About GEA - China

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About GEA-China
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Introduction to China
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The Global Environmental Alliance-China is a joint initiative between the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Global Communications for Conservation (GCC).

A bilateral cooperative program, GEA - China is comprised of Chinese and U.S. experts to incorporate environmental initiatives worldwide.

China's rapid development offers a unique opportunity to invent its future. And due to its size, population and resource base, China's choices will influence the future of all other countries on Earth. The skill and foresight with which China's people manage the reciprocal relationships among the social, economic and ecological forces in which they operate will largely determine China's options as a nation, and by extension, all of our options.

Laura Utley, Founder and Chairman of GCC, and Professor Gan Shijun, Director General, Department of Science and Technology for Social Development, SSTC, exchanged signed CHINA ENVIRONMENTAL GLOBAL ALLIANCE agreements on December 11, 1997 as witnessed by Madame Deng Nan, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science & Technology, and attended by Liu Yang, Program Coordinator for American Affairs, Department of International Cooperation, SSTC.

The mission of GEA-China is to bring new thinking about social and economic development into the mainstream of Chinese society through education. Traditionally, development has been undertaken without full understanding and consideration of the environmental and social dynamics in which it takes place. A new understanding of development needs to be deeply embedded within the mainstream of society quickly before the costs of current development thinking become more than human society can bear. Education is the most effective tool for achieving widespread understanding and support for a new direction in development.

Zhou Wenneng / Tong Liang, Deputy Director CITCSD / Wang Weizhong, Director-General Administration Center for China's Agenda 21 in front of the Ministry of Science & Technology Building

GEA-CHINA has been created to help accomplish this extraordinary transition. It is a bilateral organization composed of both Chinese and U.S. leaders in the global movement to incorporate environmental considerations into all aspects of human society. It has been organized by Global Communications for Conservation (GCC), a U.S.-based non-governmental organization, which also runs its U.S. operations. GCC in turn was founded by businesswoman and philanthropist Laura Utley to initiate, fund, and support important international conservation and environmental programs.

Wang Weizhong and Laura Utley GEA - China Co-Chairs Wang Weizhong and Laura Utley during a recent meeting in New York City.

In 1997, Madame Deng Nan, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, joined with Ms. Utley and GCC to found GEA-China. Madame Deng Nan, daughter of China's late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, has been a leading force in China for balancing development with environmental protection. As she recently noted, "Environmental education across all sectors of society is the foundation for technological initiatives that will allow us to improve the quality of all life."

Subsequently, the State Environmental Protection Administration has joined the GEA-China partnership. The Ministry of Education is now in the process of doing the same.

In the process of advancing its mission, GEA-CHINA is creating a new avenue for dialogue between the U.S. and China, between the corporate commercial community through environmental education, and between the Chinese government and multinational corporations.

GEA-China's strategy is to seek opportunities for highly effective leverage, thus creating the maximum impact for each dollar invested. By making relatively modest investments in the creation of new textbooks that are then widely distributed by influential government agencies, GEA-China quickly advances new thinking into the mainstream of society. Textbooks create a huge impact when they are adopted throughout the country, each individual copy reaching hundreds of students over its lifetime. By always working with partners, GEA-China leverages the skills and expertise of others in achieving its goals while keeping it's own overhead low. By training master teachers, dozens of teachers are ultimately trained for the price of one. By using unique media events such as an Environmental Education Contest run by Beijing Youth Daily on Earth Day, hundreds of thousands of students are exposed to EE. In a world of limited resources, leverage is critical.

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