Our Stories

  • Abandoning Harmful Chemicals to Protect Ozone Layer

    A chemical commonly used in Chinese factories to clean all types of screens such as TV’s and computers and linked to causing damage to the earth’s ozone layer, may soon be phased out. The chemical known as HCFC-141 b is said to deplete the ozone layer, exposing people to harmful radiations. Such radiation is reported to be responsible for an increase in cases of skin cancer, deaths of animal species and global warming.

  • Saving the Planet, One Appliance at a Time

    I have a degree in Applied Chemistry, but I did not know much about Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and their damaging nature until I started working on pesticide management in 2007 in Hubei Province. Through my job I learnt that improper dismantling and processing of e-waste releases organic Pollutants that have a detrimental impact on human health and the environment. To give you an idea of the scale of the issue – it has been estimated that in 2015 alone, the number of e-waste items recycled in China amounted to 152.74 million pieces! So this is a challenging task for those of us who work on waste management, but, I think that we are now on the right track.

  • Heating the Community Centre with Cleaner Air

    Together with approximately 9,000 residents, Zhang Shaocheng lives in Zhaofeng, an old district in Tianjiang. In the past during the smoggy winters, they had to bear the repugnant smell of diesel fumes and lived in constant fear of a potential boiler explosion.

  • Straws: From Unwanted Waste to Biomass Energy and Women Empowerment

    Straw was once welcomed by villagers in Xianhe village, Shanxi province as the agricultural by-product that could be used as food to feed the animals and fuel to heat up the stoves and clay beds. With China’s rapid development in technology and economy, farmers no longer consider straw as an essential commodity but instead burn it as unwanted waste during the harvest season.

  • New Ways to Conserve the Tibetan Forests

    The Bazhu Village has been peacefully nested on the hillside of the Beng Bu Shen Ge Sacred mountain, beside the Jingshajiang River for decades. Thanks to the Tibetan culture and Buddhist teachings of the region, which instills respect for life and nature, the villagers have been preserving the forests and shelters of many precious wildlife for the past 800 years.

  • Upgrading Lifestyle for the Birds and People

    With its unique grassland mountains and wetlands, Qinghai province provides the ideal shelter for many wildlife species. With its cold atmosphere and abundant water supply, the Naren wetland possesses rich biodiversity, attracting wildlife like black-neck cranes.

  • Sustainable Water Management Promises Better Livelihood for Fishermen

    “Those living on a mountain live off the mountain. Those living near the water live off the water. We live on a great marshland but still have little usable land or water,” said Liu Yanjiang, a local 50 year-old fisherman living in Dahuangbawa wetland of Haihe basin.

  • Remodelling Chinese Homes for the Next Millennium

    When most people think of remodelling it is often the physical changes, like adding new curtains, modern flooring or wallpaper, that first come to mind. But for the 337 million rural Chinese residents – representing 32 percent of the total population – that lack clean cooking fuel, the kind of renovations UNDP have been working on are having far wider implications.

  • Guangxi Sugarcane Farmers Scale Up Yields, Increase Drought Resilience

    During the dry half of the year, Li Zhi Wen, a sugarcane farmer in Lianhe Village of Shangsi County in Guangxi, and his wife, Qin Shaozhen, must lead an ox cart three kilometers away to obtain water. Without a dependable water source, it is difficult for them to maintain their sugarcane fields, a water intensive crop, as well as domestic hygiene and sanitation.

  • Medical Devices Factory Combats Environmental Concerns

    Yu Jiao, a young female employee at Zhejiang Kindly Medical Devices Co. Ltd (KDL) has worked for years in the medical devices industry in very difficult conditions. “Our company has a huge cleaning workload at an annual amount of 400,000 or so pieces of fixtures.” The cleaning procedure for all fixtures was manually done, with workers such as Yu Jiao brushing and refilling the cleaning solvents over and over by hand.