China to Speed up Establishing Legal and Policy System for Green Production and Consumption

On 11 March, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China jointly issued the document “Opinions on Speeding up Establishing Legal and Policy System for Green Production and Consumption”, which aims to improve current laws and regulations, and facilitate green production and consumption nationally.

The document raises the following main goal: By the year of 2025, regulations, standards and policies related to green production and consumption should be further improved and strengthened, and a system with effective encouraging and constraining rules should be basically completed. Green production and consumption will be implemented on a national scale in key areas, industries and processes, to fulfill China’s overall improvement of green development.

To achieve the 2025 goal, the document highlighted 27 key tasks to be carried out in 9 areas, including promoting green design, strengthening industrial clean production, developing industrial circular economy, reinforcing industrial pollution control, facilitating energy clean development and other areas. Tasks were clearly assigned to different ministries and authorities to implement, including NDRC, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). MEE will be responsible for completing and improving the priority control chemical inventory, introducing policies and measures to further promote mandatory clean production auditing in key industries, speeding up the development of feasible technical guidelines for pollution prevention and control, and other related tasks.

According to the requests laid out in the document, ministries and authorities should perform their duties to facilitate formulating and revising laws and regulations, standards, policies related to green production and consumption, which should also be adapted and implemented at local level. Fiscal, tax and revenue, and financial departments at all levels should accordingly improve relevant supporting policies in long term. Publicity and communication on green production and consumption needs to be implemented by communication departments at different levels.
China Releases Top-level “Guideline on Building a Modern Environmental Governance System”

Amid the concerns on how “green” China can remain under the enormous economic pressure caused by the current COVID19 pandemic, on 3 March 2020, the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee and the State Council jointly released a “Guideline on Building a Modern Environmental Governance System” (hereafter referred to as the “Guideline”). Although it is not a direct response to the current concerns, but rather part of China’s long-term strategy of establishing an “Ecological Civilization”, this national policy issued by the top leadership from both the Party and government nevertheless reassured the world that China remains committed to its sustainable development and environmental protection agendas.

With the Guideline’s target of putting in place a sound environmental governance system by 2025, the top policymakers put ever greater emphasis on fundamentally transforming China’s environmental governance system at all levels. To this end, the Guideline specifies responsibilities of governments agencies, corporate entities, civil society and the public, and emphasizes joint efforts of all actors. Future efforts will be concentrated towards seven specific governance systems: (1) adjust the responsibility system for government officials at all levels, (2) consolidate the responsibility system for corporate entities, (3) motivate broader public support, (4) enhance environmental monitoring and supervision, (5) stimulate the environmental industry, (6) set up an environmental credit system, (7) improve laws, regulations and policy system.

Regarding follow up, the National Development Reform Commission will be responsible for overall coordination and policy support and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will in the lead in pushing forward the implementation of the Guideline.
Stronger Protection for Migratory Birds Sought

The national forestry authority urged local governments to strengthen the protection of migratory birds and remove threats to their safety as migration season continues.

According to a notice posted on the State Forestry and Grassland Administration’s website on Tuesday, local authorities have been asked to gather accurate information about the species of migratory birds in local territories and the state of their habitats.

Actions should be taken to patrol and guard the birds’ habitats and to clear up nets, traps and poisonous bait set up to hunt them.

Local governments have also been asked to advance efforts on making wildlife protection a part of officials’ performance assessments, a move to push officials to take action in the sector.
China to Play Important Role in Meeting Climate Challenges: Report

NEW YORK – China would play an important role as the climate challenge looms, a report published this month shows. Named Guide to Chinese Climate Policy 2019 and authored by David Sandalow, an inaugural fellow at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, the report examines Chinese carbon dioxide emissions, domestic and foreign policies regarding climate change in 2018.

It says that China has already played an important role in bringing down dramatically the cost of solar power and engaged in making electric vehicles. In 2018, China led the world in deployment of renewable energy, electric vehicles and nuclear power plants.

“The way China integrates climate change into economic development has the potential to be a model for many countries around the world” as many countries would like to emulate China’s economic miracle with eyes closely on its development model, according to the report.
Alibaba’s Logistics Arm Cainiao Kicks off Major Recycling Initiative

Cainiao Network Technology, Alibaba Group’s smart logistics arm, announced on Tuesday plans on Tuesday to set up 1,000 recycling boxes in Shanghai for the reuse and recycling of parcel packaging.

The recycling stations located in courier booths across the city are where residents leave their used packages. They can also stand to choose paper packages from the recycling boxes when they need to send parcels themselves.

By the end of June, China has some 12,000 recycling points for disposed packages, and boasts about 20,000 new energy vehicles. Over 96 percent of express delivery orders are now placed through a paperless, electronic logging system.

China churned out 50 billion parcels last year, ranking first globally for consecutively five years. A document released by the State Post Bureau has said that by 2020, half of external packages should be degradable, 90 percent of bills electronic, and packaging for each parcel reduced by 10 percent.
Forest Park a Man-Made Triumph

Three times the size of New York’s Central Park and created by villagers planting tens of thousands of saplings, Binhu National Forest Park is a testament to ingenuity and persistence.

The government of Hefei, Anhui province, oversaw turning abandoned farmland into a massive forest park, and the results have seen it become a popular tourist spot.

The park, with more than 95 percent of the trees being poplars, is a man-made forest in the city, and the only pure man-made one among the country’s hundreds of national forest parks.

Binhu National Forest Park, which extends nearly 11 square kilometers, is located on the northeastern bank of Chaohu Lake, south of Hefei. In summer, thousands of locals visit the park every day to enjoy the fresh air and cool forest surrounds.
China Calls for Joint Action in Tackling Climate Change

OSAKA — Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called upon all parties to honor their commitments and take concrete actions in tackling climate change at a trilateral meeting of China, France and the United Nations here on Saturday.

At the meeting, the Chinese official emphasized that tackling climate change requires both enthusiasm and perseverance, while faith, action, cooperation and adherence to principles are also indispensable in the process.Wang said the world will not stop pushing forward even though a certain country has withdrawn from the push to tackle the issue.

The three sides agreed that all countries should uphold multilateralism, fulfill the Paris Agreement commitments, and help push for fruitful results of the 2019 Climate Action Summit and the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled for Dec 2-13, so as to instill new and strong impetus into global climate governance.
The Era of Compulsory Garbage Sorting Begins

In one week, Shanghai will start enforcing its first regulation on domestic waste management, joining other large Chinese cities piloting a shift to make garbage classification compulsory, instead of voluntary.

Since the beginning of this century, China has encouraged people to sort household garbage voluntarily. While more people have realized the importance of garbage classification, the effect was not so great in terms of collection.

Shanghai’s regulation requires people to sort trash into four categories – dry garbage, wet garbage (kitchen waste), recyclables and hazardous waste. Individuals who fail to do so may be fined up to 200 yuan ($29.11), while companies and institutions face fines of up to 50,000 yuan.

Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou have enacted or revised regulations on garbage classification to enhance the guidance of people’s actions, strengthen classification in the whole process and supervise law enforcement.
Major Cities Experience Drop in Air Pollutants, Greenhouse Gases

China has managed to reduce the emission of major air pollutants and greenhouse gases while maintaining economic growth over the past six years, a report has found.

China’s GDP grew by 39 percent and its energy consumption increased by 11 percent from 2013 to 2018. During that time, the average density of PM2.5 particulate matter and sulfur dioxide in 74 major Chinese cities that adopted new air quality standards in 2012 went down by 42 percent and 68 percent respectively, according to the China Air Quality Improvement Report.

The report was published on Wednesday in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, during the Global Celebrations for World Environment Day, for which China is a host country this year. Officials at the event, themed Beat Air Pollution, included Vice-Premier Han Zheng and Joyce Msuya, acting executive director of the UN Environment Programme.
Environmental Progress ‘Highlight’ of Development

China’s intensified efforts in environmental governance have proved to be an efficient impetus for the country’s high-quality development and officials will further promote reform to maximize results, the head of the country’s top environmental watchdog said.

“Environmental governance has proved itself in China to be an important impetus for high quality economic development to strengthen ecological and environmental management in the new era,” addressed by Li Ganjie in 2019 CCICED AGM in Hangzhou,  minister of ecology and environment and also executive vice-chairman of CCICED.

The environmental protection sector’s contribution to economic development has increasingly grown and has become a highlight of China’s economic growth. In 2018, at least $16.6 billion was invested to treat polluted water in key urban areas, and investment in ecological protection and environmental rehabilitation in China rose by 43 percent year-on-year.
Wedding Photography Banned in China’s Largest Salt Lake Nature Reserve

The administration of China’s largest inland saltwater lake has issued a statement to ban inappropriate activities, including taking wedding photos, in the Qinghai Lake National Nature Reserve.

According to the statement, all tourism websites, travel agencies and tour guides are banned from packaging privately-built passages and illegal scenic spots into their tourist products for business promotion. It is strictly forbidden to set up privately-built passages and illegal scenic spots along the highway around the lake. Other activities such as sand motorcycle and sand sliding are also banned.

Dubbed the “most beautiful lake in China,” Qinghai Lake is vital in ensuring ecological security of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The lake had been shrinking since the 1950s, but combined effects of conservation and the regional climate changes turned things around in 2005.
International Horticulture Expo Promotes Capital’s Eco-Friendly Drive

Ahead of the ongoing Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, overseas journalists visited the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition on Tuesday, to learn about the capital city’s drive to promote more eco-friendly lifestyles.

Co-organized by the conference’s news center and the Beijing Information Office, the tour took in the featured horticulture and iconic architecture of China and its capital, as well as the diverse horticulture featured in countries around the world. More than 60 reporters from 50 media outlets of 30 countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Costa Rica and Argentina joined the tour.

With the theme of “live green, live better”, the 503-hectare horticultural expo opened on April 29 and will run until Oct 7. More than 80 countries and international organizations have built 41 outdoor exhibition areas, comprised of 34 independent exhibition parks and seven jointly-built exhibition parks.
Waste-Free Program Piloted in 16 Areas of China

A total of 11 cities and five regions in China are aiming to be “waste-free” after piloting a two-year national garbage disposal plan.

The State Council published a guideline in December which listed 11 cities including Shenzhen in Guangdong, Baotou in Inner Mongolia, and Tongling in Anhui, as well as five other regions as “waste-free” cities, with the goal of largely reducing waste.

The country officially launched the pilot program on Monday to step up more efforts on waste disposal. The waste reduction and resource utilization better reflected green development and the circular economy by preventing secondary pollution and minimizing waste to reduce landfills.
Delivery Firms Block Illegal Wildlife Dealing

China’s massive express delivery industry has joined the effort to fight the illegal trade in protected wildlife and products by signing a self-regulatory convention on Tuesday.

Fourteen express logistics firms-12 domestic ones, such as EMS and SF-Express, and international companies DHL and FedEx-made a solemn pledge to take various measures to refuse to transport protected wildlife and related products. The convention, initiated by the China Express Association, also requires companies to strictly follow related laws and regulations, and to provide regular anti-trafficking training for their employees.

The 14 companies account for around 90 percent of China’s total express delivery market, and their actions are significant in the effort to regulate the logistics market and protect wildlife, said Jiao Zheng, deputy secretary-general of the association.
20-Year Forestry Plan Yields Greener China

The Chinese government has invested more than 400 billion yuan ($59 billion) in the country’s greening plan and grown a total of 2.75 million hectares of forests in the past two decades, the forestry authorities revealed on Friday.

To protect the country’s forests and reduce the risk of erosion and flooding, China implemented the Natural Forest Protection Project in 1998, which included logging restrictions, protected areas and replanting. As a key measure initiated by the State Council, the project was implemented in 16 provinces, including Heilongjiang, Jilin, Hebei, Yunnan, Hunan and Liaoning.

According to an official from the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, China has witnessed both an increase in natural forest coverage and a better ecosystem due to the project implementation. The administration will conduct investigations and make detailed action plans to achieve the greening plan by 2020.
Environmental Trade Fair Kicks off in Shanghai

The 20th IE Expo China, Asia’s largest environmental-themed trade fair, kicked off on Monday at the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

The three-day event, which gathers more than 2,000 environmental industry representatives from 25 countries and regions, showcases the latest innovations and technologies in pollution management. Products and services include waste and soil treatment as well as air quality and noise pollution control.

According to the organizers, many visitors are representatives from environmental enterprises based in India, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and other East Asia countries. One of the new additions to the expo this year is the Shanghai Pavilion, which hosts 21 local environmental institutions and enterprises that offer a glimpse into the achievements the city has made in environmental protection over the years.
China’s Extreme Weather Events on the Rise: Report

BEIJING – China’s extreme weather events are on the rise and becoming increasingly severe as the climate risk level edges up, China Meteorological Administration said in a report.

The country saw a marked increase of extreme rainfall and a reduction of extreme low-temperature events during the 1961-2018 period, according to the report. The country’s climate risk index has been generally on the rise from 1961 to 2018, and the growth during the 1991-2018 period outpaced that during the 1961-1990 period.

Comprehensive monitoring and key indicators show that the global climate continues to be higher. The temperature picked up faster in north China than in south China during the period. West China posted a faster temperature rise than east China, with the Qinghai-Tibet region recording the quickest temperature growth.
China-ASEAN Environmental Forum Commences in Beijing

Environmental cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for this year is being discussed at a five-day forum in Beijing. The foreign economic cooperation office with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment held the 2019 forum.

The 2019 ASEAN-China Environmental Cooperation Week started Monday and includes five seminars on ASEAN-China cooperation. Topics for the seminars include national focal points for environmental cooperation, eco-friendly cities, operational and technical issues in environmental information sharing, and climate change policies and actions.

ASEAN countries and China need to cooperate on environmental challenges including climate change, food safety and poverty alleviation. ASEAN countries are welcomed to actively participate in the construction of the green Belt and Road to push the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Beijing’s on Air Quality Sets International Example: UN

Over 20 years after Beijing began looking for ways to improve air quality in one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the developing world, it now provides a model for others to follow, according to a report released ahead of the UN Environment Assembly on Saturday.

Research by UN Environment and the Beijing Municipal Ecology and Environment Bureau (BEE) outlines how Beijing’s air quality program has evolved, and makes recommendations for the near-, medium-, and long-term that Beijing can take to maintain its momentum toward clean air.

The report, A Review of 20 years’ Air Pollution Control in Beijing, was compiled by a UN Environment-led team of international and Chinese experts over two years. It covers 1998 to the end of 2017.
Tasks Listed in Protection of Qomolangma

The recent ban on ordinary tourists entering the core zone of Qomolangma National Nature Reserve is aimed at restoring the area’s vulnerable ecosystem after years of rapid tourism development, a spokesman from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on Thursday.

To restore Qomolangma’s ecological balance, the ministry amended mountaineering regulations and environmental protection rules enforced by local authorities under which the number of climbers is restricted. Climbers will also be required to receive ecological protection lectures and carry out 8 kilograms of waste when they depart.

Also, inspections have been enhanced to regulate tourist attractions at altitudes below 5,200 meters, and regular cleanups are underway to remove waste around the base camp.
Tibet Works to Guard Its Jewels of Nature

The Tibet autonomous region has been making great efforts to protect its natural environment and has vowed to maintain the region as one of Earth’s purest landscapes.

At the annual sessions of the region’s people’s congress and political advisory body in January, authorities called for more pollution control through greater input and efforts this year.

“Tibet remains one of the best ecological environments in the world,” said Qi Zhala, chairman of the regional government, during the congress earlier this year. “In 2019, our goal is to achieve the targets for energy consumption, carbon intensity and pollution reduction set by the State, with major cities seeing fairly good air quality on more than 95 percent of days.”
Snow Leopard Protection Project Bears Fruits in Xinjiang

A snow leopard protection project in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has made achievements after monitoring the species in the eastern Tianshan mountains, a major habitat of the species, this winter.

The monitoring work was jointly launched by the local forestry administration bureau of the eastern Tianshan mountains and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in September 2018. A total of 60 infrared cameras have been scattered across the largest state-owned forest in the central and eastern Tianshan mountains, covering an area of around 550 square kilometers.

China has been continuously strengthening wildlife protection efforts in recent years. The snow leopard is a Class-A protected animal in China and the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies it as endangered-to-vulnerable.
Beijing Mulls Earlier Adoption of Emission Standards to Cut Pollution

Beijing’s environmental watchdog is considering adopting the National VI (B) emission standards ahead of the country’s scheduled time, aiming to reduce vehicle emissions and enhance air pollution control in the capital. The new standard would come into effect in Beijing in 2020 and 2023 nationwide.

With the new standard, major polluting gas from light-duty vehicles, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, will be reduced by about 50 percent and emissions of particulate matter will be reduced by about 40 percent, according to the bureau.

For heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks, the emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter are expected to drop by more than 60 percent, it said.
Firework Control Improves Air Quality in Holiday

Chinese cities reported better air quality during the Spring Festival holiday as stricter control on fireworks reduced pollution.

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said the average PM2.5 density in 338 cities dropped 14.2 percent year on year during the period from Monday evening to Tuesday morning, peak hours for air pollution as people set off firecrackers to celebrate the lunar new year.

Compared to the past three years, the level of the major pollutant went down 31.9 percent on average. The air quality in Beijing improved significantly during this year’s holiday, as residents were banned from setting off fireworks within the fifth ring road.
Hainan Seeks to Create a World-class Zone of Ecological Civilization

Hainan province will seek greater cooperation with leading international institutions and think tanks as it creates a world-class ecological civilization zone using international standards.

While launching a large number of projects to help safeguard the top quality of its air, water and soil resources this year, Hainan will turn to ecologically excellent countries to learn from their experience and draw medium-and long-term plans for construction of the Hainan pilot ecological civilization zone. The implementation plan for the (Hainan) National Pilot Ecological Civilization Zone was approved, along with a plan for Hainan Tropical Rainforest Pilot National Park.

The goal is to firmly establish and fully implement the concept of “green water and green hills are gold and silver mountains” and accumulate experience for the construction of ecological civilization across China.
China’s Pollution Control Meets 2018 Targets

BEIJING — China has successfully delivered all the obligatory targets set for 2018 and stayed in line with the timetable outlined by the 13th Five-Year Plan, claimed by Chinese Ecology and Environment Minister Li Ganjie.

Air quality has continued to improve with 338 major cities reporting good air quality on 79.3 percent of days, up 1.3 percentage points from the previous year; in terms of soil pollution control, China had reduced solid waste imports by 46.5 percent year on year; thorough action has been taken to clean up 1,009 “black and malodorous” water bodies in 36 major cities and 1,586 water sources.

China has pledged to coordinate its efforts on environmental protection and economic development in 2019.
Beijing City to Reinforce Greening Efforts

BEIJING — The mayor of Beijing said Monday that more efforts would be made to green the city in the new year, including creating more parks, planting more trees and expanding greenbelt areas downtown.

The annual government work report, delivered by Chen Jining at the opening meeting of the annual session of the Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, said 1,600 hectares of land would be vacated for greening purposes in 2019.

The city has planned to add 16,667 hectares of forest this year, in addition to the 17,933 hectares completed in 2018, according to the report.
Blue Sky Thinking

The completion of the world’s largest air purifier in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi province, has brought promising results and prompted a noticeable improvement in local air quality. The 60-meter-high air purification tower, officially known as the Hybrid Solar Assisted Large Scale Cleaning System, is a scientific project undertaken by the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and Xi’an Jiaotong University. It is the first cleaning system of its kind in the world to combine several advanced new energy technologies that can remove atmospheric pollutants effectively and prevent smog from forming.

The technologies used in the cleaning system are already being applied and promoted in many cities. It has not yet been officially completed, but the research team has already submitted plans to various bodies, and more towers are expected to be built in Xi’an.
Database on soil quality launched to boost pollution control

To improve China’s soil quality, the top environmental watchdog launched a big data platform on soil pollution on Wednesday and published a technical guideline on assessing its damage.

Big data can play a major role in pollution control, urban and rural development planning, land development and agricultural production, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said in a news release.

It was not disclosed which data or geographical regions will be included in the platform, but the ministry said it will make efforts to develop a first-class platform that places “soil environment information on a single map”. The authority said it will tightly control the data quality, and establish a mechanism to update the information and include data analysis.
Xinjiang oilfield closed to protect endangered animals

An oil production operation in a nature reserve in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region has been closed despite the loss of annual output worth hundreds of millions of yuan in order to better protect desert wildlife.

Zhundong Oil Production Plant, a branch of Xinjiang Oilfield of Petro-China that is located in the Junggar Basin, closed 284 oil wells with annual production of 70,000 metric tons of oil in the Kalamayli Nature Reserve, home to endangered animals including the Przewalski’s horse, which has first-class national protection. The annual oil output was valued at more than 300 million yuan ($43.5 million). The Przewalski’s horse is the last surviving subspecies of wild horse. There are currently 2,000 remaining worldwide.
Coal’s steady retreat from power generation gets underway

As people focus their attention on the quality of the air they breathe, and on the impact of climate change, China is seeing a surge in renewable power generation. As part of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), a total of 150 gigawatts of new coal capacity has been canceled or postponed until at least 2020.

Increasingly strict controls on total coal capacity and power plant emissions are expected to see the closure of older plants producing up to 20 gW, and spur technological upgrades to China’s remaining 1,000 gW of coal power, according to analysts. Although coal remains the country’s largest source of electricity, Coal’s share of power generation is expected to fall steadily to nearly 50 percent by 2040, as renewables and nuclear sources increase, according to the International Energy Agency. According to long-term energy outlook released by CNPC Research Institute of Economics and Technology on Aug 15, it said that by 2050, coal, nonfossil energy, and oil and gas will each comprise one-third of the country’s energy mix.
Authorities set up new mechanism to coordinate water protection efforts

Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces have established a working mechanism to jointly protect China’s third-largest freshwater body, Taihu Lake. The mechanism, which is aimed at facilitating consultation and cooperation among officials responsible for the protection of the lake, was launched on Nov 13 when officials from the two provincial governments, the Ministry of Water Resources, the Taihu Basin Authority, and riverside cities, convened for a meeting.

The various parties agreed to share information pertaining to the protection of the river, participate in joint research ventures and implement measures such as inspecting anti-pollution efforts and monitoring the level of blue-green algae in the lake. They will also hold a plenary meeting once a year and conduct random joint inspections of the lake.
Balancing act between economy and environment

Over the weekend, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region in North China, known as Jing-Jin-Ji, saw the resurgence of alarming air pollution. But the air quality has not worsened for no reason. According to experts, the surrounding areas of Beijing are still home to many highly polluting industries such as coal power plants, iron and steel factories, as well as chemical plants. Motor vehicles, particularly heavy trucks running on diesel, are also a major source of pollutants. Statistics show that sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission intensity in Jing-Jin-Ji is 3.6 times higher than the national average, while that of nitrogen oxides (NOX) is four times higher.

In winter, the heating supply, coal burning of households and seasonal stalk burning in Beijing and its surrounding areas emit tons of pollutants resulting in the return of smog. In Beijing, according to the Beijing municipal environmental protection bureau, mobile sources contributed 45 percent of local PM2.5 in 2017. Fossil fuels account for 86.7 percent of China’s energy mix. Last year’s data show that the three biggest consumers of fossil fuels and thus the biggest sources of air pollution in China are industry (64.3 percent), buildings (16.9 percent) and vehicles (15.3 percent).
China can help avert an extinction crisis

Beijing will be crucial to steering an ambitious Paris-style agreement to restore global biodiversity. Top scientists agree that to avert the crisis in biodiversity we must restore and conserve half the earth by 2050, and sustainably manage the other half. Now, many are seeing this as a core element of any Beijing Nature Agreement.

China is taking huge strides to protect large swathes of land across the country through its creation of an ecological civilisation and network of ecological red lines. China is both one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet and a leader in using cutting-edge technologies to address climate change and environmental issues. It has a torch to carry that others can, and will, rally around. There is still time to avoid an irreversible collapse of the natural world. A 2020 Beijing Nature Agreement is a unique opportunity to provide a path for a global ecological civilisation to thrive, and China will be key to making it happen.
Shaanxi to finish its panda project in 10 years

More than 80 percent of the world’s wild pandas live in Sichuan, with the rest in Shaanxi and Gansu. In order to step up protection of wild pandas the Shaanxi province will establish a Giant Panda National Park.

Planning for Giant Panda National Park began in January last year, when the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council issued a circular on the project. The park covers 27,134 sq km, 20,177 sq km of which are in Sichuan province, 2,571 sq km in Gansu province and 4,386 sq km in Shaanxi province. The Sichuan portion of the park is in the Minshan, Qionglai and Daxiangling mountains; the Shaanxi portion is in the Qinling Mountains; and the Gansu portion is in the Baishujiang National Nature Reserve.
Fish species on brink of extinction as water quality declines

The Yangtze River is home to 424 types of fish, of which 183 are endemic, and the categories of freshwater fish in the river comprise 33 percent of the national total. But President Xi Jinping has said that the country’s longest river is almost a “fish desert”.

The Yangtze River Dolphin was declared functionally extinct in 2006, there were only about 1,000 finless porpoise remaining in the Yangtze by the middle of this year and the Chinese paddlefish has not appeared in the river since 2003. The Chinese sturgeon, Chinese sucker fish, Chinese rock carp and Dabry’s sturgeon – all endemic to the Yangtze – are also on the brink of extinction.