The United Nations is working with Chinese government to raise the public awareness of environment:
Yang Lan, an ambassador for Beijing’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, said that the 2008 Olympic has drew the nation’s, or even the world’s unprecedented attention to China’s environmental issues. However, promoting environmental protection relies on everyone. Using Olympic to run environmental protection campaigns is a good idea, which could spark public enthusiasm for environmental governance, encourage people to take actions, and participate in environmental protection.
During the launch ceremony, Khalid Malik, the UN resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in China, said, “as Premier Wen Jiabao emphasized in the beginning of this year, policy makers and the public’s lacking environmental awareness is the major reason that China is suffering from serious pollution. This large-scale campaign, sponsored by the United Nations, responses to one of the priority tasks of the government. Our goal is not only to raise public awareness of the pressing environmental problems, but also to translate our knowledge of this field into environmental actions, attitudes and practices.”
Yu Xiaoxuan, the environmental director of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG), said, except fully using mascot “Fuwa” to convey environmental information, BOCOG and UNDP have cooperated to promote “green Olympic” in the following areas: transporting athletes using clean fuel cell vehicle during the events to promote the development of clean public transportation, using eco-friendly materials and building methods during the construction of facilities, and setting up an environmental education centre inside the facilities to raise public awareness on environmental problems like water resource protection.
It is understood that this project is established with the efforts of the UNDP, the State Environmental Protection Administration and China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges under the Ministry of Commerce. The initial project budget is funded by the world’s largest steel maker ArcelorMittal, who committed to promoting energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and Royal Norwegian Embassy.