Environmentalist Ma Jun Outlines China’s Data-driven Environmentalism

by Matt Ball on January 22, 2012

Environmentalist Ma Jun of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, giving a speech recently in the Mary Robinson Speaker Series, discusses the data-driven advocacy he pioneered to hold China’s government and businesses accountable for air and water pollution. In this presentation Jun outlines water pollution, increased coal burning, and the inevitable health impacts that will play out into the future.

Jun has promoted a data-driven approach that uses mapping to visualize these issues. The IPE has pulled together a countrywide water quality map to put the pollution in perspective. Without adequate enforcement and litigation in order to achieve environmental goals, the IPE stepped in with a public online databases of air and water violations by factories throughout China, creating a groundbreaking “blacklist” of polluters. To get off the list, 22 multinational corporations took corrective actions and accepted IPE-supervised environmental audits of their Chinese factories.

A coalition of 39 NGOs in China have come together to encourage manufacturers to green their supply chains. This social pressure is an added motivation, by making this data transparent, and auditing companies that want to be removed from the list.

View the complete presentation via this YouTube video.

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