The central government will encourage non-governmental organizations (NGO) to play a big role in the field of environmental protection, a senior environmental official said.
"The government will promote the establishment of an NGO network that coordinates non-governmental efforts in environmental protection in two years," according to Pan Yue, deputy director-general of the State Environmental Protection Administration.
Pan acknowledged Thursday that NGOs played an essential role in involving the public in environmental protection, while public participation clearly indicated the ecological civilization of a nation.
Public participation in environmental protection would encourage government departments to use their power legally, he said. It would also help the government to obtain relevant information promptly and facilitate the implementation of major environmental programs.
Pan expected the NGO network to disseminate environmental protection concepts through holding forums or other kinds of activities, gathering environmental information, raising constructive proposals to government departments and people's congresses or people's political consultative conferences, and setting forth initiatives on environmental protection.
(Xinhua News Agency December 12, 2003)