China reports progress in environmental protection on rivers, lakes

BEIJING, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Solid progress has been made in China’s campaign against behaviors detrimental to the environment of rivers and lakes in the past three years, according to the Ministry of Water Resources.

A total of 185,000 cases of irregularities such as arbitrary occupation, mining, heap and construction have been addressed since the campaign was launched in 2018, said the ministry.

Some “hard nuts” in lake and river protection have been cracked, while major irregularities such as unapproved construction and reclamation have been effectively contained, it said.

During the campaign, China has cleared over 40 million square meters of illegal construction, some 30,000 km of illegally occupied coastline, more than 40 million tonnes of garbage in rivers and over 10,000 km of illegal dikes, according to Chen Dayong, an official with the ministry.

The lakes and rivers’ functions of flood diversion and storage have been greatly strengthened, and the country’s aquatic ecosystem has witnessed sustained improvement, said Chen.

He said the ministry will next give full play to the river chief and lake chief systems and turn the campaign into a regular practice, so as to resolutely clean up irregularities detrimental to the lakes and rivers.

SOURCE: Xinhua, 21 Nov 2021.

Hangzhou West Lake was the first Chinese cultural heritage of lakes inscribed in the World Heritage List. It is a typical representative of urban landscape lakes in China. Located in the east of Hangjiahu area in the Taihu Basin. (Image by Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences)