The province of Fujian constitutes an impressive ecological barrier in South China. It started to conserve ecological conditions with great effort ahead of most of its domestic counterparts. In 2000, Guidelines of Fujian Province on Building an Ecological Province was formulated and put into force. For the past 10 years, Fujian has adhered to the principle of ecological development and carried out the initiative to build an ecological province consistently. In 2014, Fujian was selected by the State Council as the National Demonstration Zone for Promoting Sound Ecological Progress. In 2016, it was officially designated as the National Ecological Conservation Pilot Zone to implement the comprehensive reform of institutional system. Ecological development has been on a salient position and integrated into economic, political, cultural and social development. It has become a consensus to people in Fujian that well-conserved ecological conditions are our most precious resources and ecological advantages are our most competitive edge. Therefore, to protect and develop ecological environment deserves our greatest effort.
Fujian is a province to pride itself on great water and air quality and ecological environment. Of the 12 main rivers in Fujian, the 96.5% are of quality Class I to Ⅲ, of which 60.1% are of quality Class I and II. The air quality of the nine multi-district cities and Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone is all up to the standard for 98.2% of the year, 19.4 percentage points higher than the national average. The concentration of PM 2.5 is 42.6% lower than the national average. Fuzhou and Xiamen rank fifth and fourth respectively among 74 cities in China in terms of air quality. The pollutant emissions of chemical oxygen demand, ammoniacalnitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide have decreased by 12.42%, 12.43%, 14.09%, and 15.30% respectively, meeting the reduction targets set by the central government.
During the 12th Five-Year Plan period, Fujian’s energyconsumption per unitofGDP and carbon dioxide emission have decreased by 33% and 26.3% respectively, better than the national requirements. Fujian has put in place a rigid water resource management system, with water consumption per RMB 10,000 industrial added value deduced by 47.6% compared with that of 2010.The economical, intensive and effective way of utilizing land resources has been doing well. Meanwhile, port management has been strengthened and the reform of sea area utilization has been deepened. The circular economy has been consistently promoted. And positive results have been achieved in the process of developing the National Circulation Reform Demonstration Pilot Zone, the National Urban Mines Demonstration Base, and Circular Economy Demonstration City.
Fujian has been known as “the Green Treasure” in South China for its forest coverage as high as 65.95%, ranked consecutively the first nationwide. The wooded area in the province represents 76.28% of its total landmass, amounting to 139 million mu (or 9.27 hectares), among which 30.9% is the provincial or national-level ecological non-commercial forest, amounting to 42.93 million mu (2.86 million hectares). The aggregate forest growing stock is 608 million cubic meters. There are four multi-district cities, namely Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Longyan and Sanming, winning the title of National Forest City, in addition to 34 provincial forest cities. During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, the province has completed a forest plantation of 16.65 million mu (1.11 million hectares) and won the title of Frontrunner in Forest Plantation from the National Committee of Forest Plantation. The mangrove forest plantation area has increased from 650 hectares in 2000 to over 1,400 hectares, which has further improved the eco-environment for the wetlands in Fujian.
We have built 92 natural reserves with a total area of 455,000 hectares (accounting for 3.67% of Fujian’s landmass), of which 16 are national ones and 23 provincial ones. During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, Fujian has newly established four national natural reserves (wetland in the estuary of the Min River for instance), and five national wetland parks (Longtou Wetland Park in Yong’an County, for instance), with the total reserve areas amounting to 36,000 hectares. The responsibility system of major counties for soil erosion treatment under the guidance of a provincial leader has been set up. In that regard, a number of counties like Changting County have become models of soil erosion treatment. During the 12th Five-Year Plan Period, we completed the soil erosion treatment of about 12 million mu (8,000 km2). The system of “river chiefs” has been fully implemented in full swing in the water pollution control campaign. And we have been working to improve the water environment of the major river valleys and offshore areas in a comprehensive manner. By the end of 2016, Xiamen and Quanzhou have been awarded National Eco-Friendly City, while 32 counties (Changtai, Nanjing, and Dehua etc.) National Eco-Friendly County.
With the overall improvement of the urban and rural environment, there appears a group of international and national garden cities. The program of “Improving 1,000 Villages and Building 100 Pilot Villages” has been carried out to bring forth a number of model villages for beautiful environment. The province has built 147 urban sewage treatment plants, handling 88% of the sewage in the cities and counties, with a daily processing capacity of 5.64 million tons. An urban and rural integrated garbage treatment system has been enforced, under which the garbage is collected by villages, transferred by towns and finally treated in counties. In urban areas, we are able to handle 97% of daily life garbage with a processing capacity of 28,000 tons a day.
Innovation in Mechanism
Fujian is exploring new patterns of eco-friendly development, fostering new dynamics of promoting green development and opening new routes for green development to benefit the public. By giving full play to its ecological advantages, the province is trying to set up and improve such systems as land space planning and land utilization control, environment treatment and eco-conservation market, diversified eco-compensations and natural resources asset ownership, as well as performance evaluation on green development. Regulatory documents have been enacted to cultivate and develop market entities in environment treatment and eco-protection. The pilot reform has been carried out in commercial forest redemption for major ecological protection areas. The pilot program to develop Wuyi Mountains into a national park has been well underway. And efforts have been made to set up the carbon emissions trading market system and the saved energy trading system. The paid use of waste discharging and credits trading are implemented in an all-round way. Innovation is also being promoted in green finance. Regulatory measures have been enacted to supervise and review the work of environmental protection. Improvements are being made in the judicial protection mechanisms for the environment and resources. The pilot move is made to audit outgoing chief officials on natural resources and assets.