PKU-Zhuhai Ecological Civilization Institute

The College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering has a long history of being engaged in studies on environment and development. The concept of environmental carrying capacity was firstly introduced to China by faculties of CESE in the late 1980s. In the 1990s, based on an integrated evaluation of the environment and economic development in China, its faculty member philosophically claimed that environmental civilization will replace industrial civilization eventually. Since then, the team has been engaged in developing a theoretical system for sustainable development. A series of case studies on ecological civilization have been conducted, among which the first one was the ecological civilization development planning in Lin’an, Zhejiang Province.

CESE’s theoretical and practical studies on ecological civilization have been widely acknowledged. In June 2012, with the recommendation of the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), CESE and Zhuhai Municipal Government in Guangdong Province signed “Strategic Co-operation Framework Agreement on developing Zhuhai into an Eco-civilized Demonstration City”. The Peking University (PKU) Ecological Civilization Institute in Zhuhai was proposed in the agreement to gain “win-win” outcomes between CESE and Zhuhai government on both academic study and policy implementation. According to the mutual agreement, the institute will engage in enriching the eco-civilization theoretical system and practical policy making, and make Zhuhai the “China’s first eco-civilized demonstration city”.

On December 1, 2012, the second annual meeting of Chinese Ecological Civilization Research and Promotion Association (CECRPA) was held in Zhuhai. At the opening ceremony, the ‘Peking University (PKU) Institute of Ecological Civilization in Zhuhai’ was officially established. The institute aims to be a collaborative innovation platform for eco-civilization research in South China. It will provide decision-making support for eco-civilization development in Zhuhai, including policy evaluation, assessment and strategies, which will help to explore a sound science based pathway for Zhuhai to be an eco-civilized demonstration city.

The institute will organize “Academic Annual Meeting of Eco-civilization Construction of Zhuhai” and publish “White Paper of Eco-civilization Construction of Zhuhai” every two years. Moreover, a series of cooperation studies will be carried out between Peking University and Zhuhai Municipal Government. Training will be also an important task for the institute which will help to improve the skills and ability of local officials. The institute now operates smoothly and has prepared a draft of the “Guidelines of Eco-civilization Construction of Zhuhai”, which will be reviewed and approved by the People’s Congress of Zhuhai in late 2014. The research program ‘Policy and Institution Arrangements for Eco-civilization Construction in Zhuhai’ will provide scientific support for the mechanism, system and legal protection of eco-civilization development of Zhuhai.