2018 Twinner Laotu activities

Last year our 2018 twinner organization Laotu visited different ecology groups from different countries. Green Circle is one of them, a Hungary conservation organization, which is based in Hajdúböszörmény. They went to see Hungarys oldest national park: it’s a place where birds are under worldwide nature conservancy.

Besides last week Laotu established a cozy housing in Shenzhen which promotes an organic lifestyle. This project includes yoga training courses and an offering of organic chocolate and tea. Through the cooperation of agriculture expert Marco of Naturland, yoga teacher Faye and the founder of Laotu Luojia enabled this opening.


Read more in Laotus blog (Chinese):

Cooperation with Green Circle

Shenzhen Housing

2019 Call for Application

We are starting to look for new applicants for the 2019-2020 EU-China NGO Twinning Program!

  • Are you working in an NGO for social/environmental justice issues?
  • Are you interested in an intercultural exchange with China?

Then please consider applying to our program.

For further information about the program, see here.

And if you want to get a feel for our program, check out this video about the kick-off of our Alumni Network.


Twinners share interview about labour rights

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Kin Wan: Arbeitsrechte in der Elektronik-Industrie. Labour Rights in the Electronics Industry
Two of our Twinners have produced an informative video about labour rights in China's electronics industry: Südwind interviews Kin Wan from LESN (Labour Education & Service Network).

Two of our Twinners have produced an informative video about labour rights in China’s electronics industry:
Südwind interviews Kin Wan from LESN (Labour Education & Service Network).

EU-China NGO Twinning Workshop 2018 in Chengdu

From 3th-5th of September CANGO, Stiftung Asienhaus and CAN Europe organized the China capacity building workshop in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, together with the local partner and 2018 Twinning participant Sichuan Green Foundation. Participants from Romania, UK, Germany, Belgium, Macedonia, France, and several Chinese provinces joined this event. The workshop was supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and Stiftung Mercator.

Participants of the EU-China NGO Twinning Workshop 2018 in Chengdu

The purpose of the workshop is for the EU-China NGO Twinning Program participants to build up capacities, to share their experiences, initiatives, programs, and best practices on climate change, environmental protection, and social topics. 39 scholars, NGO staff from 10 European organizations and 11 Chinese organizations participated in this workshop. During the opening session on 3rd September, the participants were welcomed by Wang Xiangyi, Deputy Executive Director from CANGO, Judith Christ, Senior Project Manager from Robert Bosch Foundation, Zhang Yan, Project Manager from Stiftung Mercator, Dr. Nora Sausmikat, Head of the China program of Stiftung Asienhaus, Mathias Claeys Bouuaert, Project Manager from CAN Europe, Mr. Tong Wei, Division Director from Forestry Department of Sichuan Province and Dr. Ling Lin, Secretary General from Sichuan Green Foundation. Mr. Zhang Liming, Director from the International Collaboration Division of the Forestry Department of Sichuan Province also held a closing speech on the last day of the workshop. Civil Society actors and local government clearly showing that the best way to tackle the social and environmental problems of our times is to join forces.

Zhang Xuehua, Lishui Ecology Environment Institute

Mrs. Zhang Xuehua, Chief Scientist from Lishui Ecology Environment Institute, briefly described the innovative decentralized solid waste management model from the experience of Bengaluru, India, and experiments in Chengdu. During her presentation, she clearly presented the p2 pilot waste segregation practices and analyzed their successes and challenges for future duplication. Mr. Zhang Wen, Director of Sichuan Ecosystem Monitoring Center, Member of Sichuan Expert Guiding Committee of Combating Climate Change introduced the practices of Sichuan forestry carbon sequestration to cope with climate change, Mrs. Yang Mingming, sustainable rural development practitioner from the Chengdu Urban River Association (CURA) introduced the well-known model of sustainability and agricultural efficiency: Peace Dragon Village.

On 4th September, Mr. Zhao Daxing, Executive Director from CANGO, gave a presentation on the opportunities and challenges of civil society development under the new International NGO Law in China. He talked about the requirements for overseas NGOs’ registrations which on one hand encourage NGOs to formalize their cooperation with Chinese partners, while on the other hand, the pose new bureaucratic hurdles to working in China. He also introduced some of the programs, which have successfully received a permit with the aid of CANGO after the implementation of the < Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China> on 1st, Jan 2017. His analysis was followed by an ad hoc report by Judith Christ from the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Judith Christ, Robert Bosch FoundationMrs. Christ explained how the changed legal landscape affects the on-the-ground work of foreign NGOs and Foundations like theirs. Dr. Horst Fabian , former East Asia program coordinator of CIM/GTZ and currently independent China researcher, shared his experiences and some of the Ford Foundation Study results on the European NGOs perspective of the INGO law (click  here for more information). The study presented empirical data on the registration and document submitting procedure. Before the law’s implementation over 7000 international non-governmental organizations worked in China. So far only around 300 have successfully registered. Many more of them work under Temporary Registrations with a duration of 1 year. Finding a Chinese Supervisory Unit and agreeing on common work areas are among the biggest challenges.

Participants from the French Institute of Climate Economy (I4CE), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Shenzhen Mangrove Wetland Protection Foundation (MCF), and the Shenzhen Zero Waste Public Welfare Development Center, along with other Twinners also shared their exchange experiences on topics such as climate change and carbon market, biodiversity protection, wetland trust and waste management…

Participants at the panda breeding station


On 5th September, the twinners and alumni were provided the opportunity for a field trip to Dujiangyan Wild-Research Center (Panda Valley), Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Waste management practice visit


Local Chengdu waste pooling station

After having heard a talk on waste management, the twinners had the chance to visit a local project accompanied by Wei Wei (Twinning Alumni 2016), Project Officer of Chengdu Roots and Shoots. As an example for waste decentralization and community composting she showed participants around a recently developed waste pooling station. At the station, industrial buckets were used to collect and compost biodegradable waste by people living in the area. The compost was then used in community greening projects.

World Café enhances capacity building and experience sharing among Twinners

Participants in an eager discussion…

In the morning of the 4th  Mathias Claeys Bouuaert, Project Manager from CAN Europe and Joanna Klabisch, Project Manager from Stiftung Asienhaus, led a World Café session on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). After a short introduction on what the 17 goals that many nations agreed upon in Paris 2015, the participants were asked to identify the most relevant SDGs for work.

… and sharing a joke

The moderators posed 3 questions leading participants through the interlinkages between the SDGs and the value of a holistic network-based approach on using the goals in their work. In the first round, they had to identify the interlinkages between the SDGs on their chosen work tables. In the second round after a change of tables, they were asked to think about the potential relevance of the interlinkages for their current work. After a final change of tables, the twinners considered the opportunities these links might provide in their future work. The format was generally well received and considered one of the most productive parts of the meeting.

Thus concluded 3 days of intense but productive cooperation in the city of Chengdu.

Wei Wei Roots and Shoots


For more information on the generell topic of communication between China and Europe also in regards to the NGO issue click here.

Electronics Industry Picture Campaign from Südwind Austria and LESN, HK

Our 2018 twinners from Südwind Austria and Labour Education and Service Network, HK, have promoted a foto campaign against last week’s Black Friday, depicting IT company workers commenting on their abysmal working conditions behind. Their aim was to give these persons a voice that rarely gets heard through the noise made by multinational campaigns offering cheap deals to raise electronics consumption worldwide. Being aware of the conditions behind the production of these goods should be in the consumer’s mind.

Learn more on how to make an impact and promote fair electronics here (German).


VIDEO: EU-China Twinning Alumni Network Kick-off

A video documentation about the EU-China Twinning Alumni meeting in September 2018 in Hongkong: Members of the EU-China Twinning Alumni Network (TAN) talk about their experiences in the Twinning program.

New project from our 2018 Twinner organization WMCF

Mangrove Conservation Foundation, one of our 2018 twinner organization, has launched a new project to set up Wetland Education Centres across China in partnership with the Wetland Conservation and Management Office of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Paulson Institute and the Lao Niu Foundation.

“The project, due to run for three years, will draw on national and international best practice, including from Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong, Guandu Nature Reserve in Taiwan and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore as well as wetlands in Japan, Korea and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserves in the UK (partner twinner to the Shenzhen Mangrove Conservation Foundation).
The objectives of the project include : a standard system for wetland education centres in China, build three to five demonstration wetland education centres within three years and a professional network for wetland education centres in China and to provide support for the establishment and development of further wetland education centres.
This project will help build and strengthen public awareness about the value of China’s remaining coastal wetlands and underpins the recent announcement by the Chinese government to ban all further commercial land reclamation along the coast.”

Text from “Valuing Wetlands in China” at birdingbeijing.com

Click here for full article : https://birdingbeijing.com/2018/09/11/valuing-wetlands-in-china/

Davide Sabbadine and Dr. Horst Fabian on China’s tightening grip on civil society

Our 2017 Twinner Davide Sabbadin, Legambiente Italy, visited a conference on civil society in Hong Kong. In Nuova Ecologia, his article reflects the influence of the new Overseas NGO Law focused on NGO cooperation with foreign NGOs in China. Davide talked to Dr. Horst Fabian, EU-China Civil Society Ambassador, who he met there. Horst states that the situation unfortunately worsened. He explained that the state obliges European NGOs to registrate through cumbersome and costly processes as well as to partner with a supervising Chinese organization/institution. These are mainly dependent on the Ministry of the Interior and often represent state bodies. The costs linked to the registration application have been a growing disincentive for foreign NGOs who as a result, have been forced to leave the country. NGOs working on “sensitive” topics such as syndicalism, migrants, protection of ethnic groups, mass media and religion are even more discouraged. Horst further said that no international NGO that deals with the protection of LGBTQ rights and human rights, has so far been accepted.

Read more here (Italian):

Si stringe la morsa cinese sulla società civile

Twinner Arianna Americo publishing about the “One Belt one Road” initiative

Following her twinning in 2017 Arianna Americo published an article on the topic of ‘China’s “Ecological Civilization” and the Belt and Road Initiative’. The potential role the BRI might play in meeting the 1.5degree target of the Paris Agreement and the social as well as environmental risks inherent in this mega project are the focus of the text which can be found in the broschure “Silk road bottom-up: Regional perspecives on the ‘Belt and Road Initiative'”. A cooperation between chinadialogue and Stiftung Asienhaus.

The publication can be downloaded here or ordered at: verwaltung@asienhaus.de


Second Follow up by Twinners Antoaneta and Zhilu!

Heretofore unheard of, a twinning pair decided to organize a follow up to their follow up. Antoaneta Pophlebarova from Balkan Kids Bulgaria and Yao Zhilu formerly of Lingnan Partner Community Centre, who twinned in 2016 and did a follow up in 2017, continued their successful partnership in May 2018 with a 3rd visit of Tony in China.

The two specialists on sexual education have by now organized trainings for more than 800 people in this field which is still riddled with taboos both in China and Bulgaria. Their training courses and events have not only garnered the attention of universities and think tanks but also those of party cadres and departments of health care and prevention.

The results of the twinning and 2017’s follow up impressed the leaders of the Institute of Prevention of Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Guangzhou so much, that they decided to invite Antoaneta to return to China and, together with Zhilu, perform a 3-day-training seminar for social workers from the health department and activists of the Guangzhou Youth Net. Joining the trainer team this time is also a participant of the 2017 follow up who shows great promise in continuing this excellent twinner pair’s legacy.



Stiftung Asienhaus and the Robert Bosch Foundation are gratified to be able to support this 2nd follow up and wish Tony and Zhilu continued luck in their endeavors.