Clean waters and clear skies
Editorial  ·  2024-01-22  ·   Source: NO.4 JANUARY 25, 2024

Yundang Lake, in Xiamen, Fujian Province, is a refuge for locals, visitors and wildlife.

Several decades ago, however, the seriously polluted lake was repellant to animals and humans alike. In the 1980s, the city began to address its dismal state, halting the discharge of untreated sewage. Now, Yundang Lake has been restored to its former pristine state and has become one of the crowning achievements in Xiamen's campaign to become a garden city and to achieve harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

President Xi Jinping has put forward a series of ideas that guide the nation's sustainable development efforts. Xi worked in Fujian from the 1980s to the early 2000s, holding a number of posts including vice mayor of Xiamen and provincial governor. The province has been a pioneer in the implementation of Xi's "green is gold" philosophy. The restoration of Yundang Lake is one of the many success stories arising from it.

In recent years, China has been accelerating the restoration and protection of its natural environment in the belief that economic growth and environmental protection are not conflicting goals but can be mutually reinforcing.

In 2016, the Chinese Government launched the Shan-Shui Initiative, which translates to "mountains and rivers," to restore ecosystems across the country. The initiative was recognized as a World Restoration Flagship by the United Nations in December 2022, and more than 5.33 million hectares had been restored as of December 2023.

China has also put in place a protected area (PA) system, which focuses on national parks. Around 10,000 PAs have been established, accounting for 18 percent of the country's total land area. In addition, redlines have been drawn around areas that perform critical environmental functions, applying stringent measures to protect them from the potentially harmful effects of urbanization.

Xi envisions a new model for human progress that calls for coordinated development on economic, political, cultural, ethical, social and eco-environmental fronts. The "green is gold" philosophy is a core concept in eco-environmental progress. It represents a break with the idea that economic growth and environmental protection cancel each other out. Instead, protecting the environment is an important path to economic development, and new technologies and resources generated by economic development can further enhance environmental governance.

China Focus
Special Reports
About Us
Contact Us
Advertise with Us
Partners: China.org.cn   |   China Today   |   China Pictorial   |   People's Daily Online   |   Women of China   |   Xinhua News Agency   |   China Daily
CGTN   |   China Tibet Online   |   China Radio International   |   Global Times   |   Qiushi Journal
Copyright Beijing Review All rights reserved 京ICP备08005356号 京公网安备110102005860