Eco Warriors China

Here is an ongoing compilation of posts related to grassroots environmental activism and heroism in China:

The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back Like many villages in China’s industrial heartland, Qiugang — a hamlet of nearly 1,900 people in Anhui province — has long suffered from runaway pollution from nearby factories. This exclusive e360 video report, “The Warriors of Qiugang” — co-produced by Yale Environment 360 — tells the story of how the villagers fought to transform their environment, and, in the process, found themselves transformed as well.

Dai Qing one of the most outspoken critics of the Three Gorges Dam that was completed in 1994. After challenging the Three Gorges project in China’s press, Dai Qing compiled Yangtze! Yangtze!, a collection of essays, interviews and petitions by prominent Chinese scholars critical of the dam. In 1989, at great risk, she was able to get the book published.

Yu Xiaogang spent years creating groundbreaking watershed management programs while researching and documenting the socioeconomic impact of dams on Chinese communities. His reports are considered a primary reason that the central government paid additional restitution to villagers displaced by existing dams and now considers social impact assessments for major dam developments.

Zhao Zhong in China’s Emerging Environmental movement 26-year-old grassroots environmentalist from Lanzhou fighting to save the Yellow River. Four years ago, he founded the city’s first citizen environmental group, “Green Camel Bell”; for the past two years, he has been using GPS equipment (borrowed from a local university) to map the locations of factories that dump waste into the Yellow River.

Huo Daishan In 1987, Huo Daishan, a newspaper photographer from Shenqiu, was so shocked by Huai river’s blackened water, poisonous fumes, and dead fish that he started to document the river’s pollution and organised a group called “Guardians of the Huai River” in 2000. With over fifteen thousand images, Huo has laboriously documented the river’s pollution in over twenty cities and counties across Henan. He has mounted seventy exhibitions in cities, universities, and villages; written letters exposing the illegal activities of local officials and factory owners; and championed the cause of the river and its people in media and conferences.

Wang Yongchen , a journalist with China National Radio, co-founded Green Earth Volunteers, one of China’s first environmental NGOs. The group’s earliest projects — tree-adoption and bird-watching — were aimed at teaching people, especially students, about their natural heritage.

Wen Bo uses his media and environmental savvy to support local NGOs in China. He’s also harnessing the funding power of international environmental groups, such as the U.S.-based Global Greengrants Fund and Pacific Environment.

Sheri Liao Xiaoyi Founder of Global Village of Beijing (GVB) — one of China’s earliest environmental-advocacy groups — in 1996. She is determined to establish “green community” models to promote and broadcast the “green lifestyle and green movement.”  Video link here

Xi Zhinong Xi once worked at China Central Television, but nine years ago he quit his respectable job to become a fulltime wildlife photographer and a volunteer for environmental protection.

Li Xiang a young 30 year old journalist was stabbed to death in September 2011 for reporting on a scandal surrounding illegal cooking oil. At least two million tons of cooking oil are recycled illegally every year in China.

Excellent Reads:

Environment 360:  Green Activists feel the sting of Government crackdown

Council on Foreign Relations: China’s Environmental Movement

China Environment Series:  Weaving A Green Web : The Internet and Environmental Activism in China

Climate Series: Locals turn to environmental activism


Economist: Environmental Groups in China


If you know of eco warriors, environmental activists or changemakers in China that you would like us to include in the list, please leave a comment here with the article link if possible, or write to info[at]


Tags: Environment heroes, eco warriors, environmental activists, green activism, climate change, sustainable agriculture, pollution, China, Asia



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