The state of the ecology has continued to deteriorate, the country's top
environment watchdog warned yesterday and promised better protection efforts.
A distressed family yesterday
take out dead fish from their pond in Xiaoshan District of Hangzhou,
capital of East China's Zhejiang Province. The fish were first found
floating on Friday afternoon, possibly due to pollution from a nearby
factory, according to Yin, the owner of the fishpond. Fish, shrimps, crabs
and tortoises weighing 50,000 kilograms were dead by yesterday, causing a
loss of 300,000 yuan (US$37,500), Yin said. The local environment
authorities are investigating the case.
Excessive logging, degradation
of natural pasture land, shrinking wetlands, overuse of pesticides and
fertilizers in farmland and contaminated coastal areas are just some of the
major problems the country faces, according to China Ecological Protection, the
first overview report released by the State Environmental Protection
The release of the report coincides with World Environment Day today, and the
national theme is to promote "Ecological Safety and an Environment-friendly
"The Chinese Government places great importance on ecological protection and
has adopted a series of strategic plans," the report said. "As a result, the
ecological environment in some key areas has improved," the report said.
"But due to the meagre per capita resources and regional disparities, the
deterioration trend of the country's fragile ecological environment as a whole
has remained unchecked," said the report.
Among the findings are:
The ecology of 60 per cent of the country's territory is considered fragile.
A national study in 2000 rated the ecological quality of one-third of the
country's territory as good and another third as bad.
About 90 per cent of natural pasture land, which accounts for more than 40
per cent of the country's territory, is facing degradation and desertification
to some extent. Desertified pastures have become the major source of sand and
About 40 per cent of the country's wetlands are under effective protection
but vast areas of natural wetlands continue to wither or shrink due to farming
and industrial activity.
"Large areas of natural wetlands have been replaced by paddy fields or
construction, especially in the Yangtze and Pearl River delta regions," said Shu
Jianmin, vice-president of the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental
SEPA will push for a comprehensive legal system on environment protection and
strengthen law enforcement to crack down on violations, the report said.
Factoring in the environment for calculation of economic growth and building
an ecological compensation mechanism will top SEPA's agenda, said the report.
While supporting the measures SEPA has mapped out, some environmental
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are sceptical about the need for more
"We already have many environmental protection laws and the problem is how to
implement them," said Li Junhui, who is in charge of public co-operation in
Friends of Nature.
"Our biggest challenge lies in how to incorporate environment protection into
economic development policies," she said.
Li also suggested giving enterprises incentives to reduce ecological damage
Liao Xiaoyi, president of Global Village of Beijing, said "local environment
bureaus should be independent of local governments and under direct SEPA
Liao would also dearly like to see a public participation mechanism on
environment protection, which is supported by the central government and
involves enterprises, environment NGOs and the people.
(China Daily 06/05/2006 page1)