Rural Areas Facing an Environmental Crisis

In his interview with People’s Daily, Professor Chen Changhong, director of Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences and Atmospheric Environment Institute, said:

[...] over the past 16 years, China has constantly explored a way of avoiding the old way of industrialization by polluting first and then treating. With more exchanges with the outside world, China has gradually realized the gap in air quality and environment compared with Europe and other western countries. Because nearly 70% of China’s energy comes from coal, air pollution has been serious.

Yet, he also pointed out that:

Of course there are still big challenges for integrating the policies at all levels across the country, improving people’s awareness in saving energy at all levels and how to get the good central policies be implemented effectively at the grassroot level.

The areas that are facing an environmental crisis, according to China.org.cn’s report, are the rural areas:

While some progress has been made in combating pollution in urban areas, China’s rural areas are facing an environmental crisis and the government urgently needs to crack down on rural pollution, according to a report in the People’s Daily.

The Chinese Environmental Aspect Bulletin says that during 2007 rural areas suffered non-stop ecological degradation caused by both domestic waste and industrial pollution.

China has no national system to monitor the rural environment and protection work depends on the patchy efforts of local governments. The first ever national survey of pollution sources and soil contamination is only now getting under way. Meanwhile the booming economy continues to inflict damage on the rural environment.