Overpopulation, resource crisis and environmental pollution are the three major social problems of the contemporary world; they are also three major obstacles that restrict economic and social development and the improving people’s living standard in the world. China has the largest population in the world and there are more than 1.3 billion people in China. And now, China is serious shortage of fresh water, arable land, forest and grassland, energy and other resources (Rozelle, 1997; Deng, 2008.) Per capita of these resources are less than one-third of the world’s averages. Per capita consumption of mineral resources is not to half the world average. As China’s social and economic development increasingly, the total population is approaching the maximum carrying capacity of resources, environment. Irrational exploitation of resources exacerbates the shortage of resources and waste further, and the trend of ecological deterioration has not been fundamentally reversed. Population growth on resources and the environmental impact of socio-economic sustainable development has become the most important issue. So to deal with the population problems, all the people and stakeholders are required to cooperate with the Chinese government and then raise a sustainable development to deal with the problems.
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In this paper, it will first have a look at the background of China’s population problems and then talk over which people are affected by the pollution and the barriers that are stopping the people to get a sustainable development. In the following part, it will have a brief introduction of the six processes which is developed by Dr. Mark Diesendorf and used to deal with the population problems. Next, how the six processes are implemented will be discussed. At the end of the paper, there is a brief discussion on the relationship of the steps and their dependence on each other and a conclusion will be presented as well.
The direct problems which result from over population are the environmental problems and health problems. But the environment is changeable that it can flow from one place to another, such as air pollution, water pollution. So it implies that every people in China are affected by the population problems.
With the increasing of population in China in recent years, China has suffered a lot. More people mean more energy and resources that could be consumed, but there will be more waste let out. Therefore, it will make the environment pollution to move forward a single step. So many environmental problems have appeared one by one. For example, in order to have good harvest of more and more fertilizers are used to improve the crop productivity (Jiang, 2009). But the low efficiency of the fertilizer use makes most of the fertilizer leave into the soil or flow with the water thus it both causes water pollution and soil pollution (Foy, 2001; Green, 1993; Jin, 2001). So in many places, especial in the rural areas, there is no fresh water to drink but it is also a lack of running water in these areas, that it is a great threat to people’s health. In addition, with the population growth, more people move into the city, so this leads an increase on the price of house. But on the contrary, in order to save the cost to the enterprises, many enterprises invest in the rural area directly; in order improve its profit, a large mount of the waste materials are let out into the river without any treatment. To the city people, with a growth of population, they are also the victims. More and more people live in the city, that much more rubbish is produced. Now many cities are crowded with rubbish and it is becoming a headache problem to the government.
Although in order to have sustainable development, there many barriers before implementing the six steps to deal with the problems. It mainly concludes political factors, economic factors, legal factors, educational factor and cultural factors.
Political factors: China is on the way of socialism, but now it is primary stage of socialism. Although the central government has enacted many laws and politics, but few of the local officers follow the path of central government. In their eyes, economy development is the most important. If the economy has risen up, it will reflect their hard work on the position that it will bring greater chances to promote. But in fact, it is quite harmful to the local people to a long term.
Economy factors: China is a developing country and developing economy is the biggest theme all the time. Thus it misleads a large number of the officer pay much more attention to economic development without regarding the population problems. But the population problems react to the economy development. The population problems prohibit the economy development in many places. Moreover, many local governments are very poor in China especially in the west of China. Although they realize the population problems are quite harmful to local development, it is hard to de with it. In order to achieve instant success, GDP is the best choice, thus they have to give up the idea to deal with population problems.
Legal factors: China is on the way of primary stage of socialism, many laws are not perfect. Family planning policy is not effective at present, especially in the west China. In addition, many of the families have realized the population, but they prefer boys to girls that there are at least two children if eldest son is a daughter (Luo, 2008). Moreover, some families have three or four children. Because of the special national conditions, to some degree, the local law may be not useful to them because of special relationship in China.
Educational and cultural factors: A survey shows that only 21% of all the Chinese people enter in school that many people get little education. With little education, the people could not realize the importance of population problems and they have little knowledge to protect the publicity. In addition, family planning policy education is very poor in China’s education. Another, there are 56 nations in China that they differ in culture significantly. Difference in culture will lead different attitude towards population problems and water protection.
More money is input to deal with population problems and more money is punished for the parents with more than one child. With the development of economy, more and more money has been input into deal with population problems. Because the government have realized that development building on destroying the environment is an unsustainable way of development because of population growth. So in order to deal with the population problems, money input will be a basic factor. And in fact it takes effects in many places.
Education. In order to deal with population problems, education is a key measure. First, more measures to dealt with the population problems will be developed through education. Second, through education, it will improve people’s awareness of population problems. Now, China government has input more and more money in education year by year. At present, many universities have the major named sociology science or sociology, and so on. It implies that the government has fully realized the seriousness of the population.
The six step process is developed by Dr. Mark Diesendorf, the University of New South Wales. He gives us an easy but practical six step process to get a sustainable development process. The six steps are following.
First, present a guiding vision, goals and scenarios. Second, Develop sustainability policy in all sectors, at all levels, with all types of instruments. Third, Create supportive environments. Fouth, Strengthen community action. Fifth, Develop personal and organizational skills. Sixth, reorient the system. (Diesendorf, 2000)
The model will be used to give out a sustainable development process to dealing with population problems in China.
China is becoming one of the core countries in the world, especially after the economy crisis. But now the population is becoming one of the biggest problems in China. On the one hand, in order to protect astogeny, more new births are encouraged, but on the other hand, to have a sustainable development process and maintain full of vigor, new births are limited. So it is difficult to achieve a medial policy. Therefore, in order to have a health, livable and sustainable development in China, there is a vision that is designed for China. The vision could be: in order to create a country with health, harmonious, and livable lives in China, China should do its best to improve people’s life in a sustainable aspect.
Goals and scenarios: To deal with population problems, there is a long way to go. First, the growth trend of population problems should be under controls. There are many families which have more than one child. So measures should be taken out to restrict the families to deal with the population problems. Second, reduce the birth rate in rural area, especially in China. There is a lack of realization of reducing reduce the birth rate thus broadcast of the population problems is essential to local people to help them realize the seriousness of population problems around them. Third, improve the life standard to deal with the population problems. At present, population problems are affected by the life standard because in many poor places in the west China, people think that more children mean much happier. Early birth means that early happiness will come. Forth, more laws should enact to ensure these measures to take effect normally.
First, money is essential to deal with the population problems. Finance support is one of the most important measures to handle with population problems. Without money, any treatment measures could not take effect.
Second, stricter laws should be carried out to assess the quality of the people’s life. There could be an annual assessment of the population problems. In addition, the present laws to assess the population problems should be improved and perfected.
Third, develop new ways of accumulating the achievements in local official career. In the past, GDP is unique target to accumulate the achievement in local official career. But now although GDP is important, the green GDP is encouraged. If the officer pursue the number of GDP, not focus on the quality of GDP, it is difficult to deal with population problems efficiently.
Forth, recycle economy is encouraged. In order to have a saving and harmonious society, recycle is an efficient way. With more children birth every day, more energy and resources will be consumed, so in order to improve the efficiency of energy and resources, recycle economy is encouraged.
Fifth, improve monitoring of dealing with population problems. While dealing with energy and resources, monitoring is important to make sure to operate normally. Because there is an interpersonal relation in China, that many laws may be ineffective. So improving monitoring of population problems would be effective to avoid special interpersonal relation in China.
To deal with population problems efficiently, supportive environments are necessary. It main contains cooperation, transparency and compliance with relevant stakeholders. To the families with more two children in the rural areas, the government should warn them to realize the burden of the family and the whole society. But the birth control measure should be put among them. The government should help them how to get birth control in daily life. The government also could organize a group of specialist to give guide the birth control.
Population problems in national minority are also not ignored. Useful and practical ways of birth control should be widely broadcast among them. In addition, more village officials could be introduced to bring new concerns to national minority area.
Although many laws have been carried out and will take effect, it is difficult for a single or few people to take them into practice. So it needs community action. As James Fallows said in an email (main ideas), in the past decades, because of the Chinese people’s support in the population problems, China’s have got greatest achievement in reducing the number of new birth, they also pave the path to population problems (Fallows, 2007). It implies that community actions play a great role in reducing birth rate. So the community should be called to deal with population problems. To deal with population problems, college students are the most suitable community. In China, there is a social practical activity in both summer holiday and winter holiday and now it is becoming a required course to them. They have many advantages among other groups. For example, people in the rural area would believe college student more than because many of them desire to go to university, but they have no chance. Second, the college students have many channels to deal with the practical problems when they meet in social practical activity. They can get easily in touch with the specialists. In addition, there are so many college students in China that they can spread the knowledge in each corner.
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In China, it is a pity that not many personal and organizational skills in dealing with population problems. The main reasons are following: it is a lack of personal power among the Chinese people because of the economic level to some degree. There is also a lack of education and public awareness in reducing population. As Jared Diamond said, in China there is a low awareness in public protection, because China input low invest in public education—is just half of the developed countries as a percentage of GDP. China has a population of 20% of the world population, but China has put only 1% of the world’s investment in education (Diamond, 2005).
But now the situation is becoming much better than before. More and more people have poured in deal with population problems voluntarily. For example, a large number of people want to be volunteers in BeiJing Olympic Games 2008 and ShangHai World Expo in 2010. In addition, the government has input more (including finance and politics measures) in dealing with the population problems.
Reorient the system is the largest challenge when get a sustainable development process. Because it links barriers—political factors, economic factors, legal factors, educational factor and cultural factors together. But the governments play the greatest role in reorienting the system. As referred above, the central government has made many useful laws, but the local government could not follow the path, mainly because there is a large of economic interest to the government. As GDP is the most important target in their eyes. Another, the economy growth is imbalance in different areas in China and the concept diversity towards population in national minority; especially there is a big difference between west and east. So in order to achieve a sustainable development, China should reform many laws relevant to population problems.
Each of the six steps could not stand separately. First, in order to realize sustainable development, the most import thing to do is have a goal and vision, which is step 1. But without step 1, all the following steps are useless. With a goal and vision, measures should be carried out to realize the goal. But measures can take effect only under proper policy; that is step 2. With a politic guarantee, the measures could take into practice and good supports environment are necessary; that is step 3. In order carry out the measures, community action are needed as well, and this step 4, because the laws and measure can take out by the people, not a single person. But now, in order to have good performance on reducing birth rate, personal and organization skills will help; that is step 5. To have a large scale to deal with population problems, there would be a big challenge that it should reorient the system and that is step 6. In all, the six steps is an organic entirety.
In conclusion, in order to get a sustainable development in China, population problem is a serious problem. To deal with population problems, there is a specific analysis of the background and the victim. All the people in China are the victim of population problems. In the process of deal with population problems, there are both barriers and useful factors. The main barriers conclude political factors, economic factors, legal factors, educational factor and cultural factors, because China is in the primary stage of socialism. But there are many useful factors as well including money and education. More and more money is input in dealing with population problems and invested in education. After analyzing the background, a six-step process is raising out to deal with population problems. It includes a guiding vision, goals and scenarios, sustainability policy in all sectors, supportive environments, community action and personal and organizational skills. The six steps could not exist alone, on the contrary, they an organic part.
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