Blog Action Day
SEPA, China's environmental watchdog could be expanded or given Cabinet-level status by March 2008 to enforce policies aimed at fighting chronic pollution. Reuters quotes Xia Guang, a top Chinese government adviser who notes that it is still under discussion how the new organization should be:
Environmental groups are seeking more status and power for China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), and there has been speculation it could happen as early as next year.
That recommendation was one of dozens in an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report this year that said China's environmental protection efforts have been ineffective and inefficient largely because the central government has been unable to implement its policies.
The English website of SEPA has data about air and water quality in China, as well as details about international cooperation and so on. But actually, the first page doesn't work on my pc, and there are lots of broken links. Why do they make it so complex? I hope their Chinese pages are easier to access. I would suggest that they should try to make the pages more user-friendly, and less bureaucratic. Keep it simple! It is important to focus on issues that ordinary people can understand and provide advice and tips on lifestyle changes that will benefit the environment and our health.
Since Japan upgraded its environmental agency to a full Cabinet Ministry in 2001, a number of proposals have been made that can help the country change to a path of more sustainable development. It is especially helpful for policy reasons to have a person in charge of these issues present at Cabinet meetings, in the same way as in European countries and in the European Commision.
Japan Ministry of the Environment (English)
I like their Japanese pages about "Eco Family" and "Eco Life" with ideas and proposals for example about energy use in your household to reduce CO2 emissions. Cute graphic design too! Their magazine has special sections for Stylish Women and for kids, as well as suggestions how you can make a Notebook about your energy use and how to set up targets to reduce energy consumption in your household.
October 15 is "Blog Action Day" for the environment, so I submit this as my entry. One Issue. One Day. Thousands of Voices. I agree with that and a hat tip to Vegetable Japan for the inspiration.