Civil Society

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Case-study:Bear Bile Farming Company Go Public Listing Event --Examine the Role of Civil Society in Good Governance

There are several factors that contribute in governance, for instance, government, civil society and so forth. According to Wapner (2000), the role of government is of most important in the past yet the international community, such as civil society. It has already begun to show the effective participation of being one of the stakeholder in various areas. Civil society has increasingly reveal its power in boosting good governance in different kinds of business and general affairs by being participatory, transparent, responsive, efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law during (UNESCAP, 2009). The major effects that civil society brings to good governance are motivate companies, government and the public to concern about social problems and protect vulnerable groups; meanwhile, preventing corruption by involving in decision progress. From former literature, NGOs are the most prominent actors, and therefore comprise the main focus of this chapter. NGOs are groups of individuals organized for the myriad of reasons that engage human imagination and aspiration. They can be set up to advocate a particular cause, such as human rights, or to carry out programs on the ground, such as disaster relief. They can have memberships ranging from local to global (Charnovitz, 1997).

Since non-governmental organization (NGOs) is the general form of civil society, this essay has examine the three main roles of civil society in good governance, using an example of NGOs interfering a bear bile farming company Guizhentang going public listing. The evaluation will first look at background information about Guizhentang incident. It then examine the three main roles of civil society according to Gemmill and Bamidele-Izu (2002) - collecting, disseminating, and analyzing information; providing input to agenda-setting and policy development processes; advocating justice. Lastly, it illustrate some drawbacks that may occur during the process.

Guizhentang Issues Overview

One of the most famous pharmaceutical company in China, Guizhentang, which operates a large scale of bear farms and manufactures bear bile medicine, was attempting to expand their business and become publicly traded company by a public listing, according to an Initial Public Offerings (IPO) announcement released by the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) on Feb 1, 2012 (Deanna 2012). This issue has triggered strong criticism among the public. Because the company still kept black bears (also called moon bears, an endangered species) in cages, gave them operations in their stomach to cut a hole that could fit a tube into their gall bladder, kept it non-healing so that the staff can drain bile from the bears everyday without mercy.

Animal protection organizations such as Asia Animal Protection (AAF) and Ta Foundation, non-governmental organizations which aim to enhance animal welfare in Asia, have led the media, investors, social celebrities and citizens joined the heating discussion of a question of whether black bear has to sacrifice for human welfare through various channels. Meanwhile, AAF have been doing certain kinds of research towards this issue, communicating with CSRC and the Chinese government and advocating justice to educate the public.

In fact, Guizhentang company is not the largest company that produce bear bile in China. But if it was being smoothly listed, much more bear bile companies will follow the example which lead to the horrible situation. Civil societies are not just aiming at Guizhentang company. Instead, banning bear bile farming on a global scale is the working target. Moreover, it is to stop the abuse of entrusted power for private gain.

Role 1 : To collect and disseminate information

On Asia Animal Protection press conference in February 2012,...
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