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Public perceptions of environmental risk in China

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China, as a ‘double risk’ society, is in urgent need for effective environmental risk management systems. Compared with other risks, man-made environmental risks have not been given due weight. Public awareness and perceptions of environmental risks are crucial in all phases of effective risk management. However, little is known about public perceptions of environmental risks in China. To contribute to better understanding of public perception of environmental risk, a questionnaire survey was conducted among university students in Beijing, who represent a group with high level of education and a generally high sensitivity to new information. The results show that even this group has limited knowledge about environmental risks and current risk management systems. Further studies are needed to understand the social construction of environmental risks in China and to seek ways to involve the Chinese public in emergency response and risk management.

Keywords: China; environmental risk management; risk perception; university students

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Environment and Natural Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China 2: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology,Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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