The MEE, NDRC, and MNR jointly released the Action Plan for the Uphill Battles for Integrated Bohai Sea Management (hereinafter referred to as the Action Plan) recently, which specifies the general requirements, scope and objectives, key tasks, and support measures for the integrated Bohai Sea management, and proposes the timetable and roadmap for the uphill battles for such management.
The action plan is pivoted on the ecological and environmental improvement of the Bohai Sea, targets at the pressing ecological and environmental problems, takes both the land and the sea into consideration, makes plans for the lands based on the marine situations, coordinates the pollution control, ecological conservation, and risk control, and treats the symptoms and the root causes of marine pollution. Multiple measures are adopted to protect the Bohai Sea from further ecological and environmental degradation and enable the upcoming three-year management to be effective.
The objectives are to significantly cut down the amount of the land-based pollutants discharged into the seas, and evidently reduce the volume of the waters that fail to meet Grade V standard from the rivers that empty into the seas; enable the industrial pollution sources that discharge into the seas to meet the discharge standards stably; remove the sewage outlets that are illegally or unreasonably installed to discharge into the seas; establish sound systems to control the pollution by ports and harbors, ships, aquaculture activities, and garbage; exercise the toughest control over sea reclamation activities, continue to improve the ecosystem functions of the coastal belts, and gradually restore the fishery resources; enhance the capacities to monitor and issue early warnings for environmental risks, and respond to related emergencies. By 2020, up to 73 percent of the coastal seawaters in the Bohai Sea will have recorded Grade I or Grade II seawater quality standard, the proportion of natural coastlines preserved will have kept at around 35 percent, the area of coastal wetlands restored will have been no less than 6,900 ha., and the length of restored coastline will have increased by about 70 km.
The action plan decides to wage four uphill battles, specifically, the land-based pollution management, the marine pollution management, the ecological conservation and restoration, and the control of environmental risks. The document also specifies the quantifiable indicators and deadlines.
First, the land-based pollution management. The pollution of the rivers that are listed under the national monitoring programs and empty into the seas will be controlled, and the control of the pollution from other rivers that empty into the seas will be pushed forward. The sewage outlets that discharge into the seas will be canvassed and traced back to their sources, and the discharge of the industrial pollutants into the seas without any treatment measures will be under strict control, by rectifying such sources for them to meet the discharge standards constantly. The sewage outlets that are illegally or unreasonably installed to empty into the seas will be removed. The small-sized sporadic polluters, the pollution in the agricultural sector and rural areas, and the domestic pollution in the urban areas will be controlled. The land-based pollutants discharged into the seas will be reduced through integrated management.
Second, the marine pollution management. The pollution from marine aquaculture will be controlled, and unapproved aquaculture will be removed. The pollution from ships and ports will be controlled, and the discharge standard for water pollutants from ships will be observed to the letter. The integrated environmental management of the fishing ports will be carried out by integrating the environmental infrastructures on ships, at ports, and in urban areas. The bay chief system will be rolled out, specifying the responsibilities and coordination mechanisms for the control of the pollution on land and at sea.
Third, the ecological conservation and restoration. The ecosystems along the coastal belts will be preserved, and the ecological conservation redlines will be delineated and strictly observed at Bohai Sea. The marine conservation area within the conservation redlines of the Bohai Sea will reach around 37 percent of the combined sea areas governed by Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, and Shandong. The sea reclamation and development activities along the coastline will be controlled by the most rigorous standards. Natural protected areas will be delineated and coastal wetlands will be preserved. Furthermore, ecological restoration and marine biological resource protection will be carried out.
Fourth, the control of environmental risks. The risks from land-based environmental emergencies will be controlled, and the risk assessment of environmental emergencies in the Bohai Sea area will be conducted. Preventive measures will be taken to tackle the oil spill risks at sea, and such risks will be checked in the offshore oil platforms, oil pipelines, and land terminals. Algal bloom monitoring, early warning, emergency response and information release systems will be established in the sea areas vulnerable to ecological disasters, major sea beaches, and coastal resorts.