Worsening Environment, a Challenge to Chinese People

Nowadays, extremely urgent problems such as sandstorms, shortage of water, extinction of species, and desertification are threatening people’s living environment. Thus, ecological safety poses a challenge to human survival and development.

Like many other countries, China faces numerous problems. In some badly polluted areas, poisoned vegetables have killed some children; healthy pregnant women give birth to deformed babies; and the number of cancer cases suspected of being caused by pollution has increased. Besides, some rivers have run dry due to drought; recurrent red tides have caused successive fishery failures; and giant redwood trees are disappearing because of acid rain.

Over the past 50 years, the Chinese government has invested 2,500 billion yuan in controlling natural disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes and pollution. The annual losses caused by pollution and natural disasters, meanwhile, have reached 283 billion yuan.

In the recently published international outline for ecological and environmental protection, the Chinese government has given ecological safety a key place in overall development strategy.

Its goals include the basic control of ecological damaging elements by 2010; the realization of a virtuous ecological cycle in 50 percent of Chinese counties by 2030; and the realization of green mountains and clear waters in most parts of the country by 2050.

Xie Zhenhua, minister of the State Environmental Protection Administration, said that investment made by the Chinese government for the prevention and controlling of pollution each year will account for one percent of GDP in the coming five years.

By 2005, the amount of industrial pollution discharges will decrease by more than 10 percent, and over 100 major cities will meet the state standard set for water, atmosphere and noise, Xie said.

During the period, the country will continue to harness the rivers of Huaihe, Haihe and Liaohe; lakes of Taihu, Chaohu and Dianchi; the reservoir area and upper reaches of the Yangtze River; the Xiaolangdi reservoir area and upper reaches of the Yellow River; and the Songhua River.

By 2005, about 72 percent of cities in the southwest will meet state second-level standard for carbon monoxide emissions, and acid rain will be greatly reduced. Besides, the quality of coastal waters will also meet state standards.

The Chinese government will take 10 years to raise the forest and brushwood coverage in desert areas to 11.38 percent to control the spread of the sands.

In the coming five years, China will also build another 40-50 main ecological protection zones to increase the number to 1,400.

(www.china.org.cn 06/07/2001)

In This Series

Reversing Desertification

Public Awareness, Key to Environmental Protection

Environment Improving in Major Cities

China Issues Communique on Environment Protection

Mount Qomolongma Environment Project Launched

Environment Proves to Be Top Public Consideration



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