Saving Our Land – An Zi

From Beijing Review:

Latest statistics released by the Ministry of Land and Resources show that in the last five years, due to rapid economic development and the frequent adjustment of the agricultural structure, cultivated land declined by 6 million hectares on the Chinese mainland, from 128.27 million hectares in October 2000 to 122.08 million hectares in October 2005, a net annual decrease of 1.23 million hectares. The per-capita cultivated land decreased to 0.093 hectares from 0.094 in 2004.

Ma Kai, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the new Five-Year Plan emphasizes social and environmental development, indicated by the resource consumption and pollutant emission index.

“We use the two indexes to judge the input and output balance, which will show how much sacrifice we are making in resources and the environment while pursuing high economic performance,” Ma said. “If we only chase after high economic output and ignore the importance of environmental protection, we will have to pay more in the future for what we do today. That kind of growth is not a healthy or true growth. Or, it can be said that it is a mode of suicidal growth.” [full text]

See also “Arguments – Data Quality” and “Trends of China’s Arable Land” by International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

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