Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

“The Unique Role and Function of NGO’s in Forest Preservation in China” Christopher Nelson 倪偉文 June 3, 2008 National Sun-Yat Sen University Institute of.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "“The Unique Role and Function of NGO’s in Forest Preservation in China” Christopher Nelson 倪偉文 June 3, 2008 National Sun-Yat Sen University Institute of."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Unique Role and Function of NGO’s in Forest Preservation in China” Christopher Nelson 倪偉文 June 3, 2008 National Sun-Yat Sen University Institute of Mainland China Studies

2 Introduction Two issues come to mind when discussing China’s NGO’s: Western views of NGO’s differ from Chinese views of NGO’s Relationship between state and 3rd sector in China shows several patterns

3 Definition UN says “A non-governmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens’ group, which is organized on a local, national or international level to address issues in support of the public good”

4 Differences Society in many countries is divided into three sectors: 1. Business/Private 2. Government/State 3. Non-Profit/NGO Yet, in China the nonprofit sector does not have the same level, influence or ranking that it does in other countries

5 Differences In many counties NGO’s have a lot of autonomy and freedom In China NGO’s must: 1. have ties to the government 2. be sponsored by a government agency

6 Differences China reluctantly allows INGO’s and local NGO’s only because of international pressure and globalization, differs from other countries Though China’s NGO’s may have some attributes and features of NGO’s in other countries, it is their function and role as well as their relations with the government [and the business sector] that is much different

7 Differences In China many NGO’s operate as an extension of government or as part of the government sector and not as an independent third sector that exists in other countries

8 Differences However, China’s NGO’s do: 1. provide information, education, and support, 2. act as “watchdogs” for the environment, and also can 3. can help mobilize support and resistance to programs or projects that go against laws or what government wants or the image they want to project

9 INGO’s in China China may even use its influence in the UN to block or even “punish” INGO’s that it does not like or that does things that China does not like Through the UN, China successfully lobbied to remove Liberty International’s “consultative status” with the UN for one year

10 Forest Conservation One example of how NGO’s operate in China [and how the relations between the government and NGO ’ s works] can be seen in terms of forest protection, conservation, and preservation

11 Effects of Decentralization After 1981, due to decentralization, forest protection was delegated to local governments However, the priority of local governments was to spur development. Thus, in order to accommodate rapid growth, local governments didn’t always enforce environmental laws or prosecute those who broke the law, especially if in doing so it would hinder economic growth

12 1998 flooding caused by deforestation In 1998, a natural disaster, great flooding along the Yangtze River, caused by the destruction of forests, forced the central government to change policies concerning forests New ENGO’s and INGO’s [such as Greenpeace] now work together within the guidelines set up by the national government to protect Chinas’ forests Now, forest conservation is a priority, reforestation is underway, and NGO’s have even helped the government stop companies from illegal logging and damage to forests

13 Local/Central Conflict Local governments still try to get around environmental laws handed down from Beijing Thus conflict between local governments and interests, on the one hand, and the central government, often in partnership with INGO’s and Chinese ENGO’s, undermines the authority of the national government and prevents reforms from taking hold

14 Forest Protection History of Forest Protection 1958 – “Big Leap Forward” in timber production 1979 – First forestry law was passed 1984 – This law officially goes into effect “Decentralization allowed for the Ministry of Forestry to focus better on administration as well as the formulation of policy”

15 Forest Protection However, forests were left to the local governments to handle At times, many TVE’s and local projects, in the spirit of economic growth and development, ignored environmental laws, which caused great damage to China’s forests

16 Deforestation and Flooding Natural Disaster in 1998 shifts paradigms concerning China’s forests There was also shift in focus from pure market development to environmental protection by the central government in terms of forests and wooded areas as a result of this disaster, caused, in part, by the destruction of forests along the Yangtze

17 Asia Pulp and Paper Illegal logging by the Asia Pulp and Paper Company Greenpeace identifies the problem, and makes it public Chinese NGO's, working with Greenpeace, help organize boycotts and other protest activities against Asia Pulp and Paper Asia Pulp and Paper Company is currently being investigated by Chinese government

18 Asia Pulp and Paper What is even more revealing is the fact that local governments in China challenge the authority of the central government The Asia Pulp and Paper Company originally went into Yunnan 雲南 as part of a partnership with local government to develop tree development, with implications of accommodation in return for economic development

19 Illegal Logging in Henan In another case, in Henan province 河南省 the local village government authorized villagers to clear 80 meters of timber in a state owned forest. The Village Committee and the Village Director actually raised this amount to over 177 cubic meters The villagers soon cleared over 258 cubic meters of timber

20 Conclusion 1.China reluctantly allows NGO’s to exist in China because of international pressure and globalization 2.Chinese NGO ’ s that promote China ’ s image, provide social welfare, or help protect the environment are tolerated, provided that the NGO does not come into conflict with the government and its policies 3.Groups that promote democracy or human rights are discouraged in China, and as a result China tightly controls NGO ’ s

21 Conclusion 4.While many Chinese NGO’s resemble NGO’s in Western nations, the fact remains that Chinese NGO’s are unique; they must operate within guidelines and parameters set up by the Chinese government and they must not overstep their bounds. Thus a Chinese serves only the “public good” that the government says it can serve 5.In terms of INGO’s China is very careful

22 Conclusion The consequences of China’s rapid economic development have resulted in great damage to China ’ s environment, as well as natural disasters, like the great floods along the Yangtze River in 1998, caused primarily by deforestation While China is at least trying to do something about the environment, as evidenced by the development of, and cooperation with, ENGO ’ s in China and INGO ’ s like Greenpeace, China needs to do more to promote NGO ’ s

23 Conclusion Local governments are less discerning They will, at times, as seen by the incident in Henan province 河南省, challenge the authority of the government, by defying environmental laws, for instance, in the interest of local economic development

24 Conclusion This conflict, between the local governments, which could, as is at least implied in the case of Asia Pulp and Paper, also include MNC’s, on the one hand, and the central government, working with INGO’s and NGO’s, not only shows the differences in the way NGO’s operate, but more importantly, the limits and problems of authority in China

Download ppt "“The Unique Role and Function of NGO’s in Forest Preservation in China” Christopher Nelson 倪偉文 June 3, 2008 National Sun-Yat Sen University Institute of."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google