Jun Ma

Environment Activist

Image source: World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland

Image license: CC BY-SA 2.0

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Field of Knowledge


Ma Jun (simplified Chinese: 马军; traditional Chinese: 馬軍; pinyin: Mǎ Jūn; born 22 May 1968) is a Chinese environmentalist, non-fiction writer, environmental consultant, and journalist. He is a director with the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE).
In the 1990s Ma became known as an investigative journalist, working at the South China Morning Post from 1993 to 2000. There, he began to specialize in articles on environmental subjects. He eventually became the Chief Representative of SCMP.com in Beijing.He was named as one of the 100 most influential persons in the world by Time magazine in May 2006, in an article written by Hollywood film star Ed Norton.Ma’s 1999 book China’s Water Crisis (Zhongguo shui weiji) has been compared to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring – China’s first major book on the subject of that nation’s environmental crisis.
He directs the IPE (Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs), which developed the China Water Pollution Map (中国水污染地图), the first public database of water pollution information in China. He also serves as environmental consultant for the Sinosphere Corporation.Ma said: “Water pollution is the most serious environmental issue facing China. It has a huge impact on people’s health and economic development. That is why we have begun to build this database. To protect water resources, we need to encourage public participation and strengthen law enforcement. In some places, polluting factories and companies are being protected by local governments and officials.” In 2010, Ma, addressing air pollution particularly in the wake of efforts made at the time of the Beijing Olympics, “said many of the government’s efforts to curtail pollution had been offset by the number of construction projects that spit dust into the air and the surge in private car ownership.”In 2012, Ma received the Goldman Environmental Prize.In 2015, Ma Jun became the first Chinese social entrepreneur who won the Skoll Award.In 2016, Ma Jun appeared in the National Geographic film, “Before the Flood,” directed by Fisher Stevens and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.


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