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Search on to Find Mr and Mrs Green

A three-month campaign to find China's "Green Persons of the Year" was launched yesterday.

Candidates dealing with water pollution were likely to be among the winners, said Wang Panpu, secretary-general of the China Environment Culture Promotion Association (CECPA), the major review committee for the award.

Algae attacks in lakes such as Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi have threatened the water supply of hundreds of thousands of residents and water treatment has become a major issue, Wang said at the launch ceremony on the weekend.

Everyone is eligible to win the award, including foreigners, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and research institutes.

Last year's winner, for mapping the distribution of water polluters, was Ma Jun. The director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs said NGOs could be among the victors this year.

"As the focal point is water pollution and treatment this year it could give domestic environmental NGOs a good chance as there a large number who have water-related issues," Ma said.

Green Persons of the Year was started in 2005 and is an annual award to pick the most environmentally friendly figures in the community.

CECPA's Wang said this year there will also be a blacklist of environmental polluters.

In last year's poll, directors Chen Kaige and Zhang Jizhong were nominated for their bad records of spoiling an environment during filming.

"The award was designed to promote a wider and deeper public participation in environmental protection," said Pan Yue, deputy minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA).

Environmental protection activities, such as environmental impact assessments, energy saving and pollution cutting, should involve the public, Pan said.

(China Daily September 4, 2007)

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