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China Daily

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 16:30
China shares experiences in improving environment
By Wen Zongduo and Zhang Li
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 16:30 By Wen Zongduo and Zhang Li

This photo shows participants at a sub-forum of the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum 2018 in China’s Nanning, Sept 12, 2018. (WEN ZONGDUO / CHINA DAILY)

NANNING – Strategic programming, innovative monitoring and active pollution control are the reasons northern China witnesses less air pollution and bright days of clear, blue sky.

Yang Zijiang, deputy director-general of the Information Center of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, cited the role of innovative technologies behind China’s improving environment.

To further cooperate with ASEAN and other nations, China is willing to share its experiences in environmental innovation and pollution control 

Zhao Yingmin, Vice Minister of Ecology and Environment, China

He talked about this while holding discussions with officials and professionals from ASEAN and other nations at the two-day China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum 2018, which began on Tuesday,

“Automatic monitoring of pollution sources and hotspot frames, and severe pollution alerts” in practice have contributed much to improving the environment, Yang told the guests at the forum in southern Chinese city of Nanning. 

READ MORE: 3-year improvement plan launched for environmental monitoring

A program named Sky-Eye allows sensors across Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province to sketch out about 30,000 net frames, so that problems in a certain frame could be easily identified and solved. Manpower has also been increased. In 2017 more than 5,600 people were mobilized to inspect areas surrounding Beijing and settle related problems.

Apart from clear days, PM10 and PM2.5 density dropped sharply in north China and the Yangtze River Delta. The national average density of PM10 dropped 22.7 percent from 2013 level, according to the ministry. Water quality rates also increased.

Behind the innovative practices are key arrangements in guidance, top-level design, legal guarantee and systemic reform to make things happen, according to Zhao Yingmin, vice minister of ecology and environment. 

To further cooperate with ASEAN and other nations, China is willing to share its experiences in environmental innovation and pollution control, he said.

He cited three major events in 2017 as milestones for China’s environmental protection. The first one was the 19th National Congress of the CPC in October, which clarified the general agenda of building ecological civilization in a beautiful China and listed improving environment as one of three major tasks for the country. 

Zhao identified the national ecological protection conference in May as the second milestone. Basic principles of ecological civilization seeking global ecological construction and engagement in global environmental governance were established there. 

The restructuring of government mechanism under the Ministry of Ecology and Environment since March was the third milestone, he said. Its functions cover mainly pollution control, ecological protection, nuclear and radiation security and climate change, among others.

In practice, the country improves its legal system further by adopting a three-year agenda, with the recent passing of soil pollution control law. Law enforcement is also enhanced together with a full-fledged environmental monitoring that now covers all provincial regions in the mainland,   

Wu Xuefang, director of Institute of Environmental Standards with the Chinese Academy of Environmental Sciences, noted that environmental standardization follows a strong will for ecological civilization.

The country has updated its quality standards on environment, numbering about 1,800 items mainly on air, water, noise and soil, said Wu. About 100 standards on monitoring are under review and adjustment. 

Yan Zhichan, vice governor of Guangxi congress, said the region is moving to increase transparency in ecological information, people-oriented services online. “This sharp tool of big data is conducive to lift the scientific, precision and efficiency level of pollution control.”

Nanning is hosting the 15th China-ASEAN Expo and the 15th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit this week, which also includes three dozen forums and promotion activities. 

ALSO READ: China-ASEAN Expo opens in south China

Businesses and other sectors are also highlighting new agenda for better environment. Wang Hui, deputy director of Guangxi Yuchai Machinery CO Ltd, told guests China is adopting some of the world’s strictest criteria on emission reduction.

The new rules on China VI engines are reducing emissions by more than half from previous standards, he noted. China used to refer vehicle emissions to European practices, which fail to meet Chinese requirements in real operations in the new era.

The challenges include practical complexity of reduction technologies and experiences in balancing costs and efficiency.  

Forum participants representing agencies from China, ASEAN and Europe, also explored ways for green urbanization. 

Li Panwen, program manager of a division with the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center, said one of their projects is linking Chinese and cities elsewhere in exchanges. More cities will join the partnership program between China and ASEAN, she said. 

Dai Guowen, deputy director of project task force of Europe-China Eco-Cities Link Project, said China’s guideline on smart and ecological cities adopted in 2016 has led to a number of changes to city life, including waste treatment, green traffic and pollution control. 

Dai said they are also seeking international cooperation with others in building eco-cities both in Asia and elsewhere.

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