The China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO)

Interview with Ms Xiajie Lee, Deputy Chief of the International Department at the China Association for NGO Cooperation (CANGO).

Please describe your organisation, its vision and mission?

CANGO is a non-profit membership organisation operating nationwide, and our vision is to empower citizens and civil society to create an environment that offers fair chances to everybody for sustainable development.

CANGO's mission is to create strong, empowered exchanges and partnerships among Chinese and foreign NGOs, corporate organisations, governments and individuals to address poverty alleviation, social governance, gender equality, climate change, environment protection and public welfare research. CANGO supports grassroots NGOs in capacity building, technical service and consultation to promote sustainable development of social and ecological environment.

How long has CANGO been a GWP Partner?

Last December, I participated in a training where I met the Regional Communications Officer for GWP China, who offered an opportunity to cooperate on the occasion of the UN climate change conference COP25 in Madrid – we received GWP’s help to promote CANGO’s activities at the conference.

One of our programmes is called the Climate Change Story Communication Initiative. In this programme we invited a professional storyteller to write an article about “Technology-assisted Poverty Alleviation? Climate Adaptation: Straw, Garlic and Silage: Practices Cope with Climate Change from Villages in Yunnan Province of China”. This story described the efforts by a Chinese NGO and government working together to protect Erhai Lake, to help farmers adapt to frequent droughts by promoting new crop species with fresh planting methods in Yunnan Province.

COP25 was a memorable experience, and from then we started to cooperate. 

What are the benefits of being a GWP Partner?

I see benefits in opportunities to share information and learn from other organisations’ best practices. I hope we can be involved much more in activities on regional and international levels.

Please share a challenge facing the management of water resources in your area of expertise.

One challenge facing the management of water resources lies in the absence of people’s awareness about water resources. Despite the fact that water resources in the world has witnessed a dramatic decrease, some individuals still believe that water resources are inexhaustible and pay little attention to save water. Currently, China and some other countries in the world have been given high priority to water conservation and set up a series of laws and regulations concerning water resources conservation. However, the major issue is people’s weak awareness of the importance of water resources.

As a non-governmental organisation, CANGO has, for years, made intensive efforts in launching projects to raise people’s awareness within civil society, and will continue to do so in the future.

Are there any special CANGO projects or initiatives that you would like more widely known?

Yes. There are many more programmes we would like to publicize. For instance, we have just completed 6 years of the EU-China NGO Twinning Program. This is an exchange programme for the staff of European and Chinese NGOs. It aims to establish sustainable partnerships and cooperation between non-governmental or non-profit organisations and think thanks from both regions. The programme has developed many joint projects.

We hope to raise our voice in the form of storytelling, so that extensive coverage of China stories in international media could be achieved. The international community would gain better understanding of Chinese non-governmental climate actions, hence a more uplifting international public opinion atmosphere can be achieved.