• Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun is the first Chinese to receive the Skoll Award.

Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun is the first Chinese to receive the Skoll Award. (Photo : afr.com)

After nine years of perseverance to uncover the pollution situation in China, Chinese environmentalist, scholar and writer Ma Jun received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship from the Skoll Foundation for his contribution on addressing environmental sustainability and sustainable market through his smartphone application "Wei Lan Di Tu" (Blue Map).

Like Us on Facebook

Ma, director of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs (IPE), is the first Chinese to be awarded with the prestigious Skoll Award.

According to Chinese news site Sina English, Ma's app "Wei Lan Di Tu" oversees the air and water qualities of 380 cities in China, as well as the pollution rate caused by over 9,000 industries in the mainland. With the app, over 400 industries have been mandated to explain their side and forced to reduce the pollution they are contributing.

The app is a good platform for the Chinese public to participate in environmental issues as well as report the violators.

So far, Ma's application has garnered over three million downloads.

The impact of Ma's initiative has helped 150 international companies improve their environmental performance in China, the Skoll Foundation cited on their website.

Fifteen thousand companies were shown on the pollution map, the foundation added.

The Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology Foundation has pledged 20 million yuan ($3.2 million) for the app's funding.

However, despite the great help of the app to the environment, other local governments are resistant to Ma's initiative.

But the environmentalist still believes that "society has a common enemy in pollution, instead of government or industries."

"Ten years ago, many people said China was poor and that development was more important than environmental protection, but now public awareness has changed," Ma said as quoted by Sina English.

The Skoll Award is annually given to a deserving group of social entrepreneurs whose proven innovations have contributed in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Skoll Foundation selects its awardees through their contributions on Environmental Sustainability, Education, Economic Opportunity, Health, Peace and Human Rights, and Sustainable Markets.