Hao Xin, GISDE/ES&P alum wins UNEP Eco-Peace Leadership Program

Clark University’s motto “Change Our World” was not only belonged to Clark students on August 12, 2011, but also all of the youth over the world. It is the theme of the 2011 International Youth Day when was also the 25th anniversary of the first International Youth Day. On that day, Hao Xin, an IDCE alumnus who was just graduated from GISDE program in this May, was successfully awarded as a recipient of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Eco-Peace Leadership Program. The program will support Hao to conduct his project of Qiantang River Collaborative Interactive Map and provide him two times of a week-long training in Seoul, South Korea. This is the only China’s project in all the 15 selected Asian projects.

Five years ago, UNEP established the United Nations Environment Programme Eco-Peace Leadership Centre (UNEP-EPLC) in Seoul, South Korea. One of the primary aims of the UNEP-EPLC is to develop and provide environmental education programmes to strengthen research, technical and managerial skills of civil society in developing countries in the region. This is particularly relevant to civil society members and environmental leaders who can benefit from exposure to state-of-the-art technology as well as environmental research by institutions.

Hao started to develop an extremely user-friendly interactive digital water pollution map for his watershed when he was studying in Clark University. He put this project as the final project of Open Source GIS course and his Master’s final paper. Hao’s interactive pollution map will be easily accessed on his new website that will be up for public use in October.  Hao’s sophisticated yet user-friendly interactive map is the first map of its kind in China.  His map allows Chinese citizens to upload pollution locations and photos to the map using website or their cell phone as soon as they spot a pollution incident.  The Qiantang River Waterkeeper team then sends a team to verify the data and marks it as such on the map as soon as it is verified.  What’s exciting about this technology is that it is being used in CHINA, giving ordinary Chinese people the means to participate in true citizen advocacy. The Qiantang River Waterkeeper plans to share their pollution data with local pollution authorities to help them enforce pollution laws.   People living in the Qiantang River watershed can also use the map to find out if there is a pollution problem near where they live or work and can use the data as evidence when they contact local authorities to address the situation.  People can even select to have pollution data alerts for specific locations sent to their cell phones. Here’s the link to the story about Hao and his map on his local television station:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQPaQRQDMh8.

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