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Environ Manage. 2001 Apr;27(4):481-91.

Environmental policy implementation in rural China: a case study of Yuhang, Zhejiang.

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  • 1Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


The rapid growth of rural enterprises has transformed the Chinese countryside. Although rural industrialisation has resulted in increased financial well-being, it has also contributed to decreased environmental quality. While China has strong environmental protection laws, this paper will demonstrate that they are not being effectively implemented in a rural region in Zhejiang Province. This is due to a number of social, political, and economic barriers that prevent agencies from effectively enforcing environmental policies and regulatory mechanisms. This paper investigates the implementation of China's environmental policies through a case study in Yuhang County, Zhejiang Province. It demonstrates that the implementation of environmental impact assessment, discharge fees, and limited time treatment is limited by inadequate technology, low finances, limited human resources, poor public environmental awareness, faulty data, inferior agency reports, organizational conflict, relations based on guanxi, and low discharge fee prices.

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