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Recent Environmental Law and Public Participation News

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Shanghai to further improve its open information disclosure performance (Google translation)
On April 17, the Shanghai city government released a document spelling out new open information responsibilities and tasks divided into six different categories and 109 individual goals. Some of the tasks the Shanghai government pledges to carry out include further transparency of government funds, disclosure of non-tax income usage, improved transparency regarding the housing system, and new projects to engage the public. (Source: Jiefang Daily)

Jiangmen city received only one information disclosure app: what does this mean? (Google translation)
With the release of the 2008 Open Government Information Annual Work Report by Jiangmen, a city in Guangdong Province, citizens expressed surprise that the city received only one information disclosure request in all of 2008. According to the work report, outside of this one request there were no other inquiries, complaints, or public lawsuits filed for information disclosure. A single application, the article notes, pales in comparison with neighboring Guangzhou’s 250,000 applications in 2008. (Source: Xinhua)

China’s first open information search engine to debut before May Day (Google translation)
China’s National Library and the Beijing TRS Information Technology Company, Ltd., will debut the national public information search platform before the 1-year anniversary of the open information measures on May 1, state media announced. The search engine is designed to give users a simple and accessible interface, much like Google, to quickly locate government information from across the country.(Source: China.com.cn)

Court orders Baoding Land Resources Bureau to fulfill open information request (Google translation)
A 66-year old farmer recently won a case against the Baoding Land Resources Bureau after first being turned down for seeking information about his land usage rights. The Land Resources Bureau originally failed to respond within the 15-day statutory time limit laid out in the national open information measures. In February 2009, the farmer then filed an administrative suit against the Bureau, and the court found the defendant in violation of the open information measures.(Source: Hebei Youth Daily)

Jilin Province to guard against environmental emergencies in its 11th Five-Year Plan (Google translation)
Jilin Province’s 11th Five-Year plan contains new preparations for pollution prevention planning and emergency pollution incident handling, state media reported. The province is home to the Songhua River and its tributaries, which have suffered from serious pollution in the past due to a large number of chemical plants located in the region. After carrying out two water cleanup projects in the past, the province intends to continue its small gains by carrying out environmental risk assessments and setting up a vigilant monitoring system. (Source: China Environment News)

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