China releases white paper on marine environment protection
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China releases white paper on marine environment protection

China releases white paper on marine environment protection

China releases white paper on marine environment protection on July 11, 2024 (Photo/GT)

China released a white paper on marine environmental protection on Thursday, providing the international community with a comprehensive picture of China’s ideas, actions and achievements in marine environmental protection, to facilitate understanding of China’s environmental protection efforts and strengthen international cooperation in this field.

The white paper, titled “Protection of China’s Marine Ecological Environment,” was issued by the Information Office of the State Council. It consists of seven sections, which discuss China’s efforts to improve the marine ecological environment and promote the harmonious coexistence of people and the oceans, coordinate the protection of the marine ecological environment, systematically manage the marine ecological environment, and science-based action on the country’s protection and restoration of the marine ecosystem.

The white paper also outlines China’s efforts to strengthen supervision and administration of the marine ecological environment, promote green and low-carbon development of the marine economy, and carry out all-round international cooperation in protecting the marine ecological environment.

In October 2023, the State Council Information Office released a white paper on the development of China’s high-seas fisheries. Analysts said Thursday’s white paper, which also covers marine development, offers a broad picture of how China has taken up its responsibility to protect and improve the marine environment to protect and sustainably use marine resources.

In the foreword, the White Paper emphasized the importance of the marine ecological environment, noting that it is essential for the ecological balance of the planet, the rational use of resources, the sustainable development of human civilization, and the current and future development of the marine community of the common future. Its protection is important for national ecological security, sustainable marine development and the harmonious coexistence of people and the ocean.

According to the white paper, China, guided by Xi Jinping’s Thought on Ecological Civilization, to meet the new tasks and new requirements of marine environmental protection in this new era, has launched a series of campaigns and made historic transformations and progress of paramount importance.

It emphasized that although China still follows the best practices of the past, it is still working hard to innovate new approaches to protecting the marine ecological environment, including respecting nature and giving priority to protecting the ecological environment, integrating environmental protection and management, enforcing supervision in accordance with the law, pursuing innovation- and technology-driven development, pursuing green transformation and low-carbon development, and upholding a global vision and promoting win-win cooperation.

The third part of the white paper, on China’s systematic management of the marine environment, explains how China is continually strengthening regular supervision of industries such as marine engineering, marine waste disposal, mariculture and marine transportation, and actively responding to threats to the marine environment.

China exercises strict control over the environmental impact of marine engineering and offshore waste disposal. It formulates technical standards to include marine engineering pollution in the administration of discharge permits. In addition, the Chinese government enforces strict ocean waste disposal permits and exercises off-site supervision through automatic ship identification and online monitoring of ocean waste disposal to minimize the environmental impact of waste disposal.

In addition, China has implemented systematic pollution prevention and control measures for mariculture, intensified pollution prevention and control measures for ships in ports, and established a marine environmental emergency response system.

More specific data and examples were listed in the white paper to highlight China’s efforts to identify environmental hazards. For example, Liaoning, Hebei and Shandong provinces and Tianjin Municipality in the Bohai Sea region have conducted risk assessments of environmental hazards and developed emergency response plans for more than 5,400 key enterprises dealing with hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, industrial waste and nuclear energy.

Marine issues are global issues, and protecting the marine ecological environment is a common concern for people around the world. The white paper said China has conducted in-depth, win-win cooperation with the international community through multiple channels and in various forms, contributing Chinese wisdom to the global protection of the marine ecological environment.

While expanding cooperation on scientific research expeditions to the deep sea and polar regions, China is working with other countries to promote the sustainable development of these regions.

For example, China has built five research stations in Antarctica and two in the Arctic in Norway and Iceland. These provide important platforms for thousands of scientists who conduct polar observations, biological monitoring and glacier research.

According to the white paper, 13 scientific expeditions to the Arctic Ocean and 40 to the Antarctic have also been organised, memoranda of understanding or joint statements have been signed with the United States, Russia, Australia, Iceland and New Zealand, and international cooperation has been established with more than 10 countries.

In its concluding section, the white paper noted that as China embarks on a new journey of national renewal through modernization, the country’s maritime endeavors are entering an era of historic opportunity, and protecting the marine ecological environment is becoming a basic requirement and a fundamental guarantee for developing China into a strong maritime country and achieving harmony between people and the sea.

The white paper said the country will continue to build a marine ecological environment based on harmony between people and the sea. It also said China is willing to work with other countries to build a cleaner and more beautiful world in which the oceans are a permanent home for people to live and thrive.