The EGP-Guizhou project “Improving access to environmental justice to protect people’s environmental rights in Guizhou province” is now successfully launched.
After initial meetings with the project partners in Beijing and Guiyang between 12th and 14th November, an external start-up meeting was held in Guiyang on November 15th with participants from the project partners, volunteer organizations, governmental officials and lawyers as well as the media. Mr. Guo Meng, the General Director of Guizhou Environmental Protection Department, opened the meeting, which then proceeded with presentations of the participants and the objectives and outputs of the EGP project. Furthermore, valuable knowledge was shared regarding the operations of All-China Environment Federation (ACEF) and the local partners Guizhou International Cooperation Centre for Environmental Protection (GZICCEP) and Guiyang Public Environmental Education Centre (GPEEC). Chief judge Mr. Lou Guangqian gave an interesting presentation of the public interest litigation (PIL) practice of Guiyang Environmental Tribunal.
During the subsequent discussion, chaired by Mr. Mingjie Zheng, it became apparent that much progress concerning environmental justice has already been made in the Guizhou province. Yet, much remains to be done to ensure the enforcements of environmental laws and to raise awareness regarding environmental justice amongst the public as well as other stakeholders. As a first step, a study of the status of the environmental justice situation in Guizhou province is now underway, with the aim of providing all partners with a greater understanding of the current situation and problems to be addressed in the following sections of the project.