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Main Tasks and Measures for Sustainable Development in the Period of 10th Five-year Plan

2001-10-15author:Gao Guangshengsource:

Dear Mr. Chairman, council members, ladies and gentlemen,

Entrusted by Mr. Liu Jiang, Vice chairman of SDPC, with the presentation, I would like to make a brief introduction to the Council on the main tasks and measures to be adopted to boost sustainable development during the period of the 10th Five-Year-Plan.

Mr. Chairman, 

In March 15, the Fourth Session of the Ninth National People's Congress approved the Guideline for the National Economic and Development in the 10th Five-Year-Plan, giving an unprecedented highlight on sustainable development. Moreover, as one of major principles in drafting, sustainable development has been carried through the whole Plan, which manifest itself as the following:

--In agriculture sector, a number of green food bases shall be established, water-efficient irrigation be promoted, new energy like marsh gas be developed, and technological advancement and healthy development of township enterprises be supported and directed.

--In industry sector, advanced and applicable technology for reducing energy consumption and pollution shall be put into practice at a rapid pace. Energy-consuming factories and mines with insecure production condition that turn out poor quality products at expense of heavy pollution shall be closed down. Backward facilities, technology and technique shall be eliminated, excessive and backward throughput in certain industries be condensed, and development of follow-up industry and alternative industry in cities and major mines in which resource exploitation dominates the economy be supported.

--In infrastructure construction, water conservancy construction shall shoulder tasks of countering flood and natural disasters, and more importantly, resolving problems of water shortage and pollution. Preliminary works for water transference project from South to North shall be sped up. Energy construction shall take advantage of resources, optimize energy structure, promote utilization efficiency and enhance environmental protection.

--In regional coordination development, the western development strategy shall be implemented to achieve breakthrough in infrastructure and ecological construction, and to develop transmission from the west to east, water saving and water resource exploitation shall be carried out with more emphasis. By region planning enforced by the State, characteristic regional economy shall be promoted to take form with pioneering in ecological function protection zones, specialized agricultural production bases and tourist economic zones.

--In urbanization strategy, focusing on creating friendly living environment, urban ecological construction and pollution treatment shall be reinforced to improve urban environment.

--In technological progress, technologies that facilitate sustainable development shall be developed at a rapid pace, laying emphasis on water-efficient agriculture, clean coal utilization, resources exploitation and waste water treatment.

--In expanding opening up, incentive policies shall be adopted to channel more foreign capitals to invest in the central and western regions for ecological construction and environmental protection. Go-out Strategy shall be executed to support jointly exploiting resources abroad that are scarce in China.

Mr. Chairman, 

The most distinctive characteristic of the 10th Five-Year-Plan is to objectify tasks in terms of sustainable development. The Plan has further defined the sustainable development as a working focus, which covers population, resources, environment, ecology and disaster. Besides, it has decided main expected goals and working focus of sustainable development.

The goal set for sustainable development is that natural population growth rate shall be controlled fewer than 9% by 2005 with national population under 1.33 billion. Deteriorating ecology shall be better with forest coverage rate increased up to 18.2% and urban afforestation coverage rate to 35%. Environment quality both urban and rural areas shall be improved with a 10% reduction of pollutant emission volume than that in 2000. Resources-saving and protective measures will achieve remarkable effect.

Tasks for sustainable development include:

--Firstly, to stick to the national basic policy of family planning, implement existing policy without change, and keep low-fertility rate. Family planning in rural areas, especially in the central and western regions shall be attached with increasing significance, and family planning management on floating population shall be reinforced. Focusing on prevention of high-incidence of congenital disease, measures shall be taken to reduce disfigurement incidence rate and improve population quality.

--Secondly, to emphasize on sustainable utilization of natural resources. Various water-efficient technologies and measures shall be applied comprehensively to develop water-efficient industry and build up water-efficient society. Water resources shall be distributed rationally at river basin level to coordinate usage on daily life, economic production and ecological system. Protections on headstream water resources shall be reinforced. Reform on water management system shall be highlighted in a bid to establish a rational water resource management system and water pricing mechanism. More efforts shall be stepped up to re-cultivation of lands occupied by mines and ecological restoration respectively. Reforms on mineral resources utilization system shall be intensified to regulate and develop mining concession market.

--Thirdly, to reinforce ecological restoration, environmental protection and treatment. In order to objectify the tasks in terms of ecological restoration and environment protection, the State Development Planning Commission has organized related departments to compile the Key Special Planning for Ecological Restoration and Environment Protection. According to the Plan, the central government will invest in and support the following 9 areas in the period of the 10th Five-Year-Plan:

Firstly, protective projects of natural forest resources shall be continued with emphasis on drainage areas of Jialing River, Jinsha River, Dongting Lake, Poyang Lake, West Part of Sichuan Province, limestone area along Wu River, Karst areas in Guizhou, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, and Loess Plateau area.

Secondly, the fourth period of Three-North Protection Forest Belt construction projects shall be carried out in 13 provinces, covering Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Gansu and Xinjiang. Meanwhile, constructions of protection forest belt in the Middle and Lower reaches of Yangtze River, Huai River, Pearl River and coastal areas shall be sped up. Afforestation in Taihang Mountain, on plains and construction of green corridor shall be initiated.

Thirdly, focusing on grassland in Hulunbeier, Xilingol and Erdus in Inner Mongolia, Qinghai Lake and the Southern Qinghai province, southern Gansu Province, Northern Tibet, Ganzi and Aba area in Sichuan Province, Ian Mountain and Aletai area in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, measures shall be taken to treat decertified grassland. Grassland dynamic monitoring system and grassland law execution management system shall be established to prevent vegetation devastation. Moreover, efforts shall be put into protection and construction of grassy hills and slopes in the southern part of China.

Fourthly, Beijing-Tianjin-Rim ecological circle shall be established. In decertified areas, such as Yanbei region in Shanxi province, Zhangjiakou and Chengde area in Hebei province, Hunshangdake area and northern slope of Yin Mountain in Inner Mongolia, water erosion and desertification shall be under control, water source protection be reinforced, and green food and tourism be promoted. Beijing and Tianjin shall make urban environment better and carry out ecological economic cooperation with neighboring areas.

The fifth aspect lays emphasis on ecological agriculture, rural energy and environment protection. Incentive and support shall be given to farmers to construct ecological projects to realize prosperity and wealth, for instance, marsh gas generating pool, solar power plant and small-sized wind generated plant, firewood and charcoal forest, bush bridge. Effective, non-poisonous and low remaining fertilize and degradation film for agricultural usage will be popularized to produce non-harm agriculture production. Township enterprises shall be oriented to assemble in towns, which targets to control industrial pollution within industrial parks.

Sixthly, land-and-water-oriented resources protection and sustainable utilization shall be strengthened. Ecological environment restoration and treatment and land re-cultivating demonstration area shall be carried out on abandoned lands in old mining areas. Water-saving measures shall be promoted to distribute water resource for daily life, economic production and ecological water consumption. Rescuing protections shall be implemented in source area and major generating areas of rivers. Construction and management shall be reinforced in natural protection zone and ecological demonstration zone, and establishment of biological safety monitoring management system be of urgency.

The seventh focus is on comprehensive treatment of urban environment. Clean production promotion scheme shall be set up and implemented to reduce industrial emission volume. Facilities for urban sewage and garbage treatment are targeted to be installed, energy structure be optimized, and public transportation system be developed prior to control dirt and exhaust gas emission.

Eighthly, pollution treatment on Huai River, Hai River, Liao River, Tai Lake, Dian Lake and Chao Lake shall be enhanced. Prevention of pollution in the upper reach of Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam area, and the upper and middle reaches of Yellow River, Songhua River and Bohai Sea will be initiated. Water environment control along the water transfer projects from south to north will be accelerated. In acid rain and sulfur dioxide control areas, high sulfur coal shall be produced and used with restriction, and clean coal technology is to be promoted as well as desulfuration facilities be equipped in power plant.

Lastly, comprehensive monitoring system on ecology, environment, resource and disasters shall be built up. Environmental quality monitoring system centered in water and air quality shall be set up, so do ecology and resources monitoring system embodied remote sensing and ground observation, serious natural disaster monitoring, forecasting and emergency respond system. General data format, reliable information exchange mechanism, and effective discussion and coordination system should be established to share information.

Mr. Chairman, 

In order to fulfill the sustainable development tasks in the 10th Five-Year-Plan, the Plan calls for more active response and measures to be adopted in organizing and coordinating, investment, and execution of laws, which includes:

Firstly, to enhance direction and coordination. The existing inter-departmental coordination mechanism, including National Leading Group on Promoting Sustainable Development Strategy, National Inter-departmental Joint Committee for Ecological Restoration, and National Inter-departmental Joint Committee on Environmental Protection, shall play an active role. Besides, local governments shall further their enthusiasm. Just as what a provincial governor has said, the environmental protection must stretch both horizontally and vertically to the utmost. Horizontal refers to adequate coordination between different departments, and vertical means implementing enthusiasm in local governments at all levels. In the T-like structure, development and planning departments at all levels, being of vital importance, must bring their functional coordination into full play.

Secondly, China's investment in ecological restoration and environmental protection had long been inadequate. Fortunately, investment has been increased significantly since the adoption of active financial policy in 1998. Consequently, with regard to water pollution prevention and treatment, the annual treatment ability for urban sewage has been uplifted to more than 5 times for 5 years from 1998 to 2002. In the period of the 10th Five-year-Plan, in addition to the investment by the central government, local government at all levels and residents shall shoulder the obligation of environmental protection expenses. Wastewater treatment cost shall be uplifted to a reasonable level, charge policy for garbage and SO2 shall be executed. According to the overall deploy for the taxation reform, taxation reform in environmental protection shall be advanced steadily, taxation reform in environmental protection. According to the overall deploy for the taxation reform, taxation reform in environmental protection shall be advanced steadily, taxation system is to be perfected gradually, and macro-adjustment ability that increased taxation applies to resources saving and environmental protection should be enhanced.

Thirdly, to reinforce the execution of laws in resources and environment areas, and upgrade management level. Management system on water, forest and mineral resources shall be perfected and reinforced, environmental standard and laws be improved, unreasonable emission standards be revised, environment monitoring system be perfected, execution of environmental protection and supervising be reinforced.

Finally, it should be noted that, as a developing country, China shoulders the obligation of developing economy, promoting employment and poverty alleviation. Consequently, we are facing various difficulties. We will continuously welcome the international cooperation in environment and development, and transfer update management expertise, technology and investment. Keep abreast with the world, we will embrace the promising future of global environment and development.

Thank you.

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