Transparent environmental impact reports could prevent protests

Updated: 2013-08-26 20:49


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The government should build public confidence in industrial projects with authentic environmental assessment reports and not through persuasion and publicity, says a Southern Metropolis Daily article (excerpts below):

A recent research report from Shanghai Jiaotong University shows that 27.3 percent of environmental protection complaints from the public have not been properly resolved.

Most of the complaints were targeted at industrial projects that were about to begin construction plans. Local residents suspected the projects would pollute the environment and took to the streets to protest the projects.

To make sure that these disputes are settled properly, the governments must maintain effective communication channels with the public. The people's congress, political advisory bodies and NGOs should also actively participate in public discussions and maintain constant pressure to motivate governments to convince the public that industrial projects are safe.

The central government should make it easier for the public to launch litigation against polluters, which would be another approach to settling disputes.

Environmental protection authorities should provide authentic environmental assessment reports before governments approve of projects. These reports are vital to building trust in the public and would save both the environment and governments a lot of trouble.