China, Africa and the Environment
The fourth summit conference of the Forum for China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) takes place in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt, on November 8-9, 2009. The FOCAC process has so far resulted in an impressive strengthening of the cooperation between China and Africa, and has reduced Africa's dependency on Western powers. Yet from a civil society perspective, the process has two fundamental shortcomings: It has boosted financial and economic cooperation, but has so far neglected to deal seriously with the environmental challenges that have arisen as a consequence
of the rapidly growing cooperation. There is a risk that the business relations between China and Africa may undermine the positive achievements of the FOCAC process if social and environmental concerns are not considered more seriously.
This paper provides background information about the FOCAC process, takes stock of the implementation of the commitments made at earlier FOCAC summits, and offers recommendations on how the upcoming challenges of the process can be addressed.
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