Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Environmental Governance in Asia series

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

China and Taiwan have roughly one-eighth of the world’s known species. Their approaches to biodiversity issues thus have global as well as national repercussions. Gerald McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng explore the ongoing conflicts between economic development, typically pursued by businesses and governments, and communities seeking to preserve and protect local human and ecosystem values.

Chapter 7: ENGOs, Civil Society and Biodiversity Conservation

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, environment, asian environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


1 Preceding chapters have discussed the institutional framework and operation of biodiversity conservation in China and Taiwan. In this chapter we shift our focus to the bottom-up dynamics of environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs). They are major agencies of change, as they alert institutions to the existence of problems in species and ecosystem preservation, monitor the performance of institutions, and even play roles in the administration of government programs. ROLE OF NGOS IN ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE AND CIVIL SOCIETY The increasing importance of environmental non-governmental organizations in environmental governance has attracted attention from scholars as well as policy makers. As William Clark argues, in the scheme of ‘global governance’, the third sector composed of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has undergone the greatest change vis-à-vis the environment. Such organizations have existed for a century or more, but it is only in recent decades, and particularly since the success of NGOs in shaping the Rio Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, that their numbers have multiplied. The NGO community has shown a remarkable ability to utilize emerging information and technologies and to aggressively construct ad hoc coalitions to address issues.2 Table 7.1 summarizes the trajectory of NGOs by showing the three stages of environmental movements and environmental reforms. As noted in Table 7.1, ecological modernization in the third stage of environmental reform is a process of environmental restructuring. Ecological modernization is expressed in various transformations regarding the traditional central role of the nation-state in environmental reform. First, there is a trend toward more...

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