A Research Companion to Water Transitions around the Globe
Edited by Dave Huitema and Sander Meijerink
Chapter 6: Implementing Integrated River Basin Management in China
Dorri te Boekhorst, Toine Smits, Yu Xiubo, Li Lifeng, Lei Gang and Zhang Chen 6.1 Introduction Water-related problems are one of the most pressing issues facing China. They are argued to have the potential ultimately to affect China’s social, economic and political stability. In terms of the sustainable development of the country, they could be an important limiting factor (Kreimer and Munasinghe, 1991; World Bank, 1997; Flavin and Gardner, 2006; Turner and Otsuka, 2006). The main challenges concerning water are threefold: water scarcity, water pollution, and flood control (WWF, 2003; Chen, 2005; Lee, 2006; Yin et al., 2006). To meet these challenges, China’s river ecosystems have to be properly protected. This will involve the development of an alternative approach to water management and major changes in different areas of society from land use and government to livelihoods. The new approach to water management is envisioned in the strategy of integrated river basin management (IRBM), which was incorporated into China’s 2002 Water Law. In 2004 a major joint report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and a task force of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) stressed to the Chinese government the importance of IRBM (CCICED and WWF, 2004). As a non-governmental organization (NGO), WWF China used its national and international network to stimulate the acceptance and application of IRBM. In this chapter we focus on the role of WWF China as a policy entrepreneur. First we present a general picture of the institutional...
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