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The symposium on integrated Bohai Sea management held in Beijing

The symposium on the integrated Bohai Sea management was held in Beijing on Feb. 22. Minister Li Ganjie presented at the symposium and delivered remarks. He stressed the importance to put up the tough battle for the integrated Bohai Sea management, promote the steady improvement of its environment, bring back its clean water and beaches, and restore its beauty.

The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to the ecological and environmental protection of the Bohai Sea, noted Li. General Secretary Xi Jinping has delivered important statements and made important instructions on many occasions, requiring putting up an uphill battle for the integrated management of the Bohai Sea. The State Council has approved an action plan for such management and specified the objectives and tasks. In this context, we should raise our political awareness and regard the integrated management of Bohai Sea as a vital measure to act on the people-centered development, address prominent ecological and environmental problems of the Bohai Sea faster, safeguard the marine ecological security, and improve the local economic growth level.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Party committees and governments at all levels along Bohai Rim have raised their ecological awareness, taken more initiative to preserve the environment of the Sea, and introduced a raft of measures such as the management of the rivers that empty into the Sea, the integrated management of the bay, and the removal of illegal aquaculture. As a result, the water quality of the Sea has been steadily improved, so has the local environment, laying a solid foundation for the integrated management of the Sea. However, the Bohai area still suffers from compound pollution problems, chronic ecological problems, and structural risks, posing great challenges to the integrated management of the Sea.

To win this fight, the overall requirement is to make steady progress, take all factors into consideration, apply a myriad of measures, work with two starting points, integrate the priorities with the overall picture, and take an honest and pragmatic work style. The objective is to work towards a “clean, healthy, and safe” Bohai Sea, by integrating the management of the land with the sea, prioritizing the Sea over the lands, and making both major breakthroughs and overall progress, to keep the Sea from further environmental degradation and the three-year action plan to be effective. Three measures will be taken simultaneously. Based on the actual circumstances of the problems, we will give priority to pollution reduction while expanding the environmental capacity, and control risks, in order to make progresses in pollution control, ecological conservation, and risk control. Specifically, to control pollution, we will canvass the sewage outlets that empty into the Sea, control excessive pollutants, and clean up random polluters. To preserve the ecology, we will observe the ecological conservation redlines, control the pollution along the coastline, and restore the wetlands. To control the risks, we will find out the sources of pollution, canvass the potential hazards, and prevent the risks.

First, we will establish a “specialization+cooperation” responsibility system. We will introduce a work mechanism in which the central government makes overall plans, the provinces take overall responsibility, and the counties and cities are in charge of implementation. The three provinces and one municipality along the Bohai Rim will, as the main fighters of the uphill battle, enhance organization and leadership, and introduce local implementation plans that specify local objectives and tasks.

Second, we will establish an “economy+environment” regulatory system. We will exercise strict control over the environmental access and withdrawal, and quicken the pace to draw up the ecological conservation redlines, environmental quality lower limits, and resource use upper limits, and make the negative list for ecological and environmental access. We will make a list of water and sea related industries, processes and industries the development of which are prohibited and restricted, implement the environmental impact assessment system to the letter, clean up the random polluters, and phase out inefficient and irregular processes and equipment.

Third, we will establish a “land area+sea area” governance system. We will control the land-based pollution sooner, canvass and treat the sewage outlets that empty into the Sea, enable the rivers that empty into the Sea to keep water quality better than Grade V national standard, and collaborate on controlling the pollution in the agricultural sector and the rural areas. We will control the pollution to the sea areas, introduce a bay chief system as soon as possible, and improve the system for the control of the pollution by the harbors and ports, ships, aquaculture activities, and marine littering. We will carry out ecological conservation and restoration, strictly observe the ecological conservation redlines in Bohai Sea, and exercise the toughest control over the reclamation and coastline development activities. We will strengthen the prevention of environmental risks, get a clear picture on the distribution of the major risk sources, continue with the environmental risk assessment, enhance compliance inspection, and work harder at the early warning of and the emergency response to marine ecological disasters.

Fourth, we will establish a “supervision+scheduling” supervision system. We will supervise relevant provinces on their efforts in the Bohai Sea management, combined with the second round of the central supervision for ecological and environmental protection. We will set up a work scheduling mechanism to follow up, schedule, and assess the whole process of the integrated Bohai Sea management and issue early warnings, in an effort to identify and coordinate the settlement of major problems in a timely fashion.

Fifth, we will establish a “scientific research+monitoring” support system. We will introduce a joint research mechanism that integrates administrative management with scientific research, assemble permanent task forces to work in coastal cities, establish a work model of “offering partner assistance, making improvements, urging local progress, and producing outputs in the same process”, and implement city-specific, river-specific, and outlet-specific policies. We will strengthen grid-based monitoring and dynamic surveillance, establish a real-time online monitoring system, make sure the data are authentic, accurate, and in entirety, so as to provide a correct and accurate direction for the uphill battle.

The battle for the integrated Bohai Sea management is a tough and challenging one, so we must harbor stronger competitive awareness and overcome self-complacence, fear of hardship, impetuousness, and indifference, noted Li. We will make a list of tasks and check the progress against it, and take a pragmatic, meticulous and accurate work style in the implementation of those tasks. We will analyze and verify the leads on public complaints and hand over the problems to local governments for settlement. We will take the initiative to make publicity, address the public concerns, and create a good atmosphere for the whole society to support the integrated management.

We will prohibit a “one-for-all” approach to the integrated management of the Bohai Sea, emphasized Li. The local areas concerned should map out local implementation plans based on actual circumstances, offer category-specific guidance, adopt suitable measures, and refrain from taking a simplistic approach to shutting down all enterprises without considering the actual circumstances or asking any questions first.

The responsible officials with the governments of Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, and Shandong, and the principals of relevant departments with NDRC, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Natural Resources spoke at the symposium.

Vice Minister Zhai Qing presided over the symposium.

The principals of relevant departments with the NDRC, MOST, MIIT, MOF, MNR, MHURD, MOT, MWR, MARA, MCT, MEM, SAMR, NFGA, and CCGA, the principals and other leading officials with the development and reform, financial, natural resource, and ecological and environmental departments of the three provinces and one municipality along the Bohai Rim, the principals of relevant departments and affiliates of MEE, and the responsible officials with the governments of the 13 coastal cities along the Bohai Rim and the principals with their ecological and environmental departments attended the meeting.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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