En­vi­ron­ment no small mat­ter

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - — BEI­JING YOUTH DAILY

Aspe­cial in­spec­tion by the cen­tral govern­ment from Feb 12 to March 3 found that Qil­ian Moun­tain Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve in Gansu prov­ince had failed to re­solve its long-ex­ist­ing pol­lu­tion prob­lems and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion de­spite be­ing or­dered to rec­tify the prob­lems. Min­ing and ex­ploita­tion ac­tiv­i­ties in­side the re­serve de­stroyed the veg­e­ta­tion cover and eroded the soil and 14 mines were still work­ing even af­ter the cen­tral govern­ment banned the prac­tice in the na­ture re­serve in 2014.

The in­spec­tion team also found il­le­gal con­struc­tions and ex­ces­sive emis­sions by lo­cal en­ter­prises, ac­cord­ing to a doc­u­ment jointly re­leased by the gen­eral of­fices of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China and the State Coun­cil, China’s Cabi­net, on Thurs­day.

The se­vere pol­lu­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion in the na­ture re­serve were mainly the re­sult of the poor en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion per­for­mance of the pro­vin­cial, city and county gov­ern­ments and their fail­ure to make ev­ery ef­fort to im­ple­ment the in­struc­tions of the cen­tral govern­ment.

Based on the re­sults of the in­spec­tion, the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee is hold­ing some pro­vin­cial and county level of­fi­cials ac­count­able.

That China’s supreme de­ci­sion-mak­ing body held a meet­ing on the is­sue demon­strates the high at­ten­tion the top lead­er­ship is pay­ing to pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment. And that three pro­vin­cial-level of­fi­cials and 15 other lo­cal of­fi­cials of var­i­ous lo­cal govern­ment depart­ments have been pun­ished, in­clud­ing be­ing dis­missed and given stern warn­ings, is a re­flec­tion of the au­thor­i­ties’ de­ter­mi­na­tion to pun­ish those who fail in their duty to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment. Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping al­ways at­taches great im­por­tance to the en­vi­ron­ment and ecosys­tem, say­ing the coun­try needs not only golden and sil­ver hills, but also green hills and clean wa­ter. The se­vere pun­ish­ments given the of­fi­cials for the pol­lu­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age in the Qil­ian Moun­tain Na­ture Re­serve re­flects the top lead­er­ship’s in­ten­si­fied ef­forts and greater de­ter­mi­na­tion to pro­tect the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment.

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