Environmental Governance Programme
The Shangri-la Institute and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) have partnered to implement ‘Community Integrated Nature Reserves for a Sustainable China’ project under the European Union’s Environmental Governance Programme. EGP is a joint programme between the EU and China, in collaboration with China’s Ministry of Environment.
Beginning in January 2013, the project is being implemented over 2 years in 14 nature reserves in five regions across China: Lhasa in the Tibetan Autonomous Region; Three Parallel Rivers in Yunnan; interconnected Giant Panda reserves in Sichuan; and also wetlands in Zhejiang and Heilongjiang provinces.
The Community Integrated Nature Reserve (CINR) project promotes a new kind of Environmental Governance, whereby communities living in and around 5 key nature reserves work in partnership with nature reserve staff, government agencies and local businesses to strengthen eco-system management and protection. The project aims to build the capacity of communities to participate in environmental governance, as well as strengthen the ability of nature reserve staff to guide such participation and learning, and to engage other relevant stakeholders, such as local government, business, and media.
With over 2000 nature reserves established in China to date, there is a clear benefit and a growing need for them to act as vehicles of environmental learning and grassroots governance. Currently, however, the capacity of nature reserve staff to pursue meaningful engagement remains limited due to insufficient training in stakeholder engagement, as well as lack of appropriate materials and funding.
Providing such assistance is critical, since often the communities residing within nature reserves are among China’s poorest minority groups and are most exposed to pressure from rapid economic development.
About the EU-China Environmental Governance Programme
The EU-China Environmental Governance Programme (EGP) is a €15 million EU-funded programme implemented with China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, from December 2010 until Dec 2015. The purpose of the Programme is to enhance environmental governance in the People’s Republic of China on the basis of the principles of the Aarhus Convention. It is comprised of four themes:
1. Public access to environmental information
2. Public participation in environmental planning and decision making
3. Access to justice in environmental matters
4. Corporate environmental responsibility
These fours themes are put into practice through 15 local partnership projects in which European entities work together with local governments in different parts of China to introduce and test new ideas on environmental governance. The partnership projects are linked to a national-level component which brings the results and policy implications to a platform for consideration for policy adjustments and replication in other parts of China.
Further details of EGP activities and partnership projects can be found on the EGP website: www.ecegp.com
Key partners of the “Community Integrated Nature Reserves for a Sustainable China” (CINR) project are: