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Major Tasks of Environmental Protection of Tenth Five-Year Plan of China and Outer-measures of Environmental Protection in the Development in Western Part of China

2000-11-02author:Zhu Guangyao,source:

  Mr. Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

  I am now on behalf of SEPA to brief to you the major tasks of environmental prot ection in the Tenth Five-Year Plan period and the counter-measures of environmen tal protection in the development in the western part. 

  Ⅰ. Current Situation and Tasks of Environmental Protection in China

  1. Current Situation of Environmental Protection in China

  With long-time efforts, the degrading trend of environmental pollution in China h as begun to be controlled basically, and in some cities and areas, the environment al quality has been improved. The public awareness of environmental protection ha s been significantly improved. Especially in the ninth Five-Year Plan period, Chin ese government paid high attention to environmental protection and great progres s has been made in environmental protection. 

  Firstly, the tasks designated by the ninth Five-Year Plan have been finished. The targets of the total load control of the major pollutants in the whole country h ave been achieved. It is expected by the end of 2000 the total discharge of the 1 2 major pollutants such as SO2 and COD will be reduced compared with the end o f the eighth Five-Year Plan period(i. e. the end of 1995). In 1999, 80. 9% of the ent erprises in the whole country achieved the targets of attaining the discharge st andards of major pollutants. There were 16 cities receiving the award of national model city of environmental protection. In the meantime, obvious progress has bee n made in the water pollution prevention in Huai River, Tai Lake, Dian Lake and Ch ao Lake basins. We are now speeding up the formulation of water pollution prevent ion programs in Liao River and Hai River basins. The action schemes for acid rain controlling zone and SO2 pollution controlling zone are in implementation. The pollution prevention in Bo Sea has been kicked off and preliminary progress has been made in the environmental treatment in Beijing. 

  Secondly, ecological environmental protection and construction has been strengthe ned. The central government has put forth the policy of "emphasizing on pollutio n prevention and ecological protection, ecological protection and ecological cons truction". The National Ecological Environmental Construction Plan has been rati f ied by the State Council and is now in full implementation. The National Ecologic al Environmental Protection Guideline is being formulated. By 1999, the coverage o f the nature reserves in the entire country hit 8. 8% of the total territory;with the efforts for many years, stage progress has been made in the construction of the national ecological demonstration sites and eco-farming. 

  Thirdly, progress has been made in the construction of environmental protection legislation. In the ni nth Five-Year Plan period, the central government amended and formulated Air Poll ution Prevention Law, Water Pollution Prevention Law, Provisional Rules of Water P ollution Prevention in Huai River Basin and the Management Rules of Environmenta l Protection of the Construction Projects. Up till now, 427 national environmental protection standards have been formulated, which have set up an environmental le gal system adaptive to the situation in China. 

  Fourthly, the input of environmental protection has been increased. In the first f our years of the ninth Five-Year Plan, the annual investment of environmental pr otection in the whole country was 0. 86% of GDP, higher than the figure of 0. 73%  i n the eighth Five-Year Plan period. By the end of 1999, 1053 projects in the first phase of China Trans-Century Green Engineering Programme have been finished or started, accounting for 72% of the total number of the projects, with a total inv estment of 90. 3 billion yuan, accounting for 60. 2% of the total investment of the projects. 

  In the ninth Five-Year Plan period, great progress has been made in the environme ntal protection in China. However, due to large amount of pollutant discharge, the pollution extent is still rather serious and the degrading trend of the ecology has not yet been controlled effectively. The environmental situation and the task s are still rather tough. At the present, there are following characteristics of e nvironmental protection in China:firstly, there are new changes in the pollution structure, with the percentage of industrial pollution tending to be stable and d ecrease while the percentage of domestic and agriculture pollution increasing;th e treatment becomes more difficulty;secondly, the major characteristics of ecolo gical damages are land degradation, unbalance of water ecology, vegetation damage and reduction of bio-diversity, with the scope being expanded, the extent increase and the damages becoming more serious;thirdly, according to the plan and actual demand, the input of environmental protection is not enough and the construction of urban sewage and garbage treatment facilities and the construction and manage ment capacity of nature reserves are lagging far behind;fourthly, there are still problems that the environmental legislation is still not comprehensive and the enforcement is not strict;the capacity of environmental monitoring, science and t echnology, information service is rather weak, and there are no perfect preventive and emergency response instruments. We should pay attention to these problems and devote efforts to solve the problems in the tenth Five-Year Plan period. 

  2. Major Tasks of Environmental Protection in Tenth Five-Year Pl an Period

  In the tenth Five-Year Plan period, China will, based on the work in the ninth Fiv e-Year Plan, focus on the economic structure adjustment, development in the wester n part, urbanization strategy and the key environmental problems in key regions s o as to promote the progress of environmental protection on the whole. 

  — The key regions of environmental protection in the tenth Five-Year Plan period are:to further promote the pollution prevention in the key regions desig nated in the ninth Five-Year Plan period, i. e. three rivers(Huai River, Hai River, Liao River basins), three lakes(Tai Lake, Chao Lake and Dian Lake), two zones(acid rain controlling zone and SO2 controlling zone), one city (Beijing) and one sea (Bo Sea region), and progress should be made in the tenth Five-Year Plan period; based on these, the Three Gorges Reservoir Area of Yangtze River, Xiaolangdi Reser voir Area and the upper reaches of the Yellow River will be listed as key region s of national environmental protection. In the meantime, the number of key environ mental protection cities will increase from 47 in the ninth Five-Year Plan perio d to 100. 

  — The key tasks of environmental protection in the tenth Five-Year Plan p eriod will focus on industrial pollution prevention, urban environmental protecti on, ecological environmental protection, rural environmental protection and marin e environmental protection:

  As to the industrial pollution prevention:projects of pollutant discharge attain ment should be carried out on full scale;the backward equipment and technology w ith serious pollution should be closed and phased out and the adjustment of econ omic structure and industry upgrading should be promoted;great efforts should be devoted to the promotion og cleaner production and strict control should be imp osed on the new pollution;the environmental supervision and management of nuclea r safety and nuclear radiation should be enhanced;and the industries of coal, ele ctricity, metallurgical industry, chemical industry, construction materials and lig ht industry should be emphasized so as to promote the regional treatment through sector treatment and promote the industrial pollution prevention to a new stage . 

  As to the improvement of urban environmental quality:the purpose is to protect t he human health;in connect with the development strategy of urbanization, to prom ote the reasonable adjustment of industrial structure and allocation, increase th e percentage of clean energy, speed up the environmental infra-structure constru ction. Comprehensive environmental treatment in urban areas should be further car ried out;active efforts should be devoted to the pollution prevention of electri cal magnetic radiation;the urban vehicle pollution should be controlled and the centralized drinking water sources should be emphasized. 

  As to the ecological environmental protection:the survey on the national ecologi cal environmental situation should be conducted and the national ecological envi ronmental function programmes should be formulated;a series of national level ec ological function reserves and key supervision and management zones of natural r esources should be set up;the construction of nature reserves and ecological dem onstration zones should be further strengthened and the bio-diversity conservati on and bio-safety management should be enhanced so as to preliminarily control t he degrading trend of the national ecological environment. 

  As to the rural environmental protection:the adjustment of agriculture productio n structure should be emphasized and the opportunity of small town construction should be speed up;the construction of ecological demonstration zones and the ec o-farming development should be speed up ;the non-point source agriculture pollu tion and the culture farming pollution should be controlled;and the burning of c rop stalk should be further forbidden. The environment in small towns should be p rotected and the pollution of the drinking water and the crops should be prevent ed. 

  As to the marine environmental protection:the implementation of Green Sea Action Plan of Bo Sea should be the key point and great efforts should be devoted to t he control of the land-based pollution and the aquatic pollution;the coastal zon es and the key marine bio-system should be protected. The coastal marine water qu ality and the ecological environmental protection should be strengthened. 

  Ⅱ. Counter-Measures of Environmental Protection in th e Western Development

  Environmental protection and ecological construction are not only related with t he smooth implementation of the development strategy in the western part, but als o of utmost significance for ensuring the biological environmental safety in Chi na. 

  1. The important position and characteristics of the ecological environment in the western part

  The western part is the head source area and the run-off source area of the grea t rivers such as the Yangtze River and Yellow River. The degradation of the ecolo gy in the upper reaches will directly influence the bio-safety in the lower reac h es. The northwest part has become the important source of the sandstorm in the no rth part of China. In the meantime, the conservation of the rich bio-diversity in the western part also directly affects the bio-safety of the country and the ben efits of future generations. 

  The terrain in China is high in the west and low in the east, with high and steep mountains and thin soil layer in the southwest;the soil in the northwest is rat her loose, with thin vegetation. Strong rainfall mainly concentrate in the southw est and the northwest part is rather arid, with little rain and lots of strong wi nd. The extreme natural condition makes it difficult to recover the ecology in th e west once it is disturbed and damaged seriously. For the time being, the western part is area where the ecological environmental situation is the toughest in Ch ina, with 80% of the soil erosion, most of the land sandification and grassland de gradation happening there;problems of drying rivers, shrinking lakes and degradin g forest and grassland ecological functions are becoming more and more serious. A lthough the total discharge amount of the industrial"Three Wastes" in the west is lower than that in the whole country, the pollution discharge amount of every ten thousand production is higher than that in the whole country. In the meantime , the treatment capacity is rather weak, and the air environmental quality and wat er environmental capacity is rather limited. Among the ten cities with the heavie st pollution in the whole, there are five ones in the western part-Wulumuqi, Lanzh ou, Chongqing, Yinchuan and Guiyang. 

  2. Environmental protection principles and targets in the develop ment in the west

  According to the ecological environmental characteristics and the key ecological problems in the western part, the environmental protection in the western develo pment should follow the following basic principles:

  Firstly, to pay attention to both the pollution prevention and ecological conserv ation. Pollution prevention and ecological conservation should be connected, and t he integrated planning, simultaneous implementation and strict management should be conducted so as to promote the smooth progress of the development in the west . 

  Secondly, to pay attention to both ecological conservation and ecological constru ction. Prevention should be the major measure and protection should be the priori ty issue. While enhancing the ecological construction, the ecological conservation should be enhanced so as to avoid the passive situation of "making damages whi le conducting construction"as to the ecological environment and speed up the im provement of the ecological environment. 

  Thirdly, to pay attention to the pollution treatment in towns and the comprehensi ve treatment of rural environment. While conducting the pollution prevention in t owns and industry in the west, we should emphasize the comprehensive treatment of rural environment and promote the full development of the urban, rural society, e conomy and environmental protection in the west. 

  Fourthly, to conduct comprehensive decision-making of the environment and develop ment. Researches on the capacity of the ecological environment in the west should be organized so as to guide the production location and industrial structure ad justment to process in a scientific and reasonable way and ensure the sustainabl e, healthily and rapid development of the society and economy in the west. 

  The basic environmental protection target of the west development is: to promote the capacity of the sustainable development in the west on full scale so as to take the capacity of the ecological environment into full consideration while co nducting development and set up gradually the policy and legal system beneficial to the ecological conservation and reduce or try to avoid the "development fev er" and "construction fever" against the natural patterns;to devote efforts t o achieve the coordinated leap development of the economy and environment;the ex periences and lessons in the development in the east should be fully absorbed;th e transition of the economic growth mode should be promoted;in the development a nd construction, the environmental supervision and management should be carried o ut so as to follow the principle of "Development in protection and protection i n development" and avoid the old way of "Treatment after pollution and recover y after damages". 

  3. Key Tasks of Environmental Protection in the Development in th e West

  As to the implementation of the key projects of the ecological environmental con struction, infra-structure construction, small town construction and industrial re structuring in the development in the west, efforts should be devoted to focus on the following three fields while conducting environmental protection in the wes t in future:

  Firstly, to promote the comprehensive decision-making capacity in the development and environmental protection in the west and to enhance the environmental super vision and management according to laws. surveys on the status quo of the ecolog ical environment in the west should be conducted on full scale. Based on the work mentioned above, ecological environmental function programs and ecological envir onmental protection programs of the western part will be formulated so as to pro vide scientific decision-making evidence for the strategic adjustment of the eco nomic structure and location of key construction projects. 

  To strengthen environmental monitoring management of the development projects of various resources, and the infra-structure construction projects of and transpor tation, water resource works and energy, as well as the industrial construction pr ojects and key ecological construction projects. Environmental impact assessment system and "Three Simultaneities" system should be implemented strictly so as ensure the coordination of the targets of construction projects and ecological p rotection and avoid the heavy water consumption in the east and the transfer of the enterprises with serious pollution to the west. 

  The construction of the management capacity of environmental monitoring in the w est should be enhanced. The construction of ecological environmental monitoring n etworks and warning systems of key ecological environmental disasters should be speed up. Key efforts should be devoted to the construction of the satellite remo te sensing monitoring and automatic transmission system of the environmental inf ormation. Personnel training will be organized so as to promote the capacity of a dministration of the environmental monitoring management staff based on laws.  

  Secondly, to enhance the protection of important ecological function zones and th e typical natural ecological systems, and conduct demonstration of the coordinate d development of the regional economy, society and economy. Ecological function re s erves should be set up immediately in the head source areas of the Yangtze River and Yellow River and in some important windbreak and sand-fixing areas in the w est. Certain development could be carried out under strict protection. Ecological treatment that combining the artificial and natural ways will be carried out so as to recover the ecological function as soon as possible. 

  To enhance the management of the existing nature reserves and to set up a series of nature reserves immediately for the breeding and habitats with rich bio-dive rsity and rare and endangered species in the middle and upper reaches of the Yan gtze River and Yellow River. 

  To carry out ecological demonstration zone construction and encourage the active development of organic food, green food, ecological tourism in the west and to co mbine the environmental protection and improvement, as well as the regional econo mic development and poverty alleviation. Thirdly, to enhance pollution prevention and improve the environmental quality in key regions, river basins and cities. In connection with the engineering construct ion of "transmitting natural gas in the west to the east"and "transmitting el e ctricity in the west to the east", efforts should be made to promote the energy structure adjustment and facility upgrading along the way and improve the urban air quality. 

  In connection with the support of the central government to the infra-structure c onstruction in the west, efforts should be devoted to promote the construction of sewage plants and other infra-structure in the large and medium cities on the s hores of Three Gorges Reservoir Area and upward the stream of the Yangtze River and the shores of Xiaolangdi and upwards the stream of the Yellow River. Treatmen t of industrial sewage and domestic sewage in towns should be speed up. 

  In connection with the restructuring of the industries in the west, cleaner produ ction should be promoted and environmental industry and environmental label prod ucts should be developed. 

  For the time being, we are now actively conducting pre-preparation for this basic framework. In the meantime, I hope through this meeting, we could listen to the op inions and suggestions of the members, co-chairs and people from various sectors so as to further improve it. 

  Thank you.

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