China sees notable progress in eco-environment protection in Yangtze River: report
China has made notable progress in improving water quality, restoring aquatic biodiversity and controlling pollution in the Yangtze River basin, according to a report submitted for deliberation at the ongoing session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
Water quality of nearly 97 percent of Yangtze River segments reached Level III standard or above in 2020, 13.3 percentage points higher than the national average and 14.9 percentage points higher than the 2015 figure, according to the report from the State Council, delivered by the Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu.
For the first time, the water quality of the main stream of the Yangtze River reached Level II standard or above in 2020, the report notes.
Provinces and municipalities along the Yangtze River have effectively implemented the 10-year fishing ban, with 228,000 fishermen on 110,000 boats relinquishing their nets, says the report, adding that there have been more frequent sightings of flagship species, such as the Yangtze finless porpoise, after the ban.
In 2020, authorities investigated over 7,500 cases of illegal fishing along the Yangtze River, and seized 34,000 illegal fishing boats and 267,000 units of fishing gear, says the report.
Amid pollution control efforts, 558 hazardous chemical production enterprises in densely populated urban areas of the Yangtze River Economic Belt have been relocated or transformed, accounting for over 97 percent of the total number, says the report.
Measures have been taken to curb agricultural non-point source pollution, says the report, adding that efforts have been strengthened to prevent shipping pollution, promoting the use of new and clean energy by ships in ports along the Yangtze River Economic Belt.
More efforts will be made in promoting green development, preventing and controlling pollution, carrying out ecological restoration, and establishing and improving relevant systems and mechanisms, the report notes.
The Yangtze River conservation law, China’s first legislation on a specific river basin, took effect on March 1, 2021.