Insights and Analysis

From China: Cleaning Up Pearl River

January 23, 2008

China faces the challenge of continuing its economic development while simultaneously protecting the environment. More than 70 percent of the water in five of China’s seven major river systems is too polluted for human use, and the combined costs of air and water pollution for China’s economy is estimated at $US100 billion a year — about 5.8 percent of the country’s GDP. The Asia Foundation is supporting a pilot project to promote cleaner production in Guangdong province. Working with local economic development and environmental protection policymakers, enterprises, industry associations, suppliers, local experts and communities, the project aims to reduce the quantity of heavy metals discharged to the Pearl River. Through international and domestic study tours, data collection and monitoring, training workshops and implementation support, the project aims to introduce cleaner production models to the pilot industries and area.

Related locations: China


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