--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service
China Calendar

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

SEPA Pushes Environmental Impact Assessments

At the First China International Forum on Environmental Impact Assessment, which opened Monday in Boao, Hainan Province, a senior environment official listed 10 causes for rejecting project applications or shutting down ongoing projects.

The projects include those being phased out or banned by state industrial policies, those located in such areas as drinking water sources and nature reserves and those that do not match regional development and environmental protection plans, as well as energy-guzzling and high-pollution projects.

State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) Vice Minister Pan Yue called on environment authorities across the country to watch closely and conduct environmental impact assessments strictly.

Severe penalties should be levied on those responsible for projects that are launched without environmental impact assessments, Pan said.

Environmental impact assessment for construction projects has become a legal requirement in most countries. Assessments of policies, plans and programs are required in an increasing number of places so that environmental considerations can be integrated with overall socioeconomic development planning.

However, China faces a number of challenges in implementing an effective environmental impact assessment system.

Many local governments give approval to projects without regard to their potential for environmental harm because of the immediate economic benefits the projects offer. Further complicating the issue is the fact that a number of assessors are operating illegally, often failing to use sound scientific methods and even offering falsified reports.

Projects that have not been properly processed should be stopped and officials who do not fulfill their responsibilities should be punished, Pan said. Those who give false assessments will be sacked.

Public participation and supervision in the decision-making process will be strengthened to give the concerned citizens an avenue to be heard.

Pan pointed out that foreign environmental impact assessment bodies are welcome to enter the Chinese market.

Richard Fuggle, president of the US-based International Association for Impact Assessment, said Pan's commitment to strengthening environmental impact assessments in China is impressive because it shows political will.

"In the West, we have lots of talk, but little political will," he said.

China's Law on Environmental Impact Assessment went into effect on September 1 last year. It requires that plans for land use and for the development of land, river and sea areas be assessed for their potential impact on the environment.

The law also requires that the opinions of the public be sought, through meetings or public hearings, on plans that could have a negative impact on the environment.

The First China International Forum on Environmental Impact Assessment is being held from December 13 through 15 in China's southernmost province of Hainan. It provides an information exchange platform for related management and technical personnel from around the world.

Topics of discussion at the forum include processes, legislation, methods, procedures and tools of environmental impact assessment.

The forum is sponsored by SEPA and organized by SEPA's Appraisal Center for Environment and Engineering, the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences and Hong Kong's Department of Environment, Transport and Works.

(China Daily, China.org.cn December 14, 2004)

SEPA Calls on Public to Stop Polluters
SEPA to Clamp Down on Tangshan Polluters
SEPA Releases Air Quality Blacklist
Serious Punishments for Serious Polluters
SEPA to Start Cleaner Production Test
SEPA: Handling Pollution Vital to China's Progress
Official: Green Strategy a Must for Sustainable Development
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688