A Michigan State University researcher argues developed nations such as the United States need to help China adopt integrated solutions for the sake of global sustainability, a university release says.
"What happens in China affects the rest of the world," fisheries and wildlife Professor Jianguo "Jack" Liu said.
"China is growing very quickly and as its economy has grown, so have its environmental challenges.
"In the past, China's motto was 'conquer nature.' People thought that development should come first and pollution could be cleaned up later. It is encouraging that this attitude has begun to change."
Other environmentalists agree.
"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."
A paper by Liu and Raven, "China's Environmental Challenges and Implications for the World," is published in Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology.