China to establish national eco-experimental zones

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Beijing | Published: August 23, 2016 1:48:03 PM

China will set up several national ecological experimental zones to carry out reforms in the 'ecological civilisation' in a bid to improve the environment damaged by fast-paced development in the past three decades.

Main experiments will include establishing a natural resource property right system, compiling natural resource balance sheet, optimising land and space planning, and incorporating ecological performance into officials' evaluation.(Source: Reuters)Main experiments will include establishing a natural resource property right system, compiling natural resource balance sheet, optimising land and space planning, and incorporating ecological performance into officials’ evaluation. (Source: Reuters)

China will set up several national ecological experimental zones to carry out reforms in the ‘ecological civilisation’ in a bid to improve the environment damaged by fast-paced development in the past three decades.

The guideline, issued by ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Cabinet aimed at carrying out reforms on ‘ecological civilisation system’, state-run Xinhua news agency reported today.

According to targets set in the guideline, major progress shall be achieved by 2017 and fully-fledged ecological civilisation systems shall be established by 2020, with best practices replicable across the country.

Main experiments will include establishing a natural resource property right system, compiling natural resource balance sheet, optimising land and space planning, and incorporating ecological performance into officials’ evaluation.

Fujian, Jiangxi and Guizhou provinces, which have ‘relatively optimal ecological foundation, and relatively strong environmental and resource capacity’, were selected as the first batch of experimental zones, it said.

An implementation plan for Fujian province was released together with the guidelines yesterday.

According to the implementation plan, Fujian will strive to become a leader in national land and space planning by explicitly reserving land and space for ecological protection, and never overstepping the ‘red line.’

Fujian will also strive to establish a property rights system of natural resource assets as well as systems that reflect market values of ecological products, thereby introducing economic incentives into ecological protection.

The province will also try to improve officials’ performance evaluation to reflect their “ecological performance” such as resource depletion or environmental degradation on their watch.

Specific measures will include compiling natural resource balance sheets, and natural resource asset auditing at times when the official-in-charge concludes his or her term.

Targets were set in the plan, including the water quality of over 90 per cent of water systems in the province will reach optimal level, 23 cities will enjoy good air quality on over 90 per cent of days, and forest coverage will pass 66 per cent by 2020.

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