Until 10 years ago, Dalian was an old industrial city in China. Heavy-polluting factories (petroleum, chemical, textile and cement) were scattered throughout the area, and adversely affected residents. In the early 1990s, the City adopted a new ideology of urban development, and found creative ways of protecting the environment.
It achieved this goal by: changing the industrial structure and relocating and upgrading pollution-causing industries; preventing industrial pollution; planting trees; protecting ecosystems; and strengthening legal supervision and management of the environment. Bo Xilai, the mayor of Dalian for eight years, played a leading role in aggressively pursuing this project and ensuring its success. One outstanding achievement was the relocation of 98 pollution-emitting factories from the City to the suburbs. The City convinced businesses to rebuild low-polluting factories and to build modern residential areas with lush parks and green areas. For those factories not relocated, the City invested heavily in each factory to establish pollution-prevention facilities, and included regulations to control the amount of pollutants in the development plans. As a result, one million of Dalian's two million citizens moved to new residential areas.
In 1994, the Government designated the City an Environmental Demonstration Zone. The City proposed that China adopt a master plan for environmental improvement with overseas development assistance from Japan, based on the City of Kitakyushu's experience. Together they undertook a study, which was carried out from 1996 to March 2000. As a result, Dalian included environmental administration and low-polluting manufacturing technologies from Kitakyushu in its policies. The City plans to carry out various environmental projects over the next 10 years and aims to comply with environmental standards equal to those in industrialized countries. The City has gained recognition as one of China's top 10 cities for the integrated control of the urban environment and was honoured as an international Best Model City in the Dubai 2000 competition. The City is also actively promoting improvements in other cities throughout China by hosting the Dalian International Environment Protection Expo.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), based in the UK, was established in 1984 to investigate and campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife and the destruction of the natural environment. Working undercover to expose international crime, EIA has brought about changes in international laws and government policies, thus saving the lives of millions of endangered animals and putting a stop to the devastating effects wrought by environmental criminals.
Their track record of undercover work, scientific documentation and representation at international conventions has earned EIA a worldwide reputation for highly effective and successful campaigning. Within four weeks of the launch of a major campaign in the UK media, France, Germany, Switzerland and the United States announced an immediate ban on African elephant ivory - a success, which was followed by the international community in 1989. In a series of innovative investigations, EIA proved the existence of a thriving black market in Chlorofluorocarbons and halons and named the culprits. As a result, strong measures are being adopted by governments to stop the illegal trade in these substances.
EIA uses global investigations, research and campaigns to back up lobbying of governments, organizations and individuals to end the international trade in bear and tiger parts and their derivatives. EIA is currently campaigning for the continuation of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling and an immediate suspension of commercial whaling in Japan and Norway.
EIA also documents and exposes illegal activities by timber and plantation companies, and aims to ensure that international investments and demands for timber, paper and other products do not harm forests in any part of the world.
Dr. Frederick Gikandi
Dr. Frederick Gikandi is a unique environmentalist who for the past 13 years has, on a volunteer basis, undertaken activities to reclaim a large and neglected quarry in Kenya's coastal city, Mombasa.
The 40-foot deep quarry located 600 meters offshore and with its floor only four feet above the sea, had been earmarked as the municipality's refuse dump site. Were it not for his efforts, the surrounding urban neighbourhoods would have suffered from air pollution from the decomposing refuse, and the Indian Ocean's coastal and marine ecosystems would have been polluted. With no training in the field of the environment and sometimes against great odds, Dr. Gikandi has rehabilitated the quarry by planting trees and raising environmental awareness through a campaign, involving the local population. When the area was completely re-afforested, he invited 10 different tribesmen to replicate their rural homes in the small clearings of the new forest. The outcome is now a well-known sustainable eco-cultural tourist village named Ngomongo Village.
His campaign involved public meetings, public speaking, and the distribution of flyers throughout the community including to school children and visitors to the village. More significantly, Dr. Gikandi has personally invested some US$200,000 in his reclamation project, which is serving as a model for other urban and non-urban communities, which are affected by degraded lands.
Commercial harvesting of sea turtle eggs on Redang Island, Malaysia has provided the islanders with a ready source of income for decades. The local government considers this a right of the inhabitants, and issues annual licenses for turtle egg collection, consumption and sale. This has led to a decline of turtle nesting populations in Redang, to the extent that the turtles now face extinction.
Dr. Chan Eng Heng and Mr. Liew Hock Chark, a husband and wife team from the Sea Turtle Research Unit (SEATRU) of University College, Terengganu, have made many appeals over the last few years to the local government to stop issuing licenses for turtle egg collection. Realizing that the appeals were not having an effect, they raised funds from the public to help buy the eggs from the licensed egg collectors for incubation at Chagar Hutan Beach, the main nesting beach in Redang. The eggs are left to incubate in their natural nests and hatchlings are allowed to make their way to the sea to replenish the declining population.
Over the last seven years, they have stopped some 250,000 turtle eggs from being sold for human consumption. Thanks to their efforts, 200,000 hatchlings have been released to the ocean from a beach on which hatchlings had never previously been produced. They have adhered to the in-situ incubation concept whereby the eggs are left in their natural nests to develop and are not dug up and relocated to hatcheries. This practice ensures a mixed sex ratio, as well as optimal hatch rates.
Dr. Chan and Mr. Liew have also advanced the cause of conservation through research. Their satellite tracking studies have provided the impetus for the development of regional collaborative turtle conservation programmes in South East Asia. Long-term tagging studies of green and hawksbill turtles are generating information on the population dynamics of the turtles, which is vital for assessing and formulating conservation measures.
They have also developed a concept called STOP (Sea Turtle Outreach Programme) to enable the public to become involved in sea turtle conservation through a volunteer programme of nest and turtle adoption schemes. They have succeeded in getting a local English daily to run monthly features on their programme in order to reach a wider audience and create greater awareness among the public on the urgent need to save turtles.
They have developed a web site to reach a wider global audience and to give greater transparency to their programme. STOP serves as a model to the WWF/Fisheries/BP Amoco turtle conservation project in Ma'Daerah - a turtle nesting area in mainland Terengganu.
Dr. Jiro Kondo
Dr. Jiro Kondo has played a leading role in presenting a number of important policy recommendations to the Government of Japan, particularly in his former capacity as Chairman of the Environment Pollution Control Council (1990-1993) and as Chairman of the Central Environment Council (1993-2000). During that period it was clear that the existing legal framework, which worked mainly by imposing regulations, could no longer deal adequately with emerging complex and wide-ranging environmental problems, such as those caused by the growing number of automobiles, wastewater from different sources, and climate change.
Dr. Kondo presented a recommendation in March 1993 on Basic Environmental Law to chart a new direction for Japan's environmental policies. In November 1993, the Law was enacted. Another significant contribution was his recommendation on the measures toward Global Warming Prevention in March 1998, which put together a range of measures to be implemented to achieve the target Japan committed to at Kyoto in 1997. In October of the same year, Japan introduced the world's first law designed to prevent global warming, namely the Law Concerning the Promotion of Measures to Cope with Global Warming. Following his recommendation on the Basic Principles Governing Integrated Measures for Waste and Recycling Management presented in March 1999, the Basic Law for Establishing a Recycling-based Society was enacted in May 2000.
From 1985 to 1994, Dr. Kondo was President of the Science Council of Japan, and from 1980 to 1985, he was Director of the National Institute for Environmental Studies. Since 1994, he has been Chairman of the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan.
Loren Legarda has been hailed as an 'ecological warrior' because of her staunch advocacy of environmental issues, particularly those pertaining to forest and marine resources. As a broadcast journalist for 20 years, she championed the cause for a more healthier ecology by heightening public awareness of environmental problems through her weekly television programmes "Pep Talk" and "The Inside Story". Her subsequent news magazine programme "EarthLink" became the first television documentary series on the environment and was awarded both the prestigious KBP Golden Dove Award and the EarthSavers Media Award.
As the youngest member of the Philippine Senate, she has filed more than 103 bills and 68 resolutions, including the Clean Air Act of 1998 (enacted as Republic Act 8749), the Solid Waste Management Policy Framework, Total Commercial Log Ban of 1998, and the Greening Act of 1998.
Legarda is Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Affairs and Tourism, and Vice-chair of the committees on environment and natural resources and public information and mass media. She sits on the powerful Commission on Appointments and chairs its Environment Committee. She also spearheads a laudable environmental project, entitled 'Greening the Philippines', that seeks to create 1,600 forest parks in urban areas nationwide in order to raise the level of consciousness of Filipinos to the value of trees. She was elected a Global Leader of Tomorrow for the year 2000 by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Likas Yaman (National Treasure) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for her work as founding Chair of the Save Our Seas, and the Trees for Life Foundations.
Sven Olof Lindblad
ven Olof Lindblad's company, Lindblad Expeditions, is a world leader in responsible tourism. Through his personal commitment to conservation and the environment, he has donated the use of his company's vessels to host symposia, which bring together decision-makers from Mexico and Central America and conservation practitioners. These dialogues have resulted in the establishment of protected areas in the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras as well as Mexico's Gulf of California.
For the past five years, he has been an engaged and constructive member of WWF's National Council, and his company has provided important financial support to several WWF conservation efforts. He offered the use of one of his ships at cost, foregoing profit during the high season, so that WWF could hold its Board meeting in the Sea of Cortez. This meeting resulted in contributions of some US$2 million for conservation in the Sea of Cortez.
In addition to educating their travellers about natural history and conservation, Lindblad is committed to initiating partnerships with NGOs, protected area managers, local communities and other stakeholders in the primary destinations where they operate. He contributed more than US$250,000 to grassroots NGOs, e.g. for a guide-training course in Baja California and a trail in St. Lucia, West Indies. The latter initiative has generated more than US$1 million to the local economy. He initiated the Galapagos Conservation Fund whose contributions have already exceeded US$500,000.
In collaboration with the US Tour Operators Association, he established a Travelers' Conservation Foundation (TCF) made up of a range of companies associated with the tourism industry - a few of them without any previous involvement in conservation. TCF made its first grant of US$500,000 to Mesa Verde. Lindblad launched a Kids at Sea Programme, where children from inner city high schools get a chance to see the world.
Lindblad Expeditions carries out its activities in an environmentally responsible way and is an example many other tourism companies should follow.
Jung Hee Park
Jung Hee Park, President of the non-governmental organization Korea Women Environment Movement Center (KWEMC), began her public service career in 1968 - four years after she started working for the YWCA in Seoul. During her tenure, she tried to make the connection between vocational training and professional development to increase employment opportunities for women. When she was elected President of the YWCA in 1991, she initiated the construction of Bongchun Dong Social Welfare Facility where she concentrated on consumer protection campaigns, environmental activities and juvenile education activities.
She initiated a number of campaigns, including ANABADA, which is about reducing, reusing and recycling, the Living Species Protection Campaign, Operation Monitoring Team of Water Quality, and a seminar for Green products. Under her leadership, Seoul YWCA sent 3,000 truck-loads full of waste to recycling plants. She also promoted environment-friendly products and organized a major tree planting campaign where young trees were distributed free of charge.
In 1996, when she was elected President of KWEMC, she brought together a number of women who were active in the environment to help her fight her cause. She published, translated and distributed gratis environmental teaching materials to the general public and teachers. She also undertook a survey of disposable products in department stores and supermarkets.
From 1992 to 1997, she was a member of the Presidential Commission Administrative Reform Committee. In that capacity, she helped raise awareness of industry's policy on waste and introduced an evaluation system for firms. She also worked on revising the laws for taxes and charges for the improvement of the environment. Every spring, Ms. Park undertakes tree planting efforts and every summer she conducts environmental camps.
Every month, she organizes seminars on waste combustion and field trips to Samankum Tidal. To further promote environmental awareness, she regularly gives lectures on environmental conservation at churches and schools.