Unlike Vegas, what happens in China doesn’t stay in China. The country’s environmental challenges have worldwide implications, so more developed nations, such as the United States, need to help China adopt integrated solutions for the sake of global sustainability, a Michigan State University environmental scientist argues.
“What happens in China affects the rest of the world,” said Jianguo “Jack” Liu, University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife. Liu is known around the world for his work on environmental sustainability and coupled human and natural systems and is the lead investigator of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems, funded by the National Science Foundation.
“Every country needs to recognize the important link between human and natural systems,” said Peter Raven, president of the Missouri Botanical Garden and noted China scholar. “We focus on China because the country is developing so fast. In 2002, the Chinese government compared the growth in gross domestic product to environmental destruction and both were about 10 percent. Those numbers aren’t compared any more because it makes the economic statistics look bleak. China’s biodiversity, one of the richest sets of organisms in the world, is seriously threatened by extinction in the decades to come, but if preserved, offers great opportunities to us all for the future.”