V. Policies and Actions to Adapt to Climate Change
China actively applies policies and take actions to adapt to climate change in natural ecological systems such as agriculture, forestry and water resources, as well as ecologically fragile areas like coastal zones and regions, and has achieved positive effects.
The state has made great efforts to establish and improve a law regime for agriculture to adapt to climate change, including the Agriculture Law, Grassland Law, Fisheries Law, Law on Land Management, Regulations of Responses to Major Emergent Animal Epidemics, and Regulations on Grassland Fire Prevention. The state has strengthened construction of agricultural infrastructure and capital construction of farmland water conservancy, enlarged irrigation areas, improved farm-land irrigation and drainage efficiency and capability, and promoted dry farming and water-saving technologies, making agriculture better able to deter and mitigate natural disasters and increasing overall agricultural productivity. Through the "Seed Project," China is cultivating stress-resistant varieties of seeds with high yield potential, high quality and specific abilities of resistance to drought, water logging, high temperature, diseases and pests.
China will further extend superior strains of livestock to larger areas and increase the acreage sown with such strains; enhance the prevention and control of major animal epidemic diseases, establish and improve the monitoring and early-warning systems and enhance capability in this regard; protect and improve the grassland ecosystem through turning grazing area back to grassland, constructing meadow enclosures, artificial grasslands and grassland fire-prevention facilities; and launch activities for aquatic life conservation and protect aquatic life resources and the aquatic eco-environment.
Forests and Other Natural Ecosystems
For years, China has made great efforts to protect forests and other natural ecosystems by formulating and enforcing relevant laws and regulations, such as the Forest Law, Law on the Protection of Wildlife, Law on Water and Soil Conservation, Law on Prevention and Control of Desertification, Regulations on Conversion of Farmland to Forests, Forest Fire Prevention Regulations, and Regulations on Forest Diseases and Insect Pest Prevention and Control. The state is now working hard to draw up laws and regulations on the protection of nature re-serves, wetlands and natural forests, and pushing forward the all-round implementation of a national program of eco-environment development and protection.
China will further strengthen the protection and management of forest land, forests and wildlife resources, continue projects for the protection of forests, conversion of cropland to forest and grassland, wildlife conservation and nature reserve development and wetland protection, so as to push forward the sustainable development and management of forests, and intensify efforts in ecological water and soil conservation. The government has established a comprehensive monitoring system for forest resources and ecosystem conditions; improved a forest fire, pest and disease evaluating system and an emergency-response system, as well as the training of professionals in this field; carried out a nationwide medium- and long-term program for the prevention of forest fires, pests and diseases, enhanced the protection of endangered species and their habitat ecosystems; and restored the functions of eco-fragile areas and ecosystems.
China has worked out and enforced laws and regulations in this regard, including the Water Law, Flood Control Law, and Regulations on River Administration. It has formulated and completed the program of flood control on major rivers and other water-conservancy programs, and has set up an elementary law regime and a program on water conservancy commensurate with China's conditions, and established an elementary flood-control and disaster-alleviation system for major rivers and a water-resource allocation and protection system. Meanwhile, great efforts have been made to control soil erosion. By the end of 2007, China had made efforts to bring soil and water erosion under control over an area of one million sq km, thus effectively protected the soil and water resources and improved its eco-environment.
China will accelerate the pace of formulating nationwide comprehensive plans for water resources and river basins, drawing up a water allocation plan for major rivers, speeding up the construction of the south-to-north water-diversion and other water-diversion projects, so as to optimize the water resource allocation pattern, and increase the water supply capability for drought emergencies. Efforts are being made to enhance unified water resources management and allocation, and establish national water-right distribution and transfer systems as well as a water resources conservation and protection system. The state will strengthen the construction of projects to control floods on major rivers as well as a system to control floods caused by mountain torrents, thus basically establishing a flood-control and disaster-alleviation sys-tem mainly formed by reservoirs, river channels, dykes and a mountain flood-control system. Further efforts are being made to improve the national commanding system in control and prevention of floods and droughts, establish a flood-risk management system, so as to enhance the country's capability in controlling floods and droughts. In river basins with serious ecological deterioration, China will set the cap on extraction of groundwater, strictly control excessive extraction of groundwater and adopt active measures to rehabilitate and protect water resources. Research will be strengthened into the impact of climate change over China's water resources and into the mechanisms of water conversion between atmospheric water, surface water, soil water and groundwater as well as related technologies for optimizing water-resource configuration. China is also strengthening study, development and popularization of technologies relating to reuse of wastewater and desalinization of seawater.
Coastal Zones and Coastal Regions
In accordance with the Marine Environment Protection Law, Law on the Use and Administration of Sea Areas, General System Development Plan for the Air-Sea Interaction, among others, China has worked out the objects and contents of a system to deal with climate change in marine areas, established a decision-making mechanism and a coordination mechanism of comprehensive management, thereby striving to slow down and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. Work is also done to increase the capability of the coastal zones and coastal regions to adapt to climate change. Through investigations and re-searches, China has strengthened study on air-sea interaction to deepen the understanding of air-sea interaction, and has initially formed an all-dimensional observation network pertaining to the marine environment, thus improving its capability to control and prevent marine disasters.
The country will further improve its all-round capability to control and prevent marine disasters in coastal regions through establishing and further improving an emergency response system for marine disasters. It will set up observation and service networks to analyze, evaluate and forecast climate change in coastal areas, establish a system to monitor, forecast, analyze and evaluate sea level change and do a better job in this regard, and improve the capability of the marine ecosystem and coastal region ecosystem to cope with and adapt to climate change. The state is promoting R&D of technologies for marine ecosystem protection and restoration, popularizing the research results, reinforcing the construction and management of marine reserves, carrying out restoration work in coastal wetlands and marine eco-environment, set-ting up demonstration areas with typical marine ecosystems, and building coastal protection forest belts with every effort. China will enhance the management of coastal zones, raise protection standards of coastal cities and major engineering projects, prevent excessive exploitation of groundwater and take measures against land subsidence in coastal areas. As one of such steps, fresh water will be taken from rivers or reservoirs to dilute brackish water and deter seawater intrusion in estuaries.
China has enhanced its capability of monitoring and issuing early warning over extreme climate events, and basically established mechanisms to deal with extreme meteorological emergencies, including their derivative and secondary effects. Great progress has been made in countering the effects of extreme climate phenomena like typhoons, regional intense thunderstorms and floods, and a comprehensive monitoring system for climate and climate change has taken initial shape.
To counter the expansion of epidemic-infected area caused by climate change, the state will further build up its monitoring and control net-work, and establish a health-guarantee system. The government has worked out a city flood control and water drainage plan, and raised the design standards for city flood control projects. In the design, construction and operation of major projects, the factor of climate change has been taken into full consideration, and new standards have been established for adaptation to future climate change.