IV. Adapting to Climate Change
Since 2012, the Chinese government has taken positive action in enhancing its capability across major sectors to adapt to climate change and respond to extreme weather and climate-related events. This has reduced the negative impact of climate change on both economic and social development, production and people's welfare.
(I) Disaster Prevention and Mitigation
The Ministry of Civil Affairs formulated or revised policies like the Regulations on Disaster Relief and Emergency Work of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, Guidance on Strengthening Natural Disaster Relief Assessment of the Ministry of Civil Affairs and Interim Regulations on the Management of Central Relief Supplies Storages. This has further improved the institutional mechanism of disaster relief work. The ministry also promoted the implementation of the National Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Plan (2011-2015); and started construction projects of comprehensive disaster reduction demonstration communities and shelters. Since 2012, 1,273 national comprehensive disaster reduction demonstration communities have been completed. In 2012, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, together with the Ministry of Finance, allocated 11.6 billion yuan in natural disaster relief funds, which timely and effectively helped the victims carry out their rehabilitation and reconstruction work, as well as safeguarded the security of their basic livelihood. The Ministry of Agriculture established a work system for early consultation, forecasting and prognosis. It also introduced the key technologies to prevent and mitigate agricultural disaster and achieve stable and higher yields; launched the subsidy policy for good methods in agriculture; helped local governments improve disaster relief measures; and strengthened the publicity of disaster prevention, mitigation experience and typical cases. The Ministry of Water Resources advanced the county-level non-engineering measures of torrential flood prevention and control, as well as the Phase II project construction of the state flood control and drought relief command system across 2,058 counties. It carried out a flood impact assessment and worked out flood risk maps. It revised and improved the scheduling plans for floods and water in major river basins. The State Forestry Administration issued the National Forest Fire Emergency Plan, strengthened the inspection of forest fire prevention and developed the responsibility system of pest prevention and control in local governments. In 2012, the forestry pollution-free control rate rose to 87 percent and aerial forest fire prevention was implemented in 16 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities), covering a total area of 2.65 million square kilometers. The State Oceanic Administration reinforced the construction of the maritime disaster relief system, as well as launched the marine disaster risk assessment of major engineering work.
(II) Monitoring and Early Warning
Member units of the Office of Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the National Disaster Reduction Committee further improved the monitoring and early warning system for various natural disasters, as well as strengthened the capacity to tackle extreme weather and climate-related disasters. The State Oceanic Administration strengthened the capacity to observe the coastal and offshore waters; improved and adjusted the dissemination channels for marine disaster warning; intensified the monitoring and evaluation of sea-level changes, seawater intrusion, soil salinization and coastal erosion in important areas; created the environmental protection services system of marine fisheries production safety; and carried out the pilot work for further refined weather forecasts of key coastal areas. The China Meteorological Administration issued China's Climate Change Monitoring Bulletin 2011. The administration also pushed for a general survey on climate disasters and risks, and assisted local governments in formulating their meteorological disaster prevention plans. It also improved the assessment of climate change in major areas and river basins and increased technical support to help characteristic industries adapt to climate change. It also launched a refined forecast service for urban rainstorm and waterlogging in major cities.
In November 2012, the State Council issued the Outline of National Agricultural Water Conservation (2012-2020) for the promotion of the sustainable use of water resources and the protection of national food security. The Ministry of Agriculture issued its Opinions on Promoting the Development of Water-saving Agriculture and a Notice on the Issuance of National Soil Moisture Monitoring Program. The ministry continued to improve the development of water conservation infrastructure on farmlands as well as the overall agricultural productivity. It also further improved the evaluation system of crop varieties tests. It promoted the cultivation of crops with great resistance to pests. It additionally increased subsidies to accelerate the integration process of cultivation, reproduction and dissemination of superior crop strains. In 2012, more than 96 percent of farmland planting major crops nationwide was sown with superior strains. It established the state-led conservation and utilization system of the crop resources. More than 420,000 copies of crop germplasms have been preserved on a long term basis, ranking second in the world. It promoted water-saving agriculture and set up water-saving agricultural demonstration bases and demonstration projects of water-saving technology. Over 500 water-saving agricultural demonstration bases were established; the core demonstration area covered over 10 million mu. Agricultural water-saving technologies were developed and promoted according to local conditions. Nine water-saving technologies were demonstrated and promoted, including full the plastic film mulching on double ridges and planting in catchment furrows, under-mulch drip irrigation and soil moisture-based on-demand irrigation, covering an area of over 400 million mu.
(IV) Water Resources
The comprehensive planning (revised) of the seven major river basins, including the Yangtze River and the Liao River, organized by 10 ministries and organizations -- also listing the Ministry of Water Resources and the National Development and Reform Commission -- was approved by the State Council, clarifying the important goals and tasks in river basin development and protection. The Ministry of Water Resources also released its Implementation Plan for the Opinions on Implementing the Strictest Water Resources Management System and the View on Implementing the Assessment Methods of the Strictest Water Resources Management System, establishing a sound system for the most stringent water management structure. By the first half of 2013, 21 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) had issued Opinions on Implementing the Strictest Water Resources Management System or its supporting documents. In addition, 30 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) had by then established the chief executives responsibility system of the Strictest Water Resources Management System. 14 provinces (autonomous regions) have now disassembled the 2015 provincial water resources management and control targets to the municipal administrative. The total water control, water use efficiency control and pollutant emission control were categorized in three Red Lines, which formed the core of the Strictest Water Resources Management System -- promoting the water dispatch of important river basins, the water allocation of major river basins, as well as propelling the construction of 14 aquatic ecosystem protection and restoration pilots in an orderly fashion. It also completed the first national water census, systematically mastering the current situation of the development, management and conservation of rivers and lakes. The Department of Housing and Urban Construction issued the National Urban Renovation and Construction of Water Supply Facilities for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (2011-2015), the Future Targets of 2020 and the Assessment Criteria and Assessment Methods for the National Water-saving Cities, aiming to promote urban water conservation and source emission reduction.
(V) Coastal Areas and Ecosystem
The State Oceanic Administration organized the formation of the National Marine Career Development Plan for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (2011-2015), the National Marine Economic Development Plan for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period and the Plan for the National Island Protection, all approved by the State Council. It drew up the guidance and management methods for the management and protection of the oceanic islands and actively built the monitoring and evaluation system of how a typical marine ecosystem responds to climate change. The central government allocated nearly 850 million yuan to support undertakings such as the restoration and remediation of local coastal waters and the coastal zones, the ecological restoration of oceanic islands and the protection of freshwater resources. The Ministry of Environmental Protection organized and implemented the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan of China (2011-2030), carried out basic investigation of biological resources, and actively promoted the construction of nature reserves. The State Forestry Administration implemented its Circular of the General Office of the State Council on Strengthening Management of Nature Reserves to further strengthen the conservation of the country's major ecological zones and key areas of biodiversity. The administration also finished the second national wetland resources investigation and introduced the Administrative Regulations on Wetland Protection, proposing the index for evaluating the biological health of China's wetlands. The Ministry of Water Resources compiled or implemented the relevant plans, programs and rules according to a number of ordinances, guidelines, guidance and management practices against soil erosion. It approved a total of 374 plans for water conservation, running from 2012 to the first half of 2013, with an investment of some 35.21 billion yuan in soil and water conservation. 38 national nature reserves under the management of forestry authorities were added and the total number of nature reserves rose to 2,149. In 2012, 300,000 mu of existing wetland was restored. It put 1.35 million mu of new wetland under protection, developed 85 pilot national wetland parks and identified 11 important national wetlands.
(VI) Public Health
To promote the supervision and monitoring of drinking water quality and ensure the supply of safe drinking water to urban and rural areas, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and its related departments facilitated the implementation of the National Environment and Health Action Plan (2007-2015) and the National Rural Drinking Water Safety Project for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period (2011-2015). The commission issued the National Urban Drinking Water Safety Protection Plan (2011-2020), further promoting the supervision and monitoring of drinking water safety. The drinking water safety, a service project with a notable impact on public health, was included in the deepened health system reform plans for the 12th Five-Year Plan Period. It established a monitoring network for national drinking water health and implemented a supervision, co-management and service project for the national basic public health services. In 2012, the coverage of the national drinking water monitoring network across prefecture-level cities and counties respectively reached 85.3 percent and 46.8 percent, with the drinking water health supervision and co-management ratio going up to 80 percent. In Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei Province and other provinces (municipalities) which saw frequent dust and haze pollution, the commission organized the monitoring of the dust-and-haze effect on public health and the monitoring pilot work of indoor PM2.5 in public places. The system for surveillance, reporting, prevention and control of communicable diseases has been improved and 3,486 national monitoring points have been set up. The emphasis was on the prevention and control of cholera, influenza, foot and mouth disease, as well as other diseases closely related to climate change. Regular supervision and monitoring activities were conducted in key provinces. The Ministry of Health also strengthened the overall emergency security work of health issues related to climate change.