Past Events

 Thursday February 22, 2018

One Belt, Many Questions

The Duke Green Belt and Road Initiative hosted a webinar presentation by Jonathan Hillman, director of the Reconnecting Asia Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Jonathan’s lecture described CSIS’s work related to the Belt and Road and he presented the Reconnecting Asia database, which hosts information on infrastructure projects across Eurasia. The lecture focused on the Belt and Road’s overland routes—their economic implications, challenges, and questions for future research.

Friday, January 19, 2017 | 10:00 am

Constructing Africa’s Future: The Environmental and Social Implications of Chinese-Financed Infrastructure in Africa 

Leading academics, journalists, policymakers, and NGO experts discussed the environmental and social implications of Chinese-financed infrastructure in Africa on Friday, January 19 on the Duke University campus. The workshop assessed how Duke/DKU and partner institutions could contribute to infrastructure planning in Africa so as to optimize its impact on the environment and global health.




  • Howard French, (virtual attendance) School of Journalism, Columbia University
    From Going Out to One Belt One Road – Understanding China’s Africa Policies in a Global Perspective
  • Michelle Lee, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University
    Green and Blue conservation agendas alongside Chinese development in Gabon
  • April Raphiou, International Communications Consultant
    The framing of Chinese engagement in Kenya and Nigeria as portrayed through local media
  • Jackson Ewing, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
    The Inconsistency of China’s Environmental Impacts in Africa
  • Tao Hu, WWF China Program 
    Greening Infrastructure along the Belt and Road
  • Jingjing Zhang, Environmental Law Institute, Georgetown University
    Chinese overseas investment: the environmental and social impact and legal accountability

The event was sponsored by the Duke Green Belt and Road Initiative, an initiative of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and Duke Kunshan University that draws together colleagues from across Duke to address the environmental and social impacts of China’s new Silk Road infrastructure investments in Asia and Africa. The event was funded by the Duke Africa Initiative and the Nicholas Institute.

William Laurance.jpg
Thursday, November 30, 2017 | 5:30 pm

China’s Global Plans For Infrastructure Expansion: Why Is Everybody So Worried?

William Laurance, a distinguished research professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, presented "China’s Global Plans For Infrastructure Expansion: Why Is Everybody So Worried?" at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 30, in Duke University's Environment Hall Room 1111. The presentation, which Laurance delivered remotely, examined the impact of Chinese Belt and Road infrastructure development on biodiversity in tropical Asia and Africa. This event was open to the public and refreshments were served.

This lecture was part of the Duke-DKU Green Belt and Road Webinar Series, which presents topics focused on the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Webinar with Rose Niu

Chief Conservation Officer, The Paulson Institute
Observation and inference from participation in building ecological civilization in China

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 | 6:00 pm

Economics of Environmental Data Manipulation

Junjie Zhang, director of the iMEP Program and Environmental Research Center at Duke Kunshan University, presented “Economics of Environmental Data Manipulation,” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12.

Environmental regulation is often compromised in China when government officials are facing competing political targets other than environmental quality. Zhang discussed his research to not only refine the method of data manipulation but also provide a political economy interpretation of data falsification behavior in China, using a unique data set that combines reported air quality information with resume details of city party secretaries and mayors.

This talk was part of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the University Program in Environmental Policy seminar series featuring leading experts discussing a variety of pressing environmentally focused topics.