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The Key Role of “Dual-Goal Accountability System” in Environmental Treatment of Dianchi Lake (No. 97, 2020)


By Li Zuojun & Chen Jianpeng, Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies, DRC and Li Jingyi, Business School of Renmin University of China

Research Report, No. 97, 2020 (Total 5841) 2020-5-7

Abstract: It used to be a conundrum to treat the water of Dianchi Lake in Kunming city, Yunnan province, yet the lake’s water quality was upgraded by two grades from inferior Class-V to Class-IV from 2015 to 2019, showing a remarkable progress. The survey findings show that the “dual-goal accountability system” has played a key role behind the outcome. This system combines the goal of upgrading water quality with that of cutting pollution volumes and involves the responsibilities of various parties in the basin to this treatment drive, which has resolved the problem of poor lake water quality compared with the good river passage water quality in the Dianchi Lake basin. By delegating the workloads to those community-level parties, this system has provided a comprehensive and efficient institutional mechanism for issues relating to evaluation, examination, incentives and accountability. By combining this system with the river chef mechanism and ecological compensation mechanism, Kunming city has formed a precise, systematic and co-governed framework for all parties to take active part in the treatment of Dianchi Lake. The dual-goal system is a typical case in point, worth being applied in similar basins on the basis of meticulous summary and tailored adjustment.

Key words: environmental treatment of Dianchi Lake, dual-goal accountability system, policy options