CN: Environment Posters: 1980s

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Chinese Posters: Environment:

In the 1980s, the authorities became more aware of the impact of the environmental problems on the country’s economic performance. They started a series of propaganda campaigns that were to educate the people in keeping their immediate surroundings clean. This was phrased in terms of maintaining a high level of personal hygiene as well as of social morality.

On a more general level, the aim was to make the people, both in the countryside and in the cities, more aware of the need to contribute to the “greening” of China, and to “beautify” the environment.

This contribution could take the form of protecting and maintaining plant- and wildlife. Over the years, the stress on protecting the environment has become an integral part of the various campaigns aimed at building Socialist Spiritual Civilization.

China is currently the world’s second largest emitter of carbon dioxide. It already accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, pollution produced by coal burning has a direct impact on the level of acid rain, which, according to official estimates, affects 30% of the country. China generates three-quarters of its energy from coal. The pollution this causes is particularly severe in China’s industrial cities. According to the WHO, Beijing, Shenyang, Xi’an, Shanghai and Guangzhou are on the top-10 of the world’s most polluted cities. The air in Beijing is 16 times dirtier than it is in New York. The most polluted place in the country may be the Northeastern city of Benxi, which in winter cannot be seen by satellite reconnaissance for months at a time.

Another important environmental issue has been the loss of farmland due to the fast expansion of industries and cities: between 1980 and 1990, the arable land area declined by 0.37% per annum. When great floods occur, as they have done almost every year over the past decade, causing great devastation, the loss of topsoil is greater because of deforestation. The vehemence of these floods proves that China is suffering from grave economic and social problems as a consequence of environmental degradation. Moreover, inadequate rural fuel supplies continue to contribute to the massive deforestation. The government tries to counter this by embarking on large-scale afforestation projects. Regular tree-planting manifestations are employed to raise the awareness of the population.

Roughly half of all urban ground water resources, lakes and the seven major riverine systems are polluted because of a lack of sewers and waste treatment facilities; 85% of all Chinese cities are now short of clean water, and in the countryside only one Chinese in seven has safe drinking water. Thousands of kilometres of rivers are contaminated by industrial toxins, and one-third of the coastal fishing grounds are ruined by pollution. Only some 15% of waste water is treated.

China acceded to a number of international agreements to counter environmental pollution. In 1992, the government signed the Climate Change Framework Convention at the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which was ratified in 1993. China is also a signatory to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

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1982: Make Mothercountry Green

Designer: Zhang Changqing (张长清)
1982, December
Make the mother country green
Lühua zuguo (绿化祖国)
Publisher: Sichuan renmin chubanshe (四川人民出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/474 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Make MotherCountry Green.

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1982: Plant Flowers Beautify the Environment

Designer: Wang Linkun (王麟坤)
1982, April
Plant flowers and trees, beautify the environment – Develop new socialist habits
Zhonghua zhishu meihua huanjing – Fayang shehui zhuyi xin fengshang (种花植树美化环境-发扬社会主义新风尚)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/297 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Plant Flowers Beautify Environment.

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1982: Social Morality Keep Environment Beautiful

Designer: Xie Pengcheng (谢鹏程)
1982, March
Pay attention to social morality, keep the environment beautiful!
Jiang gongde, baochi huanjing mei! (讲公德,保持环境美!)
Publisher: Hunan meishu chubanshe (湖南美术出版社)
Size: 77×54 cm.
Call number: BG E15/48 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Social Environment Morality.

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1983: Protect the Ecological Balance

Designer: Zhou Ruizhuang (周瑞庄)
1983, March
Plant trees and make green, protect the ecological balance
Zhishu lühua, weihu shengtai pingheng (植树绿化,维护生态平衡)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/280 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Protect the Ecological Balance.

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1983: Protect the Environment & Hygiene

Designer: Wang Baishun (王百顺)
1983, February
Protect environmental hygiene
Baochi huanjing weisheng (保持环境卫生)
Publisher: Liaoning meishu chubanshe (辽宁美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/270 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Protect Environment & Hygiene.

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1983: Plant Flowers Beautify the Environment

Designer: Wang Linkun (王麟坤)
1983, March
Plant flowers and grasses, beautify the environment of cities and villages
Zhonghua zhongcao, meihua chengxiang huanjing (种花种草美化城乡环境)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/281 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Plant Flowers Beautify the Environment.

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1983: Plant Trees to Regulate Mountains and Rivers

Designer: Zhou Ruizhuang (周瑞庄)
1983, March
The whole people plant trees and put rivers and mountains in order
Quanmin zhishu, zhili heshan (全民植树,治理河山)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/282 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Plant Trees Regulate Mountains Rivers.

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1983: Cherish Greening Trees

Designer: Zhou Ruizhuang (周瑞庄)
1983, March
Cherish greening, treasure old and famous trees
Aihu lühua, zhenxi gushu mingmu (爱护绿化珍惜古树明木)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/477 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Cherish Greening Trees.

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1983: Rural Villages: Clean Drinking Water

Designer: Wang Hongcai (王鸿才)
1983, December
Make a good job of providing rural villages with hygienic drinking water
Gaohao nongcun yinshui weisheng (搞好农村饮水卫生)
Publisher: Renmin weisheng chubanshe (人民卫生出版社)
Size: 77×53,5 cm.
Call number: BG E13/629 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Rural Villages Clean Water.

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1984: Respect Social Morality

Designer: Zhou Ruizhuang (周瑞庄)
1984, February
Respect social morality
Yao zunzhong shehui gongde (要尊重社会公德)
Publisher: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe (上海人民美术出版社)
Size: 77×53 cm.
Call number: BG E13/468 (Landsberger collection)
– Chinese Posters: Environment: Respect Social Morality.

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