Min­istry acts to pre­vent en­croach­ment on na­ture re­serves

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By WANG KEJU wangkeju@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s top en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog warned eight lo­cal gov­ern­ments on Wed­nes­day about the in­va­sion and de­struc­tion of na­ture re­serves by il­le­gal con­struc­tion projects and told them not to seek eco­nomic growth at the ex­pense of the re­serves.

The Min­istry of Ecol­ogy and En­vi­ron­ment said there are still many il­le­gal con­struc­tion projects as­so­ci­ated with min­ing, tourism, aqua­cul­ture and real es­tate in seven na­ture re­serves that have caused great dam­age to the re­serves and im­paired their eco­log­i­cal func­tions.

Lo­cal Party com­mit­tees and gov­ern­ments failed to ful­fill their re­spon­si­bil­ity of su­per­vi­sion and man­age­ment, and there were also vi­o­la­tions of reg­u­la­tions, false re­port­ing and per­func­tory rec­ti­fi­ca­tion. Il­le­gal con­struc­tion in na­ture re­serves has not been ef­fec­tively curbed, the min­istry said.

Zhen­jiang Fin­less Por­poise Re­serve in Jiangsu prov­ince, for ex­am­ple, is an im­por­tant habi­tat for pro­tect­ing the Yangtze fin­less por­poise, a se­verely en­dan­gered aquatic mam­mal. But an in­spec­tion by the min­istry in June found 467 hectares of il­le­gal agri­cul­tural cul­ti­va­tion and fish­eries in the pro­tected area, which dam­aged large ar­eas of wet­lands and harmed their eco­log­i­cal func­tions.

The min­istry said that after its 2016 in­spec­tion, the Jiangsu govern­ment did not fol­low the au­thor­i­ties’ rec­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quire­ments to stop il­le­gal projects and in­stead con­tin­ued de­vel­op­ment on the river beach in the name of agri­cul­tural man­age­ment and de­vel­op­ment.

Jinyun Moun­tain Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve in Chongqing, a sub­trop­i­cal ev­er­green broadleaved for­est area, has more than 60 rare an­i­mal and plant species. In April, the min­istry con­ducted re­mote-sens­ing mon­i­tor­ing and found more than 500 il­le­gal con­struc­tion sites, in­clud­ing tourist fa­cil­i­ties and min­ing, in the pro­tected ar­eas, with 16 new ones added and 76 ex­panded since 2015.

Ma Jun, di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Pub­lic and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs, said the sever­ity of de­struc­tion in na­ture re­serves shows that lo­cal gov­ern­ments still at­tach more im­por­tance to eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and po­lit­i­cal achieve­ment than en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion.

The min­istry should have a stricter assess­ment sys­tem, which will put greater pres­sure on lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion de­part­ments, Ma said.

“It is im­por­tant to in­volve the pub­lic and re­search in­sti­tutes in su­per­vi­sion so that peo­ple can tip off au­thor­i­ties in the event of il­le­gal be­hav­ior,” he said.

The min­istry re­quires lo­cal gov­ern­ments to strengthen su­per­vi­sion and man­age­ment and pay close at­ten­tion to rec­ti­fy­ing their prob­lems.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.