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Big Green Drive Set for Early Next Year
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A nationwide environmental awareness campaign featuring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games mascots and Chinese celebrities will officially start early next year. The three-year campaign will be launched today in Beijing by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Chinese government.


Entitled "China Environmental Awareness Program (CEAP)," the campaign seeks to raise public awareness about environmental issues through media campaigns built around high-profile national events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo in 2010.


"The campaign aims at promoting a change in behavior, attitude and practice," said Khalid Malik, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China.


To date, the total investment in the campaign has reached US$3.5 million.


The UNDP, the Chinese government and the Norwegian Embassy have each contributed US$500,000 and Arclor Mittal Co., Ltd., a leading producer of steel, has donated US$2 million.


The media drive will focus on issues such as air pollution, climate change, access to clean water and sustainable consumption, according to Jia Feng, deputy director of the Publicity and Education Center of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).


In recent years, the country has devoted much attention to strengthening public awareness of environmental protection in the community, among officials and enterprises.


But in some areas more education is needed.


Jia said an investigation by the Environmental Protection Bureau in North China's Shanxi Province, the country's biggest coal producing area, showed that more than 90 percent of the officials believe that strengthening environmental protection slows down economic growth.


The country has also implemented a series of preferential policies to encourage enterprises to invest in waste treatment and environmental improvement.


SEPA bestowed 30 enterprises in Beijing yesterday with the highest honor in the current Environmental Friendly Enterprises drive.


"These plants have shown great performance in energy saving, environmental protection, and technology innovation," said Zhu Guangyao, SEPA's vice minister.


"Enterprises, together with other members of the community, should live up to the responsibility of creating a harmonious society," he said.


(China Daily December 19, 2006)

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