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Essentials of the National Tenth Five-year Plan on Environmental Protection

1999-10-20author:Zhu Guangyaosource:

  Mr. Chairman,respected experts and guests,

  I would take this opportunity,on behalf of the State Environmental Protection Administration,to make an introduction to the essentials of the National TenthFive Year Plan on Environmental Protection.

  Being one of the basic state policies,environmental protection is an important component of sustainable development.While being the opening part of the 3rd development strategies,the TenthFive Year is also the most arduous period for changing the trend of environmental pollution and ecological degradation.Therefore,the formulation and implementation of the TenthFive Year Plan are of vital significance to our national environmental protection work.

  Ⅰ. The progress and current situation of environmental protection 

  1 The progress of environmental protection 

  The National Ninth-Five Year Plan on environmental protection has been implemented successfully,with the legislation system being progressively perfected and the designed objectives of pollution control and prevention achieved in priority regions.The dramatic worsening trend of pollution has been alleviated with the environmental quality in some cities and areas being improved and the construction and conservation of ecological environment being greatly intensified.

  a. Laws and regulations have been revised and formulated,including Water,Noise and Nuclear Safety Laws,Huai River Basin Pollution Control and Prevention Regulations,and Environmental Management Regulations for Construction Projects.All of these have perfected the ongoing legislation systems,making it comparatively more complete.In the newly revised Criminal Law,it is stipulated that to damage the environment and natural resources in to conduct a crime,which provides a powerful legal tool in punishing environmental crimes.The capacity of national environmental institutions and personnel has been improved,which, in turn,further promote the enforcement work.  b. The industrial pollution sources within the Huaihe River Basin and Taihu Lake catchment have basically met the discharging standards.Phase one of sludge dredging in Dianchi Caohai Lake has been accomplished.The Planning for Liaohe and Haihe is being implemented actively.Bohai Blue Sea Action Plan has been started 

  c. Over 65,000 enterprises of "15 kinds of smallsized industries",which generate heavy pollution and do not deserve further pollution treatment,have been shut down.The economic restructuring has been intensified,with a cluster of backward,overdue production capacity being stopped and phased out.The total discharge of major pollutants has been put under control.65% of the industrial waste waster and 66% of industrial waste air could meet the environmental standards.11 cities have been given the title by SEPA as environmental Model City.Among the 47 priority cities,7 of them,including Dalian,Guilin and Haikou etc have all met the regional environmental functional standards in terms of air and water.Over 20 big and medium cities have phased out leaded gasoline.Urban infrastructure construction has been identified as one of the priorities for investment to stimulate the domestic demand.Beijing has been listed as one of he national environmental protection priorities,with many effective measures being adopted and preliminary achievements witnessed. 

  d. The State Council has approved The National Construction Plan for Ecological Environment and the Development Plan for National Nature Reserves,listing the construction and protection of ecological environment onto an important agenda.The protection program for natural forests has been started.The Guideline of National Ecological Environmental Protection has been finished,which puts forward the important strategic considerations in this regard.Around 1000 nature reserves have been established,covering the land area of 7.64%.During the "NinthFive Year Plan" period,112 nature reserves have been set up. 

  2 Current situation 

  Although great progress had been achieved,the environmental pollution and ecological degradation in some areas were not improved very much,and in some cases the situation was worsened.

  a. Environmental pollution continues to be stern.

  Urban air pollution is quite serious,mainly with the soottype pollution.In some big and medium sized cities,the mixing type pollution of soot together with vehicle emission has happened.Acid rain in some regions is also quite serious,with the acid rain covering over 30% of the land area.Water pollution happens widely. Among the 7 big river systems,Taihu,Dianchi and Chaohu Lakes,the water quality of 63.1% river courses are Class TV,V and V minus.The big freshwater lakes and city lakes are moderately polluted in average.Serious pollution exists in the estuary areas and urban coastal sea,with frequent red tide happening and the affecting areas thereof being expanded.The issue of solid waste pollution could not be neglected and some of the hazardous wastes are not put under effective control.Only a few parts of the urban household wastes have been disposed.The issues like household wastes surrounding cities and white pollution of the plastic bags and agricultural films are quite striking. 

  b. The worsening ecological environment is not under effective control

  Due to the large scaled deforestation and destruction of natural vegetation,the ecological function of the forestry system has been lowered.The desertification area has reached 2.62 million square kilometers,with the expansion rate of 2460 square kilometers per year.The land area by grassland degradation,desertification and alkalization has reached 135 million hectares,with the expansion rate of 2 million hectares per year.The species of wild lives and plants have been reduced dramatically and biodiversity been endangered.Among 668 cities,over 300 are still lack in water provision.At the same time,more and more cities are becoming pollution typed insufficient water provision.More river courses run out of water and the water retention capacity of lakes and reservoirs is being reduced.Wetland is being destroyed seriously and the level of underground water is getting lower.

  Ⅱ.The challenges and opportunities to be met during the Tenth-Five Year Plan period 

  1 The forthcoming challenges 

  a. The imbalanced development

  Being a big developing country,the level of economic development is different from areas to areas.During the TenthFive Year period,the process of China's economic development will be in the middle stage of industrialization.The pollution caused by the production structure will not be changed fundamentally and the pollution control for industry sources will be quite arduous. 

  b. The striking problems in energy and environment

  China ranks first in the world in terms of coal consumption,SO2 emission and smokes and dusts discharge.Entering into 21 century,the energy demand will continue to be increased whereas the energy structure will be difficult to be changed. The emissions of SO2,NOx and CO2 might result in an expansion of the polluted area of SO2 and acid rain and an increase of greenhouse gas emission.

  c. Fragile ecological environment

  The ecological environment in the middlewestern part of China is fragile.If the integrated policies on environment and development will not be implemented effectively and the development growth mode not changed,further development in the middle and western part will cause new and further damage to her ecological environment. 

  d. Pressure on urban environment

  With the expansion of urban population,the organic pollution in the urban river courses will be getting serious.Urban air environment will be under dual pressure from both soot type pollution and vehicle emission.Besides,the urban waste is becoming a more serious problem. 

  e. Insufficient input on environment and low capability of management

  Due to the insufficient investment on environment and the low level of management,the improvement of environmental protection work is seriously restricted. 

  f. Global environmental issues

  Issues like water shortage,loss of biodiversity,ozone depletion and increases of green house gas emissions etc have all brought new influence to our national environmental protection work. 

  2 Major opportunities 

  a. The implementation of strategies on sustainable development and revitalizing China through science and education.

  With the two important strategies,sustainable development mode and intensive management mode will replace the traditional ones.These two strategies are not only the basic strategy for economic development,but also plays a decisive role in environmental protection. 

  b. The acceleration of economic restructuring and technology renovation

  The backward industry processes and equipment will be phased out.Instead,the new technologies and processes will be promoted.The energy and material consumption will be lowered and the cleaner production and development of environmental industry will be further encouraged.All of the above work will provide good opportunities for the construction of our ecoindustry system. 

  c. The socialist market mechanism is getting perfect

  The perfecting of the market mechanism will provide an easy condition for the government to play the supervision functions over the polluters and serve as a base for our environmental protection work.With the perfect market mechanism,the "polluters pay principle"and "beneficiaries pay principle"will be implemented thoroughly.The production structure will be adjusted and upgraded and the ecological industry system and sustainable consumption pattern will be established in line with the market mechanism,providing a wide space for the development of environment. 

  d. The comprehensive national power will be enhanced and the infrastructure construction accelerated

  The investment will be increased on environment and the construction of centralized urban heating systems,gasification facilities,sewage and solid waste treatment plants will be accelerated.These efforts will alleviate the tense contradiction in the process of urbanization and,in turn,improve the environmental quality. 

  e. The enhancement of public awareness

  The enhanced public environmental awareness will push the government to intensify the management work.Mutual supervision will become possible and the citizens would voluntarily participate in the environmental protection and construction work.

  Ⅲ.Guiding principle,protection target and key regions for environmental protection during the Tenth-Five Year period 

  1 Guiding principle 

  The banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory will be upheld high,with the economic construction as the core and improvement of environmental quality as the target.Equal importance will be attached to both pollution control and ecological conservation,with the priority given to key sectors and regions.The comprehensive coordination and classified executive instructions will be strengthened.Environmental protection work will be carried out in line with laws and regulations and sustainable development strategies will be implemented.Harmonious development will be promoted among society,economy and environment.

  2 Environmental protection target 

  By the year 2005,the environmental protection legislation system,compatible with the socialism market mechanism,will be preliminarily formulated.With the utmost effort,the pollution situation will be changed for better with the ecological destruction being alleviated and environmental quality in key cities and regions improved.A group of cities and regions with rapid economic development,beautiful environment,sound ecological system will be built up.

  3 Priority regions for environmental protection 

  During the Tenth-Five Year Plan period,the priority regions and river basins are:Yangtse River,Hehai,Huaihe,Haihe,Liaohe River Basins,Taihu Lake,Caohu Lake,Dianchi Lake,Acid Rain and SO2 Controlled Zones,Beijing and Bohai Bay.Besides,the number of the national key environmental protection cities will be increased from 47 to around 100.

  Ⅳ.The tasks during the TenthFive Year Period 

  1. Control of total pollutants discharged will be continued so that pollutants discharged will be reduced steadily.The program of total pollutant control will be further perfected and implemented and the Regulations on Total Pollutants Control will be formulated and enforced.For the key cities,priority river basins and regions,the requirements for total pollutant control will be set up in line with the target of environmental improvement.

  2. With the precious opportunity of economic restructuring,cleaner production will be promoted.By promoting cleaner production,the pollution issue arising from the industry structure will be solved.Resource conservation will be put onto top agenda.The whole process control will be introduced into the control of pollution sources and the backward production process and equipment will be phased out.Clean coal technology will replace the backward coal technology.Hydroand nuclear power,wind,solar and bioenergy will be further developed.ISO14000 and environmental labeling work will be continuously enforced and promoted.

  3. With the improvement of environmental quality as the core,urban sustainable development will be promoted.The construction of sewage and solid waste treatment plants in big and medium sized cities will be accelerated.Utilization of gas will be more often and are becoming easier to be accessed.The production process with highenergy consumption and heavy pollution generation will be phased out and technology renovation and pollution treatment will be strengthened.Vehicle emission control will be attached great importance so as to improve the air quality in big and medium sized cities.

  4. Equal importance will be attached to both pollution control and ecological conservation and the strategies for the "Three Areas"will be enforced.The special ecological functional areas,the key resource development areas and the areas with benign ecological system will be under priority for protection.For specialecological functional areas,special nature reserves will be established and rescuing measures will be adopted.The supervision work for key resource development will be strengthened and obligatory measures will be taken to protect the resource development areas.As for the areas with sound ecological environment,active protection will be carried out to realize ecological conservation and demonstration.

  5. Agricultural environmental protection work will be intensified and the pollution from agriculture will be put under effective control.The high efficient,nonpolluting green fertilizer and organic fertilizer will be developed.The effective pesticides with low toxic and low content of chemicals will be promoted and at the same time biopesticides will be developed and encouraged.Efficient and watersaving irrigation technology will be promoted and watersaving agriculture will be widely introduced.To prevent farmland pollution,organic and ecoagriculture will be developed.Technology for soil erosion and organic substance retention will be of high priority.Bioenergy utilization will be greatly promoted.

  6. Environmental industry will be undergone great development so that the effective provision of environmental products will be guaranteed.Environmental industry is becoming a new growth point of our national economy.Environmental products should basically meet the domestic demand and part of them should be exported.

  7. Nuclear safety will be strengthened and magnetic radiation will be actively prevented.The operation of nuclear facilities will be under strict supervision.Solid work for safety appraisal and environment assessment will be done for nuclear equipment.Strict field supervision will be conducted on the construction sites and tough supervision management will be given to the facilities under pressure. Special attention will be given to the storage and disposal of the leftover nuclear facilities,radiation sources and urban radioactive wastes banks so as to ensure environmental safety.

  8. Capacity building will be strengthened and management level will be enhanced. The equipment of the enforcement and supervision teams will be improved.Automatic air quality monitoring network will be progressively set up in big and medium sized cities and continuous monitoring for water quality will be realized in the key river sections.As for the key pollution sources,online monitoring will be required.The basic ecological environmentmonitoring network will be established nationwide.New assessment technology for the safety of nuclear power station will be applied.125 information centers will be set up at the regional level and satellite communication network will be adopted in the transmission of environmental data.

  9. To actively participate in the international environmental affairs to ensure the national environmental safety.The prewarning system for environmental pollution and ecological destruction will be established so as to monitor precisely the big environmental accidents and ecological disasters.Great importance will be attached to bilateral cooperation and multilateral cooperation will be developed actively.The international environmental conventions and bilateral agreements will be enforced seriously and the international environmental issues will be actively involved.The national interest and image will be protected.

  Ⅴ.Measures to reach the targets 

  1. The integrated decisionmaking mechanism will be established so as to ensure the harmonious development of environment,society and economy.Environment Impact Assessment Law will be formulated and enforced.The important national economic policies,regulations and planning will all subject to EIA.The integrated decisionmaking mechanism will be set up at all levels of governments so as to minimize the mistakes made by the top leaders.

  2. The Green Engineering Projects Program will be continuously implemented and the investment on environment will be substantially improved.The Phase Two Transcentury Green Projects Program will be formulated and implemented.To catch the opportunity for stimulation of domestic demand and improvement of investment on infrastructure construction,the centralized heating system,sewage treatment plants,and solid waste treatment plants will be constructed rapidly so as to improve the air and water quality in urban areas.It is targeted that the total investment on environment will be 1.5% of GDP.

  3. R&D on environment will be strengthened and the development of science and technology will provide the base for environmental protection work.To provide services for decisionmaking,studies will be made on strategies for environment and development,policies,regulations,and significant environmental issues.The current hinderlegged situation of science and technology will be changed and decisions will be made in a more scientific way.Environmental protection will be based on the progress of scientific advancement and technological innovation.

  4. The legislation system will be perfected,providing support for our work.Environmental protection work has to be incorporated into the track of legislation.It should be insisted that the administration should be based on the laws and regulations so as to enhance the effects of enforcement.Environmental supervision work will be strengthened and the behavior thereof should be regulated.The inspection system will be followed.The administrative punishment and reconsideration will be emphasized.

  5. By fully utilize the economic instruments,the environmental cost will be inte

  rnalized.Based on the "polluters pay and sufferers be compensated" principle,the preferential policies will be formulated to encourage investment on environment.Fee collection system will be under further reform and it will be enforced together with the total pollutants discharged regulations. By doing this as above, the level of the fees charged will be getting close to the real cost and the target of pollution reduction will be thus achieved.

  6. Sustainable consumption will be encouraged and green civilization will be promoted. The concept of proper consumption will be publicized so as to reduce the consumption of onceoff commodities. The products with environmental labeling,green food and organic food will be promoted actively. The concept of ecotourism will be set up to realize further protection of ecological environment.Those that can meet the requirements of cleaner production and ISO14000 will be established as eco hotels. By utilizing the economic instruments, the wastes recycling system will be formulated and expanded,esp for the new generation of wastes like automobiles ,household appliances and computers etc.Green package is encouraged and the "white" pollution will be under control.

  7. Environmental education will be strengthened and the public participation will be encouraged.The Action Guideline on National Environmental Education will be enforced thoroughly.By fully utilizing the supervision and guiding role of the mass media,the legislation concepts for the decisionmakers and the public will be enhanced.NGOs are highly encouraged to participate in the process of environmental decisionmaking and pollution supervision so as to enhance the scientific and democratic characteristics of decisionmaking and management.

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