Pro­tect­ing Clean Wa­ter and Green Moun­tains

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Zhou Fu­jing Edited by Mary Frances Cap­piello Pho­tos by Fan Chao, Wei Zheng

In early Novem­ber, the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is­sued the Opin­ions on Pro­mot­ing the Pro­tec­tion and Green De­vel­op­ment of Eco­log­i­cal Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas. This is an im­por­tant mea­sure in im­ple­ment­ing the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (2016–2035) (new edi­tion) and con­struct­ing a world-class, har­mo­nious, live­able city.

In early Novem­ber, the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is­sued Opin­ions on Pro­mot­ing the Pro­tec­tion and Green De­vel­op­ment of Eco­log­i­cal Con­ser­va­tion Ar­eas ( The Opin­ions), which is an im­por­tant mea­sure in im­ple­ment­ing the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (2016–2035) and con­struct­ing a world-class, har­mo­nious, live­able city.

Sig­nif­i­cance

The scope of the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in­cludes Men­tougou, Pinggu, Huairou, Miyun and Yan­qing dis­tricts, as well as the moun­tain­ous ar­eas in Chang­ping and Fang­shan dis­tricts. The to­tal land area is 11,259 square kilo­me­tres (sq.km), ac­count­ing for 68 per­cent of the to­tal area of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. These ar­eas had a to­tal pop­u­la­tion of 2.664 mil­lion in 2017, ac­count­ing for 12.3 per­cent of the city's to­tal pop­u­la­tion. For many years, the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment has fo­cused on the pro­tec­tion and green de­vel­op­ment of these ar­eas. Lead­ers in­clud­ing Cai Qi, sec­re­tary of the CPC Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee, and Chen Jin­ing, mayor of Bei­jing, con­ducted in­ves­ti­ga­tion tours to these ar­eas to lis­ten to sug­ges­tions and ad­vice. Based on this

in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­search, The Opin­ions was is­sued.

Be­cause of con­tin­u­ous ef­forts on the part of the city, re­mark­able out­comes have been made in the pro­tec­tion and green de­vel­op­ment of the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas. Bei­jing im­ple­mented ur­ban func­tion divi­sion in 2005. Since 2012, des­ig­nated eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas have ad­hered to their ori­en­ta­tion and main­tained good green de­vel­op­ment mo­men­tum.

Progress have been made in im­prov­ing the eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has launched a se­ries of en­vi­ron­men­tal improve­ment projects, such as the 66,667-hectare (ha) af­foresta­tion project, the Bei­jingTian­jin sand source con­trol project and the Yongding River com­pre­hen­sive man­age­ment and eco­log­i­cal restora­tion project. The city has also im­ple­mented the Clean Air Ac­tion Plan and the river chief ac­count­abil­ity mech­a­nism.

Data that has been col­lected re­flect the suc­cess of the projects. In 2017, the av­er­age an­nual con­cen­tra­tion of par­tic­u­late mat­ter 2.5 (PM 2.5) in these ar­eas was lower than that of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. The for­est cov­er­age rate reached 53.25 per­cent, which was 10.25 per­cent higher than that of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity; and the per capita green land area was 25.9 square me­tres (sq.m), 60 per­cent higher than that of the city.

Sec­ond, the host­ing of in­ter­na­tional events has led to the en­hance­ment of the ar­eas' do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional in­flu­ence. Dis­tricts where eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas are sit­u­ated have hosted the Belt and Road Fo­rum for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion, APEC China 2014 and other events of world­wide sig­nif­i­cance. Now, they are pre­par­ing for the Bei­jing Expo 2019, Pinggu 2020 World Leisure Con­gress and Bei­jing 2022 Win­ter Olympics. The de­vel­op­ment of The Great Wall Cul­tural Belt and the Western Hills–yongding River Cul­tural Belt is also pro­mot­ing the spread of Chi­nese cul­ture.

In ad­di­tion, a solid foun­da­tion has been laid for green de­vel­op­ment. From 2012–2017, gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP) in the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas main­tained an av­er­age an­nual growth of 8.5 per­cent, and the struc­tural ra­tio for the pri­mary, se­condary and the ter­tiary in­dus­tries was ad­justed to 3.9: 43.2: 52.9 from 7.8: 46.2: 46.

Rel­e­vant dis­tricts have for­mu­lated poli­cies to pre­serve this progress. They have im­ple­mented strict in­dus­try ac­cess stan­dards and have cre­ated and im­ple­mented a list of highly-pol­lut­ing in­dus­tries to be lim­ited or pro­hib­ited. They re­ject reg­is­tra­tion of en­ter­prises that are in­con­sis­tent with their ori­en­ta­tion. Science parks in these dis­tricts ac­tively in­tro­duce ma­jor in­dus­trial projects that cover less land, have high added value and low en­ergy con­sump­tion. Each district is mak­ing ef­forts to cul­ti­vate its own dis­tinc­tive, dom­i­nant in­dus­tries.

Eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas are also of spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for the cap­i­tal city's de­vel­op­ment.

These ar­eas oc­cupy an im­por­tant po­si­tion in the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (new edi­tion) be­cause of their lo­ca­tion and func­tion. In re­cent years, Bei­jing has adopted many mea­sures and is­sued doc­u­ments to put into prac­tice Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping's con­cept that “clean wa­ter and lush moun­tains are trea­sures.” This will help pro­mote qual­ity de­vel­op­ment of the city.

The Opin­ions are an im­por­tant strat­egy for im­ple­ment­ing the cap­i­tal's ori­en­ta­tion as the na­tion's cen­tre of cul­ture, pol­i­tics, sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion, and in­ter­na­tional ex­change and en­hance the “four ser­vices.” Pres­i­dent Xi con­ducted in­ves­ti­ga­tion tours to Bei­jing twice and gave in­struc­tions. He fo­cused on Bei­jing's eco­log­i­cal re­sources and en­vi­ron­ment. One of the “four ser­vices” pro­posed in re­sponse is to pro­vide a fine eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment for peo­ple and in­ter­na­tional ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties. The eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas are the ve­hi­cle to pro­vide these eco­log­i­cal prod­ucts and ser­vices.

These ar­eas will play an im­por­tant role in un­der­tak­ing the cap­i­tal's role as a cen­tre of these four ar­eas. For ex­am­ple, Huairou Science City, branches of Zhong­guan­cun Science Park, The Great Wall Cul­tural Belt and the Western Hills– Yongding River Cul­tural Belt will be sites for ma­jor in­ter­na­tional ex­change events and high-tech in­no­va­tion projects. These ar­eas lay a solid eco­log­i­cal foun­da­tion for build­ing a world-class, har­mo­nious, liv­able city. As the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas ac­count for more than 60 per­cent of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity's area and they in­clude ar­eas of pro­found cul­ture, his­tory and beauty, they are im­por­tant eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tive screens, wa­ter source pro­tec­tion ar­eas and are im­por­tant to en­sure the cap­i­tal's sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

These ar­eas also serve as “oxy­gen bars” and back gar­dens for res­i­dents and are ideal des­ti­na­tions for ur­ban farm­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and sub­ur­ban tourism. They set an ex­am­ple for re­form, in­no­va­tion and eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion. Ef­forts will be made to pro­mote the con­struc­tion of these ar­eas in north­west­ern Bei­jing, Tian­jin and He­bei Prov­ince as well.

Achieve­ments have been made in the con­struc­tion of eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas. How­ever, these ar­eas still need to im­prove the eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and have short­com­ings in de­vel­op­ing green in­dus­tries and en­hanc­ing ur­ban ser­vice abil­ity. They should fur­ther im­prove sys­tems and mech­a­nisms, solve bot­tle­neck is­sues, and en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness and cov­er­age of mea­sures and reg­u­la­tions.

High­lights An Ex­am­ple in Eco­log­i­cal Con­struc­tion, Green De­vel­op­ment

The gov­ern­ment will ad­here to rel­e­vant con­cepts to con­struct these ar­eas into an ex­am­ple for eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion and green de­vel­op­ment.

Bei­jing will fur­ther im­ple­ment the Bei­jing Ur­ban Mas­ter Plan (2016–2035) and es­tab­lish the con­cept that “clean wa­ter and lush moun­tains are valu­able trea­sures.” In line with res­i­dents' ex­pec­ta­tions for a beau­ti­ful eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment, the gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to im­prove the ca­pac­ity and qual­ity of the lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment, ad­here to green de­vel­op­ment, strengthen en­doge­nous de­vel­op­ment mo­men­tum, serve the peo­ple, and nar­row the gap be­tween in­fra­struc­ture and the peo­ple's de­mands for pub­lic ser­vices. It will launch a sys­tem­atic eco­log­i­cal

pro­tec­tion project. The pro­tec­tion scope will cover the Yan­shan Moun­tains in North Bei­jing, the Western Hills, three reser­voirs (Miyun, Guant­ing and Huairou) and five rivers, which are Juhe River in East Bei­jing, Chaobai River in the north, the North Canal in Cen­tral Bei­jing, Yongding River in the west and Juma River to the south­west.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will sys­tem­at­i­cally pro­mote the green de­vel­op­ment of Huairou Science City, The Great Wall Cul­tural Belt, the Western Hills–yongding River Cul­tural Belt and mul­ti­ple parks. The parks in­clude all branches of the Zhong­guan­cun Science Park, Yanqi Lake In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cap­i­tal, the func­tional parks for Bei­jing Expo 2019, Bei­jing 2022 Win­ter Olympics, Pinggu 2020 World Leisure Con­gress and other in­dus­trial parks. The city gov­ern­ment aims to create a dis­tinc­tive, high- qual­ity de­vel­op­ment path and to trans­form eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas into demon­stra­tion zones to dis­play Bei­jing's beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral scenery, lead­ing zones for eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion and a model zone of green de­vel­op­ment.

Top Pri­or­ity, En­sur­ing Rights and In­ter­ests, Green De­vel­op­ment

The three key phrases re­fer to “top pri­or­ity,” “en­sur­ing the rights and in­ter­ests of rel­e­vant peo­ple” and “green de­vel­op­ment.”

Ef­fec­tively pre­serv­ing the green moun­tains and clean wa­ters is the top pri­or­ity for the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will act promptly to es­tab­lish red lines for eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment bound­aries. It will then hold firm to these lines. It will make rea­son­able con­struc­tion plans and curb aim­less and blind de­vel­op­ment to en­sure the in­crease of eco­log­i­cal space and the low­er­ing of land de­vel­op­ment in­ten­sity. It will strengthen joint con­struc­tion and joint gov­er­nance for mul­ti­ple en­ti­ties. Ad­di­tion­ally, the gov­ern­ment will in­crease in­vest­ment in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and improve­ment.

The gov­ern­ment will es­tab­lish a green de­vel­op­ment fund, is­sue green bonds and adopt other meth­ods to at­tract ex­ten­sive par­tic­i­pa­tion. It will ad­here to the con­cept that “moun­tains, wa­ter, forestry, land, lakes and grass are a com­mu­nity of shared life” to ad­vance the pro­tec­tion of eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas. It will en­cour­age rel­e­vant dis­tricts to be built into na­tional forestry dis­tricts and grad­u­ally con­struct a green sep­a­ra­tion sys­tem. Fur­ther­more, it will con­tinue to im­ple­ment the new 66,667 ha of foresta­tion project, and more than 2,000 ha of wet­land will be con­structed or re­stored. Ap­praisal and in­cen­tive mech­a­nisms will be strength­ened. The Opin­ions es­tab­lish 21 ap­praisal in­di­ca­tors for mon­i­tor­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion, qual­ity de­vel­op­ment, em­ploy­ment and in­come in­crease, ur­ban ser­vices plus in­no­va­tion and open­ing. Among them, 14 in­di­ca­tors are re­lated to en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion.

The ba­sic de­vel­op­ment rights and in­ter­ests of the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas must be guar­an­teed. First, the gov­ern­ment will pro­tect the rights and in­ter­ests of those who pro­tect the moun­tains, forests and wa­ters. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity has al­ready worked out eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion com­pen­sa­tion poli­cies and this year it is­sued The Opin­ions to in­crease the in­come for those pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

Sec­ond, the rights and in­ter­ests of en­ter­prises whose ori­en­ta­tions are in line with the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas will be en­sured. En­ter­prises en­gaged in en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy up­grade will re­ceive a mu­nic­i­pal sub­sidy: 600 yuan for in­dus­trial en­ter­prises and 800 yuan for non-in­dus­trial en­ter­prises per con­sump­tion of one ton of stan­dard coal. Sup­port will be given to those en­gaged in en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly in­dus­tries. They can en­joy green fi­nance and other prefer­able poli­cies. District gov­ern­ments that make ef­forts to de­velop the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas will re­ceive fund­ing. The mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ment will fol­low the prin­ci­ples of guar­an­tee­ing the ba­sic op­er­a­tion, strength­en­ing dom­i­nant func­tions and stan­dar­d­is­ing fund dis­tri­bu­tion, plus co­or­di­nat­ing eco­log­i­cal poli­cies and mu­nic­i­pal fund dis­tri­bu­tion. This is an in­no­va­tion in fund­ing mech­a­nisms.

Mu­nic­i­pal funds will be al­lo­cated to dis­tricts via pay­ment trans­fers. Each district will have the right to de­cide the way the money is used. An as­sess­ment mech­a­nism will be es­tab­lished to link the fund dis­tri­bu­tion plan with their needs to strengthen dis­tricts' abil­i­ties to re­alise dom­i­nant func­tions. Dis­tricts will also be en­cour­aged to form pairs to in­sti­tute tar­geted co­op­er­a­tion. They will work out spe­cific plans for eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion, in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment and of­fer­ing pub­lic ser­vices. They will share re­sources and launch joint con­struc­tion. A cross- district trans­fer pay­ment sys­tem will also be es­tab­lished to sup­port dis­tricts through guid­ing green in­dus­try projects and fur­ther pro­mot­ing their im­ple­men­ta­tion. Lastly, of­fi­cials who make con­tri­bu­tions to eco­log­i­cal improve­ment will be recog­nised and re­warded. Work­ers ex­pe­ri­enced in eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion and green de­vel­op­ment will have the chance to join district lead­er­ship or mu­nic­i­pal-level lead­er­ship. They will launch a work­ing sys­tem that en­cour­ages of­fi­cials to work at the grass­roots and make con­tri­bu­tions.

The term for these ar­eas will also be changed. Rather than the pre­vi­ous “eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion de­vel­op­ment ar­eas” phrase, the ar­eas are now known as “eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas,” with “de­vel­op­ment” be­ing deleted. This does not mean de­vel­op­ment is not im­por­tant; in­stead, these ar­eas will strive to achieve qual­ity de­vel­op­ment. GDP will not be the only in­di­ca­tor of suc­cess; in­stead, “green GDP” will be em­pha­sised. These ar­eas will be con­structed into demon­stra­tion ar­eas for green de­vel­op­ment. Part of the con­no­ta­tion of “green de­vel­op­ment” is that the ar­eas are ideal for liv­ing, tourism and work­ing, and also part of an im­por­tant foun­da­tion for Bei­jing to be­come a world­class, live­able and har­mo­nious city.

Cen­tring on the cap­i­tal's ori­en­ta­tion, the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas will fur­ther un­der­take and sup­ple­ment func­tions and in­dus­tries for green de­vel­op­ment. Men­tougou District will ex­plore and in­te­grate an­cient vil­lage re­sources, en­hance the in­flu­ence of the Western Bei­jing An­cient Trail and

pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of cul­tural tourism, med­i­cal tourism and out­door sports. Pinggu will make use of the op­por­tu­nity to host the 2022 World Leisure Con­gress to ad­vance the de­vel­op­ment of leisure and tourism in­dus­tries. Huairou will con­struct the Huairou Science City and the Yanqi Lake In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre as well as pro­mote in­no­va­tion- driven high-tech cul­tural de­vel­op­ment. Miyun District will take wa­ter pro­tec­tion as its top pri­or­ity and pro­mote the in­te­grated de­vel­op­ment of a dis­tinc­tive agri­cul­tural and tourism in­dus­try. Yan­qing District will de­velop the snow and ice in­dus­try and hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try through the host­ing of the Bei­jing Expo 2019 and the Bei­jing 2022 Win­ter Olympics. Fang­shan will co­or­di­nate its cul­tural, his­tor­i­cal and geo­graph­i­cal relic re­sources. Chang­ping will co­or­di­nate its his­tor­i­cal, cul­tural and agri­cul­tural re­sources to de­velop cul­tural tourism and an eco­log­i­cal leisure in­dus­try. Mean­while, Chang­ping aims to re­alise qual­ity de­vel­op­ment.

The mu­nic­i­pal­ity will speed up the with­drawal of un­qual­i­fied man­u­fac­tur­ing en­ter­prises and other en­ter­prises not in line with the cap­i­tal's ori­en­ta­tion. With the re­stric­tions on con­struc­tion land and de­vel­op­ment in­ten­sity, these eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas will achieve in­ten­sive and ef­fi­cient shared de­vel­op­ment.

The Opin­ions are a pack­age of gifts for res­i­dents. A group of projects in the fields of ecol­ogy, trans­porta­tion, ed­u­ca­tion, hos­pi­tal and cul­ture are listed. Specif­i­cally, these projects in­clude a large scale af­foresta­tion project and the con­struc­tion of rail­ways in sub­ur­ban and shal­low moun­tain ar­eas. A ter­tiary hos­pi­tal will be built in each district. The Great Wall Cul­tural Belt and Western Hills–yongding River Cul­tural Belt will be con­structed as well.

Em­pha­sis­ing Im­ple­men­ta­tion

The Opin­ions high­lights eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas' en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion func­tion and green de­vel­op­ment. The doc­u­ment em­pha­sises prac­ti­cal pur­poses and puts for­ward 16 mea­sures re­lated to im­prov­ing eco­log­i­cal pro­tec­tion com­pen­sa­tion mech­a­nisms, con­tin­u­ously in­creas­ing in­vest­ment, es­tab­lish­ing the in-pair co­op­er­a­tion mech­a­nism, guar­an­tee­ing the in­ter­ests and rights of rel­e­vant of­fi­cials and im­prov­ing the ap­praisal sys­tem to en­sure pro­gramme im­ple­men­ta­tion. Both re­ward and pun­ish­ment mea­sures will be utilised. The trans­fer pay­ment from the city gov­ern­ment and the trans­fer pay­ment across dis­tricts, to­gether with the in­cen­tive poli­cies, are solid foun­da­tions to en­sure im­ple­men­ta­tion. The doc­u­ment com­bines of­fi­cials' ef­forts with as­sess­ment and ap­praisal. These mea­sures pro­vide en­cour­age­ment and su­per­vi­sion.

The Opin­ions clar­ify work­ing divi­sion, ac­count­abil­ity, ap­praisal mech­a­nisms and su­per­vi­sion. Re­spon­si­ble units and depart­ments are re­quired to work out spe­cific mea­sures. District gov­ern­ments should urge the im­ple­men­ta­tion of these mea­sures. The Gen­eral Of­fices of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Gov­ern­ment and the CPC Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mit­tee should ful­fill their su­per­vi­sion re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and as­sess and re­port the im­ple­men­ta­tion sta­tus to the pub­lic ev­ery year.

With joint ef­forts, the eco­log­i­cal con­ser­va­tion ar­eas will be built into a demon­stra­tion zone to dis­play the cap­i­tal's beau­ti­ful scenery and land­scape, as well as a lead­ing zone for eco­log­i­cal con­struc­tion and green de­vel­op­ment.

Swans at the Miyun Reser­voir

An aerial view of Honglu­osi Scenic Spot

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