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NGOs Urged to Focus on Rural Ecology
The country's environment-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are being urged to shift their focus from cities to the rural areas so as to contribute to the protection of the deteriorating ecology there.

The call was made by Chen Xiwen, deputy director of the Development Research Centre under the State Council, at the two-day Second NGO Forum on Sino-US Environmental Co-operation in Beijing, which ends today.

Chen asked environmental NGOs to invest more and bring new technology to the rural areas, especially in ecologically fragile western regions.

China has more than 2,000 environmental NGOs, but more than 90 per cent them are located in cities in the well-developed coastal areas, according to official sources.

And yet the problems are far more severe in the rural areas where farmers have no money and may abuse the land just to survive.

Furthermore, rural residents, especially those in the west, are less educated about ecological matters because their schools are not well-equipped.

Chen wants to redirect the nation's environmental works at helping these poverty-stricken areas.

Also at the conference, Professor Yang Jike, president of an environmental research NGO in Beijing, unveiled environment-friendly marsh gas facilities that his group brought to parts of Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Through these facilities, residents there don't have to cut down trees of the virgin forest any longer.

Keeping with the forum's title, domestic NGOs also were beckoned to strengthen co-operations with US ones.

(China Daily November 16, 2001)

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