“Focus: Environmental Journalists Forum”

In 1996, Wang Yongchen, one of the editors of this book, formed Green Earth Volunteers, an environmental NGO in Beijing. In 2000, the group began holding Environmental Journalists Forums, inviting experts to explain green issues to news media workers. These forums became an important channel through which China’s environmental NGOs could communicate with the media, and the 27 articles in Focus: Environmental Journalists Forum are adapted from those lectures.

Arranged under nine themes — energy; rivers, lakes and seas; forests; reserves; flora and fauna; urban environmentalism; public participation; and ecological compensation – they cover the major issues of concern from 2003 to 2006. 

In China, it is common to see journalists involved in the development of environmental NGOs. Wang Yongchen was a journalist while running Green Earth Volunteers. Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, worked in the media for 10 years. In Ma’s preface to this book, he comments that “the importance of the Environmental Journalists Forum is that it takes the serious environmental issues arising during China’s economic development, and the research and actions of those concerned with those issues, and presents them to the popular media and hence to the public.” 

Activities such as this, and the participation of the media, give China’s environmental movement an opportunity to be heard, and this has been an important factor in the constant growth of the movement over the last decade.  

Focus: Environmental Journalists Forum
Wang Yongchen and Xiong Zhihong (editors)
Joint Publishing Company Ltd, 2009 

— By Huo Weiya