Regional Supervision Centres for Environmental Protection in China: Functions and Limitations

Qingzhi Huan


China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), has set up six regional Supervision Centres for Environmental Protection (SCEPs) in recent years. The creation of the SCEPs reflects the “green will” of Chinese government, to reverse the ever-worsening environmental situation throughout China by strengthening vertical supervision of the environmental laws and policies enforcement. A primary analysis focusing on the South China Supervision Centre (SCSC) has clearly shown, however, that the SCEPs today can only perform well in the concrete or “small” tasks – most of them designated or handed over by the MEP – rather than in the complicated or “big” issues. To make the SCEPs do more and better, the most desirable but radical policy choice is to reshape them into fully authorised regional “sub-bureaus” of the MEP.

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