More pro­tec­tion for San­jiangyuan

State Coun­cil calls for in­volve­ment of pri­vate mar­kets in con­ser­va­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By HOU LIQIANG houliqiang@chi­

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment adopted a plan on Wed­nes­day for the pro­tec­tion of San­jiangyuan Nat­u­ral Re­serve and called for non-State sec­tors to par­tic­i­pate in eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion.

The plan was passed at a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang.

Pri­vate mar­kets should be given full play in eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion, and all so­ci­ety should be mo­ti­vated to par­tic­i­pate in eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion and con­struc­tion, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased af­ter the meet­ing.

The re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion area in the nat­u­ral re­serve, where sev­eral big rivers in China orig­i­nate, will be ex­panded from its cur­rent 152,000 square km to 395,000 sq km, the state­ment said.

“More work should be done to pro­tect and re­store veg­e­ta­tion,” the state­ment said.

Mon­i­tor­ing and the alarm sys­tem will also be im­proved, the state­ment said.

Song Xian­fang, a re­searcher at the In­sti­tute of Ge­o­graphic Sciences and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search un­der the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences, said the plan is “quite timely”.

“The eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment in San­jiangyuan Na­ture Re­serve is very frag­ile and is hard to re­pair once it is dam­aged,” Song said.

“The pro­tec­tion of the re­serve needs great in­vest­ment and can­not be done only by the lo­cal gov­ern­ments,” Song said. “The adop­tion of the plan by the State Coun­cil makes pro­tec­tion of it a na­tional strat­egy, which can en­sure more in­vest­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the plan.”

Wang Jian­hua, di­rec­tor of the Wa­ter Re­source In­sti­tute un­der the China In­sti­tute of Wa­ter Re­sources and Hy­dropower Re­search, said, “San­jiangyuan Na­ture Re­serve, as an im­por­tant eco­log­i­cal re­gion, is im­por­tant not only for China but also for South­east Asia and even the whole world.”

About 38 per­cent to 40 per­cent of wa­ter in the Yel­low River, the coun­try’s sec­ond­largest, is from the area, he said.

“It is also very im­por­tant for North China, which gets a great deal of wa­ter from the Yel­low River,” he said.

The ex­pan­sion of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion area will surely help the pro­tec­tion of the wa­ter ecosys­tem, Wang said.

Both Song and Wang wel­comed the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to mo­ti­vate so­ci­ety to par­tic­i­pate, and praised the im­por­tance the gov­ern­ment at­tached to the pri­vate sec­tor.

“It will be quite dif­fi­cult to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment if we mainly rely on the gov­ern­ment, ” Wang said.

En­ter­prises that have been pros­per­ing at the ex­pense of the en­vi­ron­ment should shoul­der more re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, Song said.

The gov­ern­ment should also give more pref­er­en­tial poli­cies to the de­vel­op­ment of NGOs that are ac­tive in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, Song added.

The San­jiangyuan Nat­u­ral Re­serve has ben­e­fited many prov­inces by pro­vid­ing wa­ter re­sources for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, es­pe­cially prov­inces along the Yangtze River.

An eco-com­pen­sa­tion sys­tem should be built to col­lect money from those prov­inces, which will be in­vested for the pro­tec­tion in the re­serve, Wang added.

The State Coun­cil meet­ing also passed a plan to make Gansu prov­ince an eco­log­i­cal se­cu­rity shel­ter zone for North­west China and the main­land, vow­ing to pro­mote the ra­tional use of wa­ter re­sources in the re­gion and the op­ti­miza­tion of in­dus­try struc­ture.

The State Coun­cil also or­dered pro­tec­tion of goodqual­ity wa­ter in West China and the coun­try’s five large lakes in East China be strength­ened.

The coun­cil also heard a re­port on the treat­ment of wind- drift sand in Bei­jing and Tian­jin.

Non- gov­ern­ment sec­tors will be en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in for­est plant­ing to re­duce the sand and wind, and those that meet tech­nol­ogy stan­dards can get sub­si­dies, the state­ment said.

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