Lican Liu is writing a book that will apply an environmental justice approach to the pursuit of environmental protection in China. Rights advocacy in China remains stymied by a suspicious government, and an emphasis on environmental protection—which is generally perceived as apolitical and technical—could produce advances where traditional approaches have fallen short. Liu’s project will investigate the politics of landfill siting and the effects on neighboring communities. By promoting environmental justice as an entry point for green NGOs in the country, he hopes to stimulate a more far-reaching debate on growth and development in China.
Liu is the cofounder and programs director at the Greenovation Hub, a Chinese grassroots NGO focusing on environmental protection and innovation. He also serves as the China coordinator at Internews’s Earth Journalism Network. Previously, he was a media officer and campaigner with Greenpeace East Asia, based in Guangzhou. His 2013 book, The Sick Villages in a Strong State, was the first book in Chinese that reveals the “cancer village” problem in China. Liu received an MA in political science from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a BA in journalism from Fudan University. He was also among the inaugural Asia Foundation Development Fellows (2014).