Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Green awareness levels drop in Beijing

During a week stay in Shanghai recently, China Daily came in handy for daily reading as the tabloid is in English. The following caught my attention:

  • After the Olympic Games in 2008, residents' awareness of environmental issues started to decline.

The paper reported that, a new survey shows that the level of environmental awareness among Beijing residents has fallen for the third consecutive year.

Local residents' environmental awareness measured in percentage:

  • 2012 - 71.6%
  • 2011 - 72.2%
  • 2010 - 74.2%
  • 2009 - 75.9%
  • 2008 - Beijing Olympic Games

I'm quite sure that the government would have carried out aggressive promotion of the environment issues - air quality, water, energy saving - but the study tells us that, in order to keep the momentum going, this has to be done consistently and continuously. The way of communicating this to the public must be dynamic and not static, and one that is appealing and attention-grabbing.

We should take note of Beijing's experience.

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Green awareness levels on the decline
China Daily. April 20, 2013

Despite the frequent environmental protection debates and scandals, especially over water and air quality, environmental awareness of Beijing residents - not only general knowledge of environment issues but participation in them - failed to grow last year, according to a survey by the education center under the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau released on Thursday.

Local residents' environmental awareness in 2012 was 71.6 points out of a possible 100,compared to 72.2 points in 2011, 74.2 points in 2010 and 75.9 points in 2009. Conducted in December 2012, the survey covered about 2,000 residents 16 and 60 years old who have lived in the city for at least two years.

"The environmental protection issue has been heatedly debated in recent years, but people's awareness has decreased since 2009," said Liu Jingqi, the survey's project director.

"One of the reasons for the peak of people's awareness in 2009 and decrease afterwards was Beijing's hosting the Olympic Games in 2008, when government promotion greatly spurred people's consciousness," Liu said.

Though people are attaching more importance to air and water quality among all environmental issues recently, poor execution and action have contributed to decreasing environmental-protection awareness.

"Many in the public practice energy conservation by saving water or electricity consumption, but the performance is not as good when it comes to disposable tableware, over packed products and other issues," said Liu.

In addition, despite the fact that PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter smaller than 2.5micrometers, has been hotly debated in recent years, the number of people knowing this term is relatively small among Beijing's 20 million residents.

Only 24.2% of those interviewed said they had heard of the term PM2.5, and half of those who had heard of it did not know the term is related to air pollution, according to the survey results.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I heard they built the city well when they were going to get the olympics, I'm not shocked to see the slump