This chapter presents and updates the information about the situational contexts, threats, problems, challenges, and solutions for environmental sustainability in China. This has been taken in temporal scale with a historical lens to show the environmental wisdoms, struggles, and innovations from ancient times to modern era. Chinese civilization with long history has rooted the ecological wisdoms and developed institutional arrangements for sustainable development. The “harmony between the heaven and human” in ancient China was an important philosophy and outlook on human–nature relationships for sustainable development. Yuheng functioned as the internal institution to develop and implement the relevant policies for protecting and utilizing the natural resources in a sustainable manner in ancient China. However, deforestation associated with war, fire, construction, reclamation, etc. in ancient times led to destruction of massive natural resources and serious degradation and territory land. Environmental pollution and land degradation associated with human population growth, economic development, land-use changes, and climate change are challenging the sustainable future of China. The historical lessons and the existing challenges have urged China to seek innovative ways to solve the environmental problems. China has made great efforts to take integrated measures and multiple actions to cope with the complex issues of environmental risks. These efforts include institutional innovations of empowering environmental protection agency, political innovations of reforming natural resource and environmental management strategies, economic innovations of adjusting development patterns, social innovations of promoting public participation, as well as technological innovations of developing new approaches for pollution control and ecological restoration.

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