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Noted Environmental Specialist to Address CHINA Town Hall at UB

Release Date: March 25, 2008

BUFFALO, N,.Y. -- For the second year in a row, the University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program will host a "CHINA Town Hall" program organized by the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

"CHINA Town Hall" is a national day of programming on China that involves 40 cities throughout the United States.

The UB meeting will take place April 17 in 215 Natural Science Building on the UB North (Amherst) Campus. It will be free and open to the public.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. with the national Web cast of a talk by Norman J. Ornstein, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, on "The China Issue in the 2008 Presidential and Congressional Campaigns." Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, will moderate the Web cast, inviting questions and comments from audiences at participating sites.

Following the Web cast, Marilyn Beach, a widely respected and highly experienced member of the international environmental community, will speak at the UB site. The topic of her talk at 7:45 p.m. will be "Environment and Civil Society in China: What Does Development Mean for People's Lives?" A reception will follow.

Kristin Stapleton, director of UB's Asian Studies Program and a member of the National Committee on United States-China relations, is bringing the CHINA Town Hall program to Buffalo.

"The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is committed to improving mutual understanding between people in China and the U.S.," she says.

"This program addresses some key issues in the world today -- how the American political process influences, and is influenced by, U.S.-China relations and how environmental problems are affecting Chinese society," Stapleton says. "And it is a good opportunity to find out what's going on in China in the months before the Beijing Olympics."

Beach has worked with several notable international environmental organizations and for the forest extraction industry to promote sustainable agricultural and development practices. In that capacity, she has, among other things, analyzed the status of environmental and forestry health and safety training capacity and needs in China and in other nations.

Among the organizations with which she is or has been associated are the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); Institute for Sustainable Communities, and STORA ENSO, an integrated paper, packaging and forest products company that supports and assists in sustainable forestry management.

A social and environmental assessment specialist for STORA ENSO, Beach specializes in the social and environmental implications of the management of eucalyptus and pine plantations in Brazil and Uruguay.

STORA ENSO offers assistance to landowners seeking guidance in managing their forestlands using sustainable practices and recommends key measures to be taken to mitigate potential negative social and environmental effects and promote positive effects of their plantations.

She is a member of the International Association for Impact Assessment, the Working Group of the Woodrow Wilson Center Environmental Change and Security Project: China Environment Series, and the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Beach has authored several articles in refereed journals, including The Lancet, about the impact of ecological change on sustainable development. She has also written a number of environmental reports, including the report of the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements on the interrelationships between United Nations conferences and their relevance to the 1996 Habitat II Conference in Istanbul.

Media Contact Information

Patricia Donovan
Senior Editor, Arts, Humanities, Public Health, Social Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4602
pdonovan@buffalo.edu