Tuesday, January 18, 2022
HomeWorld NewsWhy Does Yangtze River Have its Own Protection Law? — Global Issues

Why Does Yangtze River Have its Own Protection Law? — Global Issues

  • Opinion by Genevieve Donnellon-May, Mark Wang (Australia)
  • Inter Press Service

The new law suggests that the central Chinese government should change its priorities for rivers and ecological conservation. The YRPL represents an important step in the CCP’s legislation on ecological protection and restoration: it seeks to strengthen the monitoring as well as the prevention and control of water pollution in the river basin by addressing the inability of the current institutions to ensure the protection of the river through 96 provisions spread over nine chapters. The overall goal of YRPL is to protect China’s longest river by strengthening its ecological protection and restoration as well as the promotion of the efficient use of its water resources.

Why is YRPL needed?

The YRPL is needed for four main reasons:

1) To protect the mother river of China: The Yellow and Yangtze rivers are often called in Chinese the “mother rivers”. Like “cradles of Chinese civilization”Of Chinese civilization, the two rivers played important roles in Chinese history, demonstrating their cultural and historical value to China and the Chinese people.

2) To safeguard China’s driving economic force: the Yangtze River has great socio-economic value for China. In particular, the river is an integral part of the Yangtze River Economic Belt which plays a key role in national energy and food security as well as in global supply chains. Covering 21% from China total area, the The Yangtze River Economic Belt is made up of nine provinces (Anhui, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Yunnan and Zhejiang), two municipalities (Chongqing and Shanghai) and many China’s free zones. The region is supposed to represent 45% of the national gross domestic product (GDP), which makes it one of the The economic center of China, and a large agricultural region, making the region one of the most agricultural intensive regions in the world and an integral part of China’s ability to maintain food security. The region plays an important role in China’s rapid development as well as the national green development to push, green agricultural development, and various others development policies.

3) To protect China’s basket of resources: the Yangtze River basin is rich in mineral and water resources, and as important national ecological asset, it is also rich in biodiversity, providing habitat for more than 400 species of fish. As the main source of drinking water for more than 400 million people living near the Yangtze River Basin, the Yangtze River provides drinking water for over 35% of the country’s population or more than 5% of the the total population of the world. The Yangtze River is also an integral part of Chinese hydropower, accounting for 73% of China’s total hydropower capacity.

In addition, the Yangtze River plays a huge role in the south-north water transfer project. The South-North Water Transfer Project diverts water from southern China to secure water supplies to Beijing and other major cities in the North China Plain for both drinking and non-drinking purposes. Together with the Hai River, Yellow River and Huai River, the four rivers form the so-called “four horizontal and three vertical” “sanzhong siheng” (三 纵 四 横) water safety network in China.

4) To maintain sustainable development: the development of the economic belt of the Yangtze River has come at the cost of serious impact on sustainable development both economy and society. The consequences include severe pollution, overfishing, and industrialization as good as sand dredging and dam construction that adversely affects the water quality and biodiversity of the river, as well as environmental and human health. This therefore affects more than 580 million people who live along YREB’s 2 million square kilometer area.

The consequences of lax environmental standards have resulted in the main source of drinking water supply to around 400 million people, that is to say a third of the Chinese population, being threatened. Dangerous levels of heavy metals (for example, arsenic and lead), linked to development and fusion of mineral resources, and which threaten the environment and ecology as good as Human health, food safety, and food safety. The river’s high pollution rates have been linked more to China’s “cancer villages” (癌症 村).

Although the Chinese central government has recognized these concerns in reports and environmental policies (for example, “ecological red lines”Policy of equilibrium environmental and ecological protection and economic growth) and regulations (for example, fishing ban), they are usually subject to poor coordination, application and application. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlighted the need to protect the Yangtze River as a key long-term task through basin-wide coordination at the Yangtze River Economic Belt Development Forum, where he called for “common effort to protect and not develop”. President Xi further stressed that the future development of the economic belt should give priority “green development”And ecology according to the national of China “Ecological Civilization” (Ecological Civilization).

The YRPL offers many opportunities. Aiming to address the water resources management and sustainable development of the Yangtze River Basin by crossing, the YRPL can strengthen the “” of Chinaecological civilization” and green development policies. However, the YRPL presents many challenges. How can the central Chinese government implement and enforce the YRPL at the local level? What type of legal infrastructure or mechanisms are necessary to create an enabling environment for the success of the law? In addition, will be local interests try to master the law of protection on the scale of the basin? Many factories accused of polluting the Yangtze river contributes large sums of money to gross domestic product (GDP) of the provinces. Is it okay, combined with socio-economic disparities between provinces, influence the implementation and effectiveness of the YRPL? Nonetheless, if successful, the YRPL may lead to the universal implementation of similar protection laws for other rivers in China.

Genevieve Donnellon-May is a research assistant at the Institute of Water Policy (IWP) at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include China, Africa, cross-border governance, and the food-energy-water nexus. Geneviève’s work has been published by The Diplomat and the China Environment Forum at the Wilson Center.

Mark Wang is a human geographer specializing in development and environmental issues in China. He is a professor at the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and also director of the Center for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne.

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© Inter Press Service (2022) – All rights reservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service

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