Business, Energy and Environment Section

Business, Energy and Environment Section

Cooperation and Development Section ■ Delegation of the European Union to China and Mongolia

Business, Energy and Environment Section

Environmental Governance Programme

Duration / 5 years
Beneficiary country / People’s Republic of China
EC Contribution / € 15 000 000
China Contribution / € 750 000 (in kind)
Grantee Contribution / € 3 750 000
Executing Authority / Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM)
Implementing Counterpart / Ministry of Environment Protection (MEP)
Location / Throughout China
EU Delegation Contact Person / Ms. Maria Chiara FEMIANO

Project Background

The EU-China Environmental Governance Programme is concerned with the improvement of environmental governance in China by enhancing governmental function, public participation and corporate responsibility both at the national and local level.

The Chinese government recognises that the public and private sector play an important role in the environment governance regime, and has been cautiously increasing public involvement in environmental monitoring and decision making and passed a law (on a trial basis) on public access to environmental information. However, dealing with participation and disclosure, the involvement of the judiciary, the right to redress and the role of civil society and private sector in governance are relatively new to China.

Project Objectives

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the efforts of the Chinese Government and general public to improve environmental protection in China and promote local sustainable development for the benefit of the people through public participation and accountability in China.

The programme purpose that will contribute to that overall objective is to improve environmental governance through enhanced governmental function, public participation and corporate responsibility.

The whole programme employs a two-component approach. Component I will focus on the local level and will achieve its results through a series of local-level partnership projects selected following a call for proposals. Component II will focus at national level, and will focus on providing technical advice to the government's own initiatives in environmental governance, especially in the fields of access to information, accountability, access to justice, and public participation.

Main Project Activities

Main activities envisaged to achieve the project purpose are:

  • Undertake background and research studies on environmental governance in China, in the EU (both at EU level and at national and local levels) and where appropriate in other countries, particularly in the area of public participation, access to environmental information, accountability, access to justice and the right to appeal and redress, and in involving the private sector in environmental protection;
  • Run a series of workshops, seminars with the participation of Chinese and/or European experts and/or practitioners or by other means analyse the elements of environmental governance and their implementation. An illustrative list of subjects, which may be treated, includes to be examined includes but is not limited to:

- Cross-sectoral consistency of environmental legislation and its implementation,

- Public consultation practices

- Allocation of financial responsibility for implementation,

- Completeness and adequacy of environmental legislation,

- Public access to different types of environmental information,

- Legal requirements for maintaining environmental information,

- Requirements for EIA and the adequacy of assessments,

- Public feedback mechanisms,

- Training and availability of legally qualified practitioners,

- Accessibility of legal advice to government and public,

- Environmental management and reporting by enterprises,

- Environmental journalism,

- Environmental education,

- Allocation of responsibility for environmental protection

  • Develop a communications strategy to raise awareness regarding environmental governance in central government and the public at large;
  • Consolidate the results of field projects to inform policy and advise central government on horizontal and vertical integration of policy implementation or on other aspects arising;
  • Use the outputs and conclusions from partnership projects to advise central government to ensure that good practice from local partnership projects is disseminated and taken into consideration for national policy.
  • Promote capacity building and advise central government on environmental governance issues.
  • Provide technical assistance on policy and legal framework in the field of environmental governance, especially taking into account good practice in China and in the EU.

Current Status

The Financing Agreement between the EC and China was signed on 03 December 2009.

The tender procedure for the technical assistance contract has been concluded. The Service contract has been awarded to GOPA Consultants, Germany.

The project commencement date is 12 December, 2010. The Project inception phase is completed in August 2011. The Overall Work Plan (OWP) and the 1st Annual Work Plan (AWP) were adopted on 9th November 2011 by the Project Steering Committee.

The call for proposals procedure for the project component I is ongoing and the competent local-level partnership projects will be selected.