Linked with … Environmental Proto-Movements in China.
She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “Until my last breath, my struggle in environmental protection will never stop! I am taking a path no one has ever taken before.”
Guirong Tian – China
She works for the Xinxiang City Environmental Protection Volunteers Association (see their Homepage). See also Voices of Grassroots.
She is the Legal Representative of Alibaba.com, China.
Tian Guirong set up a village-based environmental protection NGO. As a world-famous environmental protection volunteer, she has been awarded several times. (Read all on 1000peacewomen).
… Guirong Tian, an energetic, cheerful and committed Chinese woman who founded the first environmental NGO in her region and later started a self-financed program, which she successfully runs, for collecting and disposing of used batteries. She has made protection of the environment her life’s work. (Excerpt from ‘Conference in Kunming, China‘).
The five winners were chosen from 20 nominees based on the appraisal of a panel of “This was a new selection process because it objectively reflects the public will and conforms to the public spirit of the award,” said Jin Jianming, chairman of the selection committee of the award and also an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering. Nominee names were collected between August 22 and October 31 last year. A total of 439 nominees were recommended by the public, based on 35,823 Internet votes, letters and phone calls to the selection committee. According to relevant regulations, the committee shortlisted 89 candidates and then submitted the names to Horizon Research, a research company, to conduct professional investigations. Based on results of the investigation, the 89 names were further whittled down to 20 and the names released to the public on November 8. The five winners were: Tian Guirong, a farmer turned environmental protection leader; Liang Congjie, founder of Friends of Nature, China’s first environmental non-governmental organization; Wang Canfa, a law professor who provides free legal advice to pollution victims; Liang Liming, who heads the Taiyuan Environmental Protection Agency; and Zhao Yongxin, a journalist who exposed the environmental problems at Yuanmingyuan, the Old Summer Palace. (Read the whole on Going for Green).
The last four digits of her cell phone number are 0605, which is the date of the annual World Environment Day. The coat she usually wears is blue with white dots, symbolizing clean sky and clouds. Tian Guirong, 54, is a rural woman from Fanling Village, near Xinxiang City in Henan Province, who has earned the moniker of “environmental protection ambassador.” She collected 65 tons of discarded batteries in four years to save 1 million square meters of land from contamination. She has organized 43 publicity events to spread awareness of environmental protection, and conducted three investigations into the pollution of the Yellow River. In 2002, Tian started up the Association of Volunteers for Environmental Protection, China’s first farmer-run environmental nongovernmental organization, and launched a website dedicated to safeguarding the environment. Her contributions to combating environmental degradation have earned her numerous awards from home and abroad. Tian, who was elected head of the Villagers’ Committee of Fanling Village in April 2005, said she is determined to turn the pollution-plagued village into an environment-friendly haven. Beijing Review reporter Jing Xiaolei recently spoke with Tian.
Beijing Review: You began collecting discarded batteries in 1999. What had motivated your start?
Tian Guirong: I was traveling in Beijing that year and I happened to read a short article in a newspaper. The article said that just one A-size battery could destroy 1 square meter of land, and one mercury-based battery could contaminate 600,000 liters of water–the equivalent amount of what a man would consume in a lifetime. That was a big shock to me because I was a battery dealer, having sold millions of batteries for more than eight years. It’s hard to imagine what damage I could have done if all those batteries were casually thrown away.
So you believed what the newspaper said, and began to reclaim discarded batteries, right?
Actually, after I returned home from Beijing, I made an investigation myself to find out where used batteries go in Xinxiang. I was stunned to discover that some local battery factories dump their waste directly into wells and rivers, or bury them by the side of the Yellow River. I visited a chemical professor at Henan Normal University and the professor confirmed what the newspaper said and told me the proper disposal of used batteries is crucial to environmental protection. Since then I have been determined. (Read the whole Interview on Beijing Rewiew).