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United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. Over 31,000 young leaders on 2,400+ campuses across 140+ nations applied to join the Class of 2022.  200+ campuses worldwide (just 8%) were selected to host the 3,000+ Millennium Fellows.



Duke Kunshan University | Kunshan, China | Advancing SDG 12 & UNAI 9


" "First worry about the world, then enjoy the world ". It is our job as competent global citizens to improve global environmental damage. Because we only have one earth, so it is important to anticipate and plan for things in the long run before they reach the point of no return. "

Millennium Fellowship Project: "Angels and Apparitions" (Concerning the interplay of economic development and environmental protection)

The "angel and the ghost" seem to contradict each other when protecting the environment in economic development. The truth is, they're identical twins who are intertwined and mutually supportive of each other. Ecological is the economy in and of itself, and preserving ecology is the increased productivity. Ecological advantages are more effectively converted into economic and social benefits during economic growth, which is at the heart of economic development. Economic development and environmental protection are mutually reinforcing, and their success or failure ultimately depends on the economic structure and style of economic development. Industrialization has provided tremendous financial prosperity over the centuries but has also resulted in serious ecological degradation, resulting in irreversible ecological trauma. For instance, global warming, air pollution, acid rain, and the destruction of biodiversity are all examples. In January 2000, 100,000 cubic meters of cyanide wastewater flooded the Danube River in Romania, rapidly killing all aquatic life in the river basin and endangering over 200 species along the riverside. According to experts, this ecological degradation has rendered the area's ecosystem unsustainable for ten years and sent the economy into a tailspin. Our country is undergoing tremendous economic development at the moment, and the central subject of the era is the quest for happiness and constant improvement of material living standards. In this setting, our environment faces significant challenges as well.
Pollution of the atmosphere is the primary issue, with 70% of major cities failing to meet standards; Followed by water pollution, with 42% of the water in China's seven major water systems unable to be used as a source of drinking water; With 140 million tons of waste harmlessly treated at less than 10%; Industrial solid waste reaching 820 million tons, but being used comprehensively at only 46%; Desertification already covers 27.3 percent of the country's total land area and is expanding at a rate of 2,460 square kilometers per year. Additionally, it is problematic in terms of water loss, with over 5 billion tons of soil lost each year. Since 1949, soil erosion has destroyed almost 40 million mu of arable land, a significant loss to agriculture, and recent droughts and floods have wreaked havoc on the economy. Drought affected 120 million mu of agriculture annually in the 1950s and 380 million mu in the 1990s. Economic construction is progressing at a breakneck pace, as is the resulting chemical pollution (from manufacturing and mining waste, dust, and garbage); biological pollution (from urban waste and wastewater, among other things); and radioactive contamination (referring to the use of nuclear materials, nuclear explosions generated by nuclear wastewater, nuclear waste gas, etc.). Numerous types of pollution will likewise increase in scope, and economic expansion at the expense of environmental protection will almost probably put the human race to a halt.
China has made tremendous achievements in the economic building since the reform and opening up, and its economic development has accelerated exponentially, while its overall strength has increased significantly. Simultaneously, environmental conservation has taught us several lessons and resulted in significant losses. To improve the local economy, investment is encouraged and numerous preferential policies are implemented concurrently. As a result, some industrialized countries have shifted a significant number of polluting industries to developing countries. Some domestic small and medium-sized enterprises prioritize economic benefits over environmental protection, purification of pollution equipment solely to meet inspection requirements, and usually arbitrary discharge: and the management of relevant departments, ineffective handling, a large number of pollution occurred, the penalty in lieu of law, and similar cases have occurred in any of China's large, medium, and small cities. Cities' blind expansion, the uncontrolled growth of automobiles, the high level of exhaust emissions, and the absence of rubbish classification, collection, and treatment. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides: are the primary contributors to environmental contamination.
China is an emerging market with a sizable population. With the poor starting point in industrialization and the pressure of developed countries, we choose to sustain high economic growth through high capital investment, resource consumption, and environmental expenses in exchange for economic growth. A strong desire for immediate profit lost in the distant plan, economics first, ecology second, and short-term economic conduit for China's ecological environment has resulted in the accumulation of catastrophic effects over time.
To summarize, economic development should not be used to exploit natural resources and the ecological environment, and ecological protection should not be used as an excuse to forego economic development. Indeed, a healthy environment is economically significant in and of itself. It has the potential to consistently generate broad benefits and foster economic and social growth on a sustainable basis.

About the Millennium Fellow

Shen Shen is a Duke Kunshan University junior who excels at creativity, exploration, challenge, and organization. As a political economy major, she is dedicated to applying her economic expertise to global health issues. Environmental issues are growing increasingly important in today's world. As a responsible global citizen, she is always mindful of her responsibility and commitment, and she is dedicated to contributing to the research and resolution of environmental issues. She has received an in-depth grasp of the current condition and difficulties of chronic management of public health in China via nearly a year of experience as a research assistant in DKU's Global Health Center, and has well exercised her talent in questionnaire design and literature search. She led the team to participate in the DKU Global Health Case Competition as the team leader, and she gained a better understanding of the roles and obligations of a leader. Finally, she led the team in developing a strategy and was awarded second place. She is an exceptional organizer and leader

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