Prof. Guangwei Huang
Post-audit of watershed management- a case study in Japan
Current environmental literature provides insufficient information and analysis on how today's environmental state was shaped by countermeasures to pollution taken in the last century, which could be characterized as a century of environmental degradation. Such a look back is crucial to better understand and predict how policy and countermeasure choices today may shape the world in the future. Following this line of reasoning, the present work conducted a post audit on the long-term consequence of a countermeasure against a major heavy metal pollution case caused by the operation of the Ashio Copper Mine in Japan. It examined this issue from both environmental and societal perspectives by document analysis, field investigation on the heavy metal concentrations in the soils of a catchment area and questionnaire survey on the public knowledge with regard to the copper mining contamination case as well. It shed new light on how environment may evolve via the interaction with human activities by identifying drivers behind major changes. It also revealed a gap between the reality and the public perception towards the consequence of the copper contamination. Such insights will deepen the discussion on what is sustainability and motivate further study to pursue sustainable development.