Like other vast, industrial countries with large populations, a wealth of biodiversity and resources, and a leading global economy, the good health of China’s nature is not only crucial for the survival of its people, its plants and animals, but also to the well-being of the entire planet.
The impact of decisions about sustainability, natural resource use, and environmental protection made on mainland China easily reach across and we feel them clearly here in Hong Kong. Most of our drinking water comes from Dongjiang, Guangdong Province and whether the water is clean or polluted affects the quality of water we and our families consume. A lot of the food we eat—pork, beef, vegetables, eggs— comes from mainland China. Every day, we directly consume the results of decisions made in China—whether by a small farmer, or by the government.
But people in Hong Kong, or even the greater Asian region, are not the only ones affected by China’s decisions. The country’s 620-plus coal-powered plants currently operating have contributed 40% of the deadly particulate matter in China’s polluted air, and as the world’s top greenhouse gas emitter, China bears a significant burden as a major contributor to global climate change. China’s decisions to ignore or take actions to protect the environment and the country’s natural resources affect us all.
Hope for China’s Nature
We all realize that nature and humankind share a critical interest in maximizing China’s sustainability potential. The Conservancy has worked in mainland China for more than a decade to improve China’s air and water, and sustain its natural resources for people and animals alike:
Forests help sustain all life on Earth. Whether you live in a bustling metropolis like Hong Kong or the remote Australian Outback, forests give you air, water, food, it helps with flood protection, provide better climate and also is a crucial source for fuel and paper. Learn more
400 million people live in the Yangtze river valley, and depend on the river for electricity, food, drinking water, crop irrigation, transport, and tourism. Unfortunately, the production of some of these goods and services often comes at the expense of others. Learn more
China feeds its population of over one billion with multiple fresh water sources, but in some cities, almost two-thirds of these water supplies are not suitable for human consumption. The first China Urban Water Blueprint which was published in April 2016 showing nature can be key to improving water quality for more than 150 million people. Learn more
As the world’s foremost producer of greenhouse gases, the global spotlight is on China to take action to reduce the harmful emissions causing climate change. And with the Conservancy’s help, China is beginning to act. Partnerships between the Conservancy, the Chinese government, local communities, and companies like Novartis are resulting in forest restoration and reduced deforestation. Learn More
Whether national parks or local nature preserves, protected areas provide tremendous value: they give people a place to visit and be inspired by natural wonders, they protect natural resources like rivers and lakes that people and animals depend on for survival, they keep forests and grasslands intact to maximize carbon storage, and they protect habitat for species found nowhere else on Earth—species like the iconic and highly endangered giant panda and the Yunnan Golden Monkey. Thanks to our supporters, the Conservancy has been able to play a major role in pioneering new protected areas in China. We helped the Chinese government establish the country’s very first national park, Pudacuo, in 2007, and have since helped create two additional national parks in Yunnan Province: Meili and Laojunshan. Supporters like you are enabling us to continue working with the provincial government to create nine more such parks by 2020. Read More