One Year After the Sichuan Earthquake
Helping communities in Sichuan recover over the long term
Shortly after a massive earthquake struck Sichuan on May 12, 2008, ISC issued an appeal for donations to help people in the affected areas recover over the long term.
We knew from previous post-disaster work on the U.S. Gulf Coast that true recovery means more than just reconstruction—communities need ongoing help to deal with the huge challenge of rebuilding, engaging residents in shaping rebuilding efforts, and addressing the long-term problems magnified by the disaster.
To that end, ISC is partnering with the Chinese nonprofit, the Institute for Civil Society (ICS), to build the capacity of local Chinese organizations in Sichuan Province to conduct sustainable recovery and redevelopment initiatives over the long term.
ICS’s assessment of communities in Sichuan found that people are realizing that the economic boom of the last 30 years has come with consequences. Rapid urbanization and increasing migration meant rural areas are losing workers to more populated cities. The environmental impacts of development have also been profound. Watersheds have been polluted or diverted by hydropower, arable land threatened by an overreliance on petrochemicals, and soil eroded by deforestation. As a result, there is a growing interest in sustainable community development.
The earthquake has also helped people come together, sparking a new sense of community identification and a new chance to reorganize and redevelop. In community after community, grassroots organizations have sprung up to help local residents help themselves. However, due to a lack of knowledge and financial support, many of these groups feel that they are reaching the limits of what they can contribute.
Working with these groups, ISC and ICS will build a network of community development practitioners who can promote sustainable practices and community engagement over the long term. The yearlong project will launch in June with training workshops, site visits to model projects, grants for community projects that demonstrate sustainable reconstruction, and awards that draw attention to exemplary projects.
ISC would like to thank EILEEN FISHER, its employees, and our individual donors for making this project possible.
- Environment, Health & Safety
- Environmental Governance
- Environmental Health & Air Emissions
- Education for Sustainable Development
- Community-Based Energy Efficiency
- Industrial Energy Efficiency & GHG Accounting
- Industrial and Power Plant Energy Efficiency & Financing
- Low Carbon City Development
- Post-Earthquake Reconstruction
- Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings
- Environmental NGO Capacity Building Program in South China
On June 30th, ISC and its Chinese partners, the Institute for Civil Society and the Environmental Protection Bureau of Chengdu, hosted a Forum on Post-Earthquake Reconstruction and Sustainable Development in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, China. Over 100 NGO leaders, community leaders, government officials, and experts convened for a day of discussion and sharing of best practices and lessons learned.more