China Watch, Food, Renewable Energy, News, Natural Disasters & Peacemaking, e2 - Eye on Earth

Nearly 300 Chinese Cities Lack Sewage Treatment

As of late June, 297 cities in China had not yet built adequate sewage treatment plants, an official with the Ministry of Construction reported on October 10th. Of these nearly 300 cities, 63 are larger urban areas, including 8 with populations of more than 500,000.

Environmental "Tipping Points": Ecosystem Health and Community Vitality Go Hand In Hand

Washington, DC— In places as diverse as the Philippines, India, and New York City, people are addressing complex environmental problems by finding their positive "tipping points"—a point where catalytic action can set off a cascade of positive changes that tip the system towards sustainability. "We don't have to solve an entire problem at once. We make a few key changes and let a system use its self-organizing powers to mend itself," write Gerald Marten, Steve Brooks, and Amanda Suutari, authors of Environmental Tipping Points: A New Slant on Strategic Environmentalism.

WORLDWATCH LAUNCHES CHINA WATCH NEWS SERVICE

Washington, D.C. — Today the Worldwatch Institute launched its China Watch news service (http://www.worldwatch.org/features/chinawatch/) reporting on developments in energy, agriculture, population, water, health, and the environment in China. This new online feature is a joint initiative of Worldwatch and the Beijing-based Global Environmental Institute (GEI), made possible through the support of the Blue Moon Fund.

China Ranks Third Hardest Hit by Disasters

Over 70 percent of China's big cities, more than half of its population of 1.3 billion, and 75 percent of its key industrial and agricultural areas are located in regions prone to weather-related and geological disasters, according to Xinhua News Agency.

TOWARDS HAPPIER MEALS IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD

Since the latest outbreak of avian flu began in southeast Asia in 2003, public health officials, farmers, veterinarians, government officials, and the media have referred to the threat as a “natural” disaster. However, avian flu, mad cow disease, and other emerging diseases that can jump from animals to humans are symptoms of a larger change taking place in agriculture: the spread of factory farming. In the latest release from the Worldwatch Institute, Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry, Research Associate Danielle Nierenberg describes how factory farms are breaking the cycle between small farmers, their animals, and the environment, with collateral damage to human health and local communities. Mitigating the fallout will require a new approach to the way animals are raised, concludes Nierenberg.

China Opens Up Aviation Market, Bringing Potential Environmental Challenges

In mid-August, China’s aviation administration, CAAC, issued a series of new policies aimed at increasing private investment in the civil aviation sector, according to a recent report released by the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation.

China Tightens Controls Over Internet News, Raises Concern Among Environmental, Grassroots Groups

On September 25, the Chinese government set new regulations on Internet news content, strengthening its control over the operations of online news organizations and the country’s rapidly growing Internet population.

WORLDWATCH PRESIDENT PROCLAIMS"ENERGY TIPPING POINT" AT WORLD PETROLEUM CONGRESS

Johannesburg, South Africa—In a plenary speech to the 18th World Petroleum Congress today, Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin declared that, "Global energy markets are at a tipping point, with new energy sources ready to begin replacing oil and other fossil fuels."

Important Wetland May Soon Disappear, Take Endangered Species With It

Unless rainfall increases by at least 80 percent over last year, the remaining surface water in China’s 100,000 hectare Xianghai State Nature Reserve could dry up completely by the end of 2006. Loss of the massive wetland area would likely take the future of several of the world’s rare and endangered bird species with it.

China Embraces Meat Safety Legislation

In late August, legislators in Beijing met to discuss China’s first-ever comprehensive law on animal husbandry, pushing meat safety to the top of the national agenda at a time when avian flu and other livestock-related diseases are ravaging parts of Asia. The bill, initially proposed in 2001, underwent legislative review at the 17th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), convened August 23-28.
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