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July 20, 2021


Since it was established in 1979 under the U.S.-China Science and Technology Agreement, U.S. Embassy Beijing’s Environment, Science, Technology, and Health (ESTH) Section has been working to improve understanding and cooperation between the U.S. and Chinese governments on a wide range of issues spanning from the bottom of the sea floor to outer space.

The Embassy’s ESTH Section works with Chinese government agencies and non-governmental organizations to advance environmental stewardship, encourage economic growth, and cooperate on shared challenges. The Section’s key areas of focus include climate change, clean energy development, pollution, toxic chemical management, space exploration, biodiversity, environmental law, and emerging infectious diseases. To learn more about these issues, please visit the ESTH Topics page.

US-China Cooperation

Signed in 1979 by President Carter and Premier Deng Xiaoping, the U.S.-China Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology (the S&T Agreement) began an era of robust government-to-government science and technology (S&T) collaboration between the two countries. The Agreement is among the longest-standing U.S.-China accords and has been broadly endorsed by U.S. Federal agencies through their participation in cooperative exchanges. These exchanges have helped advance cooperative research in an incredibly diverse range of fields, including fisheries, earth and atmospheric sciences, basic research in physics and chemistry, a variety of energy-related areas, agriculture, civil industrial technology, geology, health, and disaster research.

Fact Sheet on U.S.-China Environment, Science & Technology and Health Cooperation

1979 S&T Agreement
U.S. China Science and Technology Cooperation (S&T Agreement): Report to Congress April 2005
Minutes of the Executive Secretaries’ Meeting of the U.S.- PRC Joint Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, November 2002
Minutes of the 10th Meeting of the U.S.-PRC Joint Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Beijing, April 2002
U.S. China Science and Technology Agreement Secretaries Meeting February 1999

ESTH Environment NGOs in China

All links are for informational purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the U.S. government.

Beijing Brooks Education Center
Beijing registered NGO that is engaged in Environmental Protection Education
and Citizenship Awareness Education.

China Association for NGO Cooperation
CANGO’s mission is to create an empowered network of Chinese NGOs. They act as an intermediary and partner with foreign NGOs and bilateral and multilateral organizations to enhance fundraising, provision of technical support and capacity building.

China Environmental Protection Foundation
Founded by China’s former State Environmental Protection Administrator, Qu Geping, in 1993. China’s first non-governmental foundation for environmental protection.

China Foundation for Desertification Control
Helps combat desertification in China.

Conservation International
Mission is to conserve the earth’s biodiversity.

Desert Control Volunteers Network
A Chinese NGO aims to fighting against desertification.

Environmental Defense China Program
One of the major US NGOs working on air pollution in China, ED is known for its work on sulfur cap and trade programs.   They are also working with the US EPA on environmental enforcement training in China.

Ford Foundation, Beijing
The Beijing office opened in 1989 and gives grants in various fields including economics, law, environment and development and reproductive health.

Forest Trends
Forest Trends is an international non-profit organization that works to expand the value of forests to society; to promote sustainable forest management and conservation by creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services; to support innovative projects and companies that are developing these new markets; and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests.

Friends of Nature
This is one of China’s earliest local NGOs, founded by Liang Qichao’s grandson, Liang Congjie.  It is mainly focused on biodiversity preservation.

Fuping Development Institute
Chinese NGO registered in 2002 aims to diminish poverty and maintain sustainable development in China.  Connected to an organization called LEAD, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation that furthers environmental leadership.  Cooperative Programs with World Resources Institute.

Global Environmental Institute
Established in 2004, GEI’s mission is to design and implement market-based models for solving environmental problems.

Global Greengrants Fund China
Headquartered in Colorado, U.S.A, this international non-profit organization provides small financial aids to small NGOs at their starting points.

Green Earth Volunteers
This group of volunteers started in 1996 with tree planting projects, but now also raises awareness and funds for the conservation of animals and environmental education. All projects are funded by the participants.

Green Peace, China
Major projects in China: Climate and Energy; Toxics; Forest

Green River
A NGO registered at Sichuan Province aims to protect the headwater areas of Yangtze River and Yellow River.

Green Web
An online community for exchanging information on environment protection and enhancing liaison between various local NGOs and NPOs that focus on environmental protection.

Institute of Public & Environment Affairs
This NGO focuses on water pollution issues in China.

International Fund for Animal Welfare
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is an international NGO focused on humane treatment of animals and animal protection.

International Fund for China’s Environment
The mission of the International Fund for China’s Environment (IFCE) is to help ensure the protection of the world’s environment and its biological diversity by providing assistance to China in resolving its environmental problems.

International Institute of Rural Reconstruction
Promotes people-centered, participatory, community-based approaches to rural development in Yunnan province.

IUCN Asia Regional Office
IUCN is the world’s preeminent biodiversity conservation organization.  It has three categories of membership – governments, scientists and NGOs.  The United States is one of 110 country members, and almost every environmental NGO is, as well.  Scientists meet in “species groups” to consider the health of various species, and IUCN’s recommendations are central to the determining of endangered species lists.

The Nature Conservancy, Beijing Office
TNC is headquartered in Kunming and has a small Beijing office.  The focus is on preserving biodiversity and areas of great ecological importance throughout China.

Oxfam, Hong Kong
Works on long-term programs to eradicate poverty and promote justice. Focus is on development, emergency response, policy research and advocacy.

Pacific Environment
Provides small grants, capacity-building support and networking opportunities for dozens of grassroots groups in China.

Society Entrepreneur & Ecology
A corporate social responsibility-focused NGO

Tibetan Plateau Ecological Protection Society, Wild Yak Team
An NGO focused on environmental and wildlife protection on the Tibetan Plateau.

Upper Yangtze Organization
NGO formulated by Tibetan people to promote environmental protection in Tibetan Plateau.

Wildlife Conservation Society, Beijing
An NGO focused on biodiversity conservation.

World Wildlife Fund
The first international conservation organization invited to work in China. Since 1980 WWF has been working on various projects –  from restoring the Yangtze wetlands to environmental education and panda conservation.


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