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Protect the Ecological Environment and Promote Sustainable Development in Sichuan Province

1998-11-16author:Zou Guangyansource:

  Mr.Chairman,ladies and gentlemen,

  Iam very pleased to be invited to attend the 2nd Meeting of the 2nd Phase of the CCCICED.On behalf of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government ,Iwould like to introduce the current situation concerning the protection of the ecolgical envi ronmental and the implemntaion of sustainable development strategy in Sichuan Pr ovince.This will enable you to have a better understanding of our work in natura l conservation and thereby reinforec our cooperation and continuing support.


  Sichuan,a large province in the southwestern interior of China, is located upstr eam on the Yangtze River, With an area of 485,000 sq kilometers, it is the fifth largest province in area in China Sichuan has a population of 84 million and in thes regard is the third largest province in the country.

  Natural resources in Sichuan are very rich and regional features are proniment.T here are more than1,100 rivers in Sichuan, including the mainstream of the Yangt ze River, The province is an important source of water and its conservation, and occupies first place in China for its water resources with a capacity of 103.34 million kW. The Jinsha River, the Yalong River and the Dadu River in Sichuan Se ction are the largest areas in west of China for hydroelectric development and p ower transporation from west to east, with a power capacity of more than 76kW.

  Tjere are more than 130 kinds of minerals in Sichuan, among which five have the largest reserves in China. Sichuan is a province with various kinds of valuable minerals and good communications, of which Prefecture is an outstanding example. Sichuan has many kinds of living things. There are about 10,000 species of high er flora,representing one third of the national inventory. The forest cover rati of the province es 24.23%, with reserves of woods measured at 1.465billion m3 w hich is one sixth of the nation, Sichuan is one of three largest forest regions in the country. There are 1,100 kinds of Vertebrata in Sichuan,40% of the whole nation; 50 kinds have veen listed as focal protection animals, At present, 50 Na ture Reserves have been constructed with an area of 6.4% of the provincial terri tory; quite a lot of wild floras and fauna live in these reserves and get protec tion and cate. Simultaneously, Sichuan has unique natural landscape and special and abundant tourism resources.

  Because of the specific characteristics of natural surroundings, and some reason s caused by history and mandind, the status of the ecological enuironment is not optinistic and the protection task is formidabal even though sichuan is a provi nce with rich natural resources. The situation is as follows. A fragile forest s ystem and over logging of virgin forest has caused weakening of water resource r eserves; river flows have decreased. The overaoad rate of pasture, desertificati on, mice damage, etc. are serious. Water and soilerosion caused by over-logging, cultivation in steep hills and disorderly mineral excavation is more serions.Na tural geological disasters and flood disasters have increased year by year. Wast ewater, waste solids, waste air, fertilizer and pesticide pollution are heavy; a cid rai, wastesater and waste solids have polluted farmland, earth, forest and w ater bodies, not only creating great dconomic loss,but also destroying the ecolo gical environment and threatening people's health.


  Sichuan is located in the upstream area of the Yangtze River and covehe 50% of t he Yangtze River Basion. To protect the ecological environment of Sichuan has gr eat importance, not only for the improvement of the ecological environment, impr ovement of the basic situation of industry and agricultrue, prevention of water and soil erosion, and promotion of economical and social sustainable developmen t, but is also for the protection of the Yangtze River Basin and the safety of t he Three Reservior which is beneficial to out future generations.

  2.1 To carry out natural forest protection project resolutely with decisive acti on and meticulous organization:

  (1)It is stricly forbidden to log the natural forest,As of 1 September 1998,it i s forbidden to log in the protected area of natural forests,4.63 million hectar es of forest are under protection,Natural timber mills and fairs have been clos ed,and stored timber inventory has been cleared and removed in a timely manner.

  (2)Construct an ecological public forest.Since 199/8,140,000 hectares of forest has been planted,690,000 hectares forest was managed in closed hills,and 280,000 hectares of forest was refurbished.By the year 2010,the west of Sichuan will be totally covered with green trees,water and soil erosion and grassland deteriora tion in western Sichuan will have been effectively prevented,and water resources reserves in forest zone of west of Sichuan will be 39 billion m3. The area will become the natural protection shield for Yangtze River Basin and Three Gorges R eservoir.

  (3)Decentralize and transfer workers,"Transfer fogging workers to planting wor kers".45,636 existing workers in forestry industrial enterprises have been decen tralized; 24,789 of them have been transferred to forest management,15,417 trans ferred to ecological forest construction and 5,430 to develop a diversified econ omy like planting,breeding and tourism by utilizing superior forest resources.

  (4)Ensure the granting of basic living pension for laid-off workers and retired workers,64,649 resigned and retired workers in the forest industry have been inc luded in the social old-aged insurance plan at provincial level.

  In order to ensure the successful implementation of the project,the Provincial G overnment drew up The Decision on Carrying out the Project of ProtectingNatural Forest Resources,and issued,The Proclamation on Forbidden Logging of Natrual For est,The Provincial People's Congress passed The Decision on Strengthening the Pr otection of Natural Forest Resources,The Provincial Discipline Commission,Superv isory Department and Forest Department issued Temporary Provisions on the Violat ion of Forest Resources Protection Policies and Disciplines of Party and Governm ent.The Provincial Public Security Bureau and Forestry Bureau issued Notice on S trengthening Natural Forest Protection and Striking Heavily Crimination of Destr oying Forest Resources.The Provincial Social InsuranceBureau and Arrangement Off ice issued Notice on Provincial Plan:the Work of Old-Age Pension to Resigned and Retired Workers in Forestry Industry,These regulations and easures provide stro ng policy essurance to implementaion of the project.

  At the same time,the Deprty Secretary of the Provincial Commission,Governor,Song Baorui,and four other leaders of the Provincial Commission and Government went to six cities and prefectures, which are located in project area, to supervise a nd inspect. The Forest Department established a forest inspectorate to go into t he woods, make daily inspections, and punished those who destroy natural forest resources. Through all kinds of media and the use of the public telephone system public opinion is being influenced. Now the project is running smoothly and hav ing widerpred positive results. The function of ecological environment protectio n is reclected step by step.

  2.2 Combine natural consevation measures with project measures and construct lar ge water conservancy facities

  At the same tie, to strengthen natural ecological protection such as afforestati on and forbid logging. Sichuan is actively constructing large water conserancy f acilities. Now Ertan, Baozhusi, Shengzhog. Dqiao, and other water conservancy wo rks have been constructed in the Yalong, Beilong, Jialing. Anling rivers, all of which play important roles in the control of floods and san retention. There ar e reserves of billions of cubic meters. Water reserve capacity has been greatly strengthened. While controlling and fighting floods in the Yangtze River Basin i n the summer of 1998, flood storage through water conservancy works in Sichuan p layed an important role in alleviating the presesure caused by flood waters in t he middle and lower reaches of Yangtze River.

  2.3 Increase environmental and ecological protection investmen to carry out enir onental and ecological construction

  To increase environmental and ecological protectio, investment is the key to sol ving ecological problems. Sichuan Province supports this polciy, which emphasize s the public environental and ecological protection, and supports environental p roduction vigorously. The province has made the Cross - Century Project Plan, to incorporate pollution treatment of water, air, solia waste, noise natural envir onment into the economic and social development plans of the province.

  Environment and ecological construction are carried out with money raised in man y ways. This year, with the implementation of the plan, 19 key projects have bee n finished anbd about Rmb 700 million yuan of investment has been completed. Wit h Rmb 1. 8 billion yuan total investment, 12 environmental infrastructure projec ts for municipal wastewater and waste solid treatment in Sichuan, which were inv ested in and constructed with national budget specialized funds in 1998, have be en started and carried out in a good order. The Phase - II of Chengdu Sanwayao W astewater Treatment Plant, and wastewater treatment plants in Chengdu, Qingbaiji ang. Mianyang, Bazhong. Dachuan, Suining and Dujiangyan, are in operation while solid waste disposal in Panzhihua, Juizaigong, have started construction. Neijia ng Phase - I and Shifang Phase -- I solid waste disposal have been basically fin ished.

  Since the reformation and open to the outside, Sichuan has taken water treatment , afforestation and soil improvement as an importance strategy to protect and im prove ecological environment. The achievements of ecological agriculture is outs tanding through water control, tree planting, soil improvement, road constructio n, and so forth. Annual average afforestation of the whole province is 4 million mu, of which 22 millin mu of shelter - forest for the Yangtze Rier has been com pleted. 18.2 million mu of a fast - growth forest base has been constructed aro7 und the Sichuan Basin, with about one million mu afforested by plane since The E ighth Five Year Plan. There have been 12 ecological agriculture experimental cou nties and 2 cities (prefectures) established. In early 1980s', in order to preve nt the destruction of forests by cultivation, the Provincial Commission and Prov incial Government took out 390 million jin of gain subsidy index to support the restoration of forest and pasture. After that, the province started to restore f orest and grassland to cultivated land in slope areas above 25 degrees. The has affected more than 400,00 mu each year. By insisting on the comprehensive treatm et of hills, water, farmland, forest and roads in minor river basin, by combinin g measures for forest, grassland, projects and cultivation, and by adopting ways of coverting materials into funds with local cooperation, Sichuan, with total i nvestment of Rmb 5.5 billion yuan, has constructed a loarge amount of forestry, agriculture, husbandry and irrigation projects and treated water and soil erosio n of an area of 22,000 km2. The province has also set up an annual pollution tre atment fund of Rmb 4 million yuan and a natural protection fund of Rmb 1.5 milli on yuan, and carried out wild flora and fauna protection so as to maintain biolo gical diversification. Up to the year 200, the proportion of investment for envi ronmental pollution prevention and ecological construction to GDP of the whole p rovince will be increased to 1 1.5%.

  2.4 Strengthen the supervision of environental ecological protection and to stre ngthen legal supervision and protect ecology under laws or regulations

  During the iplementation of forest resources conservation project, the related d epartments reinforced the propagation of laws and regulations and supervision, a dopted ways of combining daily inspection and special inspection, effectibely co mpleted the saks of "Close hills, rivers (stop timber transortation), mills (tim ber mills) and fairs (timber exchanges)", and strictly enforced orders and prohi bitions with rapild action. In these last few years, the enforcement of environm ental laws has been strengthened gratly. Inspection of the exectution of environ mental laws is launched every year to ensure the quantiative control of pollutio n disharge, and to verify the locations selected for newly constructed, reconstr ucted and extended projects. The "Three Simultaneously System" has been carried out, which means that the environental impact assessment and environmental infra structure and construction projects have been designed, carried out and put into operation with the help of the pollution prevention fund and proper use of inve stment. The treatment plan for old pollutio enterprises has been drawn up to sup erise and help carry out treatment work in a timely manner while fulfilling thei r responsibilities. 1, 634 small enterprises, which heavily polluted the environ ment, wasted resources and were difficult to treat, have been closed according t o related laws and regulations.

  Strengthening administrative supervision, implementing ttarget management and ad opting an administrative leaders responsibiltities system have been caried out. The implementation of those meaures will be put into the content of political as essent to leders.

  Strengthening public supervision and involving cociety and the media is also imp ortant. In these six years, the Provincial Congress, Government, Enironmental Bu reau, Forestry Bureau and other departments have jointly carried out propagation of "Environmental Activity of the Century". The masses are motivated to expose incidents against ecology conservation, and serious punishment has frightened th ose people who violate the law.


  3.1 Further enhance the afforestation and return the fields to forest and grassl and

  According to the requirements of the national greening plan, Sichuan will contin ue tocarry on the shelter forest project of the Yangte River, to develop fast - grow forest base construction, to perform sand control, to further the expansion of tree planting projects, to enhance the degree of afforestation by airplane, and to enlarge the tree planting area by airplane

  The proince will also continue to develop ecological agriculture and enhance wat er and soil protection, to take comprehensive measurements according to the real situation, to plan scientificallyand implement gradually, and to close, adjust, change, and restettle to support and promote the return of forests. In this lat ter contex, 'adjust' means to adjust the structure to develop economic forestry and to promote the return of cultivated land to forest use. To 'change' means to change slopes to terraces, to change large plantings with little income by cnce ntrated marketing. To 'restellt' means the resettlement of those people who live d on high mountatins area to promote the returning of fields to forests. The 1,1 54 mu slope fields above 25 degrees will be returned to forest according to the plan, which will also see 7,000,000 mu constructed into ecological forest (60%), and 4,540,000 mu will be constructed into economic forest (40%). 14, 480,000 mu with 5 - 25 degree slope land will gradually implement the comprehensive measur ement for water and soil protection before the year 2005.

  Adopting methods such as planting grass, improving grass varieties and closing l and to plant grass, along with a public awareness campaign, can prevent further deterioration of grasslands and help treat water while preventing soil erosion. Disordered mining should be firmly stopped, and unlicensed mining should be bann ed, toi prevent mountainous disasters and water and soil erosion.

  3.2 Further enhance the construction fo key irrigation works and anti - flood tr eatment projects based on the strengthening of forest and water ecological envir onment protection To construct reservoirs in the main rivers in order to store w ater and retai sand is important. Biological measures, which encompass agricultu re, water, forest, and grassland as the main contents, should be crried out toge ther in a comprehensive treatment project for the Yangtze River. The Min River, the Jialing River, the Fu Ruiver, and the Yalong River are all important tributa ries of the Yangtze River. In order to slove the problem of flooding, under the condition of reasonal eplannind and scientific evaluation, the Zipingpu Reservoi r will be built in the upstream area of the Min River, the Tingzikou Reservoir w ill be upstream of the Jialing River and the Wude Reservoir upstream of the Fu R iver. These three reservoirs, controlling a basin area of 332,000 km2. wuill hae ve a total resrve capacity of 5.7 billion m3, an anti - flood reserve capacity o f 2 billion m3 and total investment of Rmb 21.5 billion yuan. They will greatly strengthen the provincial water reserve ability and will also retain sand. After the project is finished, the irrigation area will be increased 7.540,000 mu, an area of 2.05 million mu will be improved, and 2.2 billion m3 of sand will be re tained. Now the Zipingpu Reservoir project has started, and the other projects a re in their early preparatory stages.

  It is also necessary to strengthen treatment of the Min River and the Jialing Ri ver and municipal flood control capabilities. The present lifetime standard for dykes of mainstreams of these rivers and for cities' flood control projects is 5 - 10 years, which is below the fortification standard. It is planned to increas e inestment and implement more comprehensive treatment.

  To strengthen treatment of dangerous reservoirs is also important. There are 97 large and middle size reservoirs. The large reservoir at Heilongten, and other 2 4 middle - size reservoirs, with total reserves of 1.09 billion m3 all have diff erent kinds of problems. The proince is planning to inest more than Rmb 300 mill ion yuan in three years to solve theproblems of these reservoirs.

  3.3 Adjust resources structure and utilitz advanced scientific technology to pur seu greatly cleaer production

  At present, 70% of resource production and consumption structures in Sichuan pro vince still mainly rely on coal to provide energy. The proportion of hydropower is only about 15% Owing to the inferior quality of coal and its high content of ash and sulfur, structural pollution is quite heavy. Sichuan should do more to a djust its energy usage structure and improve the proportion of hydropower and na tural gas utilization. At the same time, to utilize reservoirs that control floo ding and retain sand, hydropower utilization should be increased step by step. T he proportion in electric structure should be improved from former ond - third t o two - thirds. The municipal gasification rate should be improved from 50% to 7 0% step by step through utilizing the advantage of natural gas resources is Sich uan.

  We should utilize advanced scientific technology to greatly pursue cleaner produ ction and to use clean resources, raw materials and technologies to well manage our environment. To change end - treatent to process treatment will reflect ecol ogical principles, decrease the consumption of energy and materials, increase co mprechensive benefits and promote sustainable development.


  Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen. The aim of sustainable development is to rea lize the harmonious development fo ecology, econoimuy and society on the basis o f sustained ecology. Sichuan Province emphasizes the protection of the natural e nvironment, implements its sustainable development strategy and has made fair ac hievements so far. However we are still facing an arduous task. We will try our best to overcome these difficulties to protect and well construct our ecological environment, and make great contributions to the execution of China Twenty -- f irst Century Agenda and the implementation of sustainable development strategy.

  Thank you.

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