental roundtable is an effective way to promote social participation in environmental protection actions, to realize the public interest and to solve environmental problems. Key words: Environmental Protection; Round Table; Public participation; Guangdong's experience I. Background of the issue No doubts that Guangdong's economic development has brought the social prosperity and has improved the living standard of the people. But, the process has also been along with the worrying about the environmental issues. Now, the sustainable development idea has become the common concept all over the world. The settlement of environmental problems depends on the material and financial supports, and the invention and application of modern technologies. At the same time, many experiences also show that environmental problems more depend on the active participation of the general public. It requires more sensitive environmental awareness of the government, enterprises and citizens and their effective participation in environmental issues. But, how to make the government, enterprises and the public actively involve in the process of promoting environmental protection is the common problem faced by the world. It is a more formidable challenge for China, a country with high-speed economic development, to stimulate active participation of the governmental officials, related enterprises and particularly the public in environmental protection. As a member of the Sino-Canada Joint Project, drawing from the successful experiences from Canada and other countries, Guangdong Party School has made its pilot attempt to improve public participation in environmental issues by means of round-table meetings. This paper will depict the process and effect of adopting roundtable to facilitate public participation in environmental protection. II. Environmental round table and the effective participation of the public

1. Topic Design of round-tables. Environmental protection is a very wide and integrated task. The main bodies from all areas concerning environmental protection, with the application of modern environmental science theories and methods, when consuming natural resources more properly, try to identify the causes and influence of environmental pollution, to protect the environment in a planned manner, to prevent and curb the deterioration of the environment and to promote harmonious development between the human beings and the environment. Today, environmental protection does not only concern about pollution. With a comprehensive consideration of population, culture, economic development, resources and the environment bearing capacity, it requires us to adjust the productive forces and science and technology development, to improve the economy mode and population control, to rebuild the material conversion and energy transfer between human and environment in accordance with the laws of ecological and environmental elements of the overall evolution, so as to make it maintains harmony and coordination. According to this logic, in order to effectively promote the project and try to get the feasible experience, and ensure that each roundtable will be the targeted, based on Guangdong's actual conditions, the project team designed the main topics of environmental roundtables which were strong related to the reality, which include three major elements, seven specific issues as follows. The three major elements: 1) preventing and treating environmental pollution caused by the production and living, including control of the “three wastes” emission of industrial production, dust, radioactive materials, and the noise, vibration, odor and pollution caused by electromagnetic radiation; transport activities of harmful gas, waste water and noise pollution and so on; prevention and treatment of industrial and agricultural production and daily life by the use of poisonous chemicals and the emission of smoke, dust urban sewage and garbage pollution caused. 2) preventing environmental damage caused by the construction and development activities, including, preventing large and medium-sized water conservancy projects, railway, Highway Route, Large and medium-sized port, airport and the large and medium-sized industrial projects and other construction projects pollute and destroy the environment. Prevent farmland, wetlands and coastal zones development and the development of forest resources and mineral resources from damaging and impacting the environment. Prevent environmental damage and impact by new industrial zones and new urban construction. 3) protecting the natural environments with special value, including protection of rare species and their ecological environment, special natural heritage, humanities relics, wetland, scenic spots, and the protection of biodiversity, etc. In addition, prevention of destruction of the ozone layer, prevention of global warming, land improvement, urban and rural planning, afforestation, control of soil erosion and desertification, control of population growth and distribution, rational distribution of productive forces, and so on, also belong to the content of environmental protection.

Twelve specific topics are listed below: 1) industrial "three wastes" (waste water, emissions, waste residue) control, 2) prevention and treatment of Life "three wastes", 3) food pollution prevention, 4) the remaining pesticide control, 5)ground thermo, ground heat, ground sink control,6) water and soil conservation, soil pollution prevention, 7) the prevention of noise and radioactive pollution, 8) comprehensive utilization of natural resources, protection of agricultural ecology and establishment of nature reserves, 9) Afforestation, greening the environment and cleaning-up of the air,10) to strengthen water management and protection of water sources,11) to do a good job in rural and urban environmental planning, 12) to follow the basic principles of economics, management and law and social sciences manage the environment. 2. The forms of round-table arrangements and implementation In order to build up a set of effective procedures for pilot project, the project team on the basis of the main topics of the roundtable designed and arranged a well-conceived implementation and specific form on Roundtable. On the basis of participation in the main point of the Round Table, according to difficulty level of environmental problems, the team selected different participants with the following seven kinds of roundtables of the project implementation which combines the virtual scene exercises and solution of on-site problem, combines the exchanges between integrated roundtable and special environmental issues roundtable in practice and achieves a good result. 1) Comprehensive roundtable: Roundtable meeting is held among any interests related parties, the purpose of which is to ensure all parties have it’s own legitimate interests and solve environmental problems through consultation and cooperation 2) Governmental official roundtable: Governmental official responsibility roundtable is held when environmental problems caused by mistakes of governmental policy occur. The aim is to improve government policy-making on environment.and effectively promote implementation of officials responsibility system in environmental protection. 3) Enterprises roundtable: It’s special roundtable dialogue about enterprise social responsibility on environmental protection. It aims at enhancing the enterprises awareness of environmental protection and sense of responsibility and science and technology innovation. 4) Public roundtable: Mainly on general environmental issues in the social public forum, debate or dialogue. It aims to raise public awareness of environmental protection and solve the problem of environmental participation 5) Professional roundtable: Mainly on environmental problems related to professional and highly theoretical discussion and debate. Participants are mainly experts in the fields of research, academics, as well as governmental officials and business representatives. It aims at resolving professional environmental problems.

6) Simulated classroom scenario: In order to effectively meet the teaching theory in classroom, improve the participant’s capacity, we design the virtual process if exercise. Its feature is combining classroom theory and stimulation practice, so as to integrate theory with practice and improve the ability of participant. 7) Environmental emergency treatment roundtable: It is a way to solve unexpected environmental problem by holding on-site emergency meeting. The character is that our students will be personally involved in solving problems in the whole process, and improve their capacity of dealing with environmental emergencies, which make them have more profound understanding on sudden crisis. Next, the author will make a brief description of the Round Table on the implementation of the process through case study. 1.The background of the roundtable (case description): Shenzhen Futian District is the hub of transport in urban planning projects of Shenzhen City. In more than three years of construction time, construction noise and pollution and environmental conflicts have been plaguing the construction side and the surrounding masses. Although the construction has made great efforts to control construction pollution as far as possible to reduce the noise nuisance to the public, the residents nearby, the residents of the community Shui Huayuan in particular called Futian District Environmental Protection Bureau and the district urban management supervision hotline for complaints repeatedly, which resulted in the final conflict between the two sides with three injuries, one death in the accident and aroused great public anger. 2.Roundtable program First, to determine the stakeholders. According to the scene investigating and details of analysis, we determined the stakeholders: Futian District Environmental Protection Bureau, the Office of Shui huayuan streets and residents. Second, to convene meetings of the stakeholders to make the arrangement of the round tables, which will set the time, place and the major issues of the round table meeting. Third, to identify the Round Table arbitrator. Fourth, to convene the Round Table. On October 20 morning,2007, after Wang Huanbiao, the Director of the Shui Huayuan Street Office announced the beginning for the round-table dialogue meeting, the round-table dialogue meeting formally began and representatives of the parties launched a fierce "battle of words" and the "contradictions coexistence" discussion started soon. The meeting was round the construction and environment issues for discussion. In a friendly atmosphere, the two sides finally reached an agreement of mutual understanding about the issue. Based on the mutual dependence, on the side of Construction, undertook a certain obligation to the community residents and made a certain contribution, while community residents has also made some sacrifices. So, the construction period was not affected by the residents of understanding, which caused an establishment of a harmonious

atmosphere between the both sides and the issues was effectively solved through the Round Table meeting. Fifth, evaluate the effect of the roundtable. After each roundtable we should conduct evaluation and summary, The effect of this roundtable, all the parties in the meeting have reached a consensus: Roundtable dialogue was very successful, it’s very well to organize more activities like this .ShuiYuan communities 6#house holdhouse ,Miss Liu Yajun said: “The roundtable dialogue about construction and the environment is very novel,It given us an opportunity to face to communicate with construction part and the Government law enforcement departments. I think that environmental protection departments pay attention to our people's livelihood issue. In the past, we always find no corresponding departments reflect question , so the difficulties can’t be solved in timely. Through these face-to-face exchanges, we eliminate some original concerns, we feel the Government and environmental protection departments attach to the interests of the masses.” The officials who watched the roundtable dialogue are from the State Environmental Protection Administration and the Guangdong Environmental Protection Bureau, gave a high evaluation to the roundtable which was organized orderly, and achieved the expected results. III. The evaluation and conclusions Assessment results reflected in three aspects: 1.Officials greatly enhanced awareness of environmental protection. 2. The public participate in environmental protection actions more active and the public interest has actually been reflected in the process. 3. The interests of enterprises which support the environment protect have been expanded, strengthened corporations’ social responsibility and credibility. We believe that in the form of the roundtable it can solve the problem that government officials, enterprises and the public participate in environmental protection process effectively. Owing to limit of the length, the related assessment methods and data above have been omitted. Based on the evaluation we concluded that the roundtable is an effective form to cause the public extensively to take part in the environmental protection, safeguard the public interests and effectively solute environmental problems finally, which should be promoted widely.


				
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Description: Environmental round table