China’s environmental crisis facts
Issues affecting biophysical environment as well as human health are due to rapid industrialization and lax environmental oversight. 16 of the most polluted cities are in China. This should be a cause for concern.
In 2012, there was increased citizen activism regarding decisions made by government which were perceived as environmentally degrading. Retired Chinese Communist Party official reported more than 50,000 environmental protests occurred in 2012.
In 2014, China amended its protection laws to help fight pollution and reserve environmental damage in the country. The companies that are considered great contributors to pollution have been shut down as a result.
The greatest problem affecting this course of action however is corruption. Many government officials are paid off to prevent closure of some prime companies in China. This has resulted to failure in trying to kill pollution in China.
However, China was listed among top 15 countries in the world with the most “closed forest”. 12% of land area is closed forest. Preservation efforts are more crucial due to the growing population.
Loss of natural habitats in China due to land reclamation has resulted in destruction of 65% of tidal wetlands around China’s Yellow sea coastline in approximately 50 years.
Desertification is also expanding at a rate of 67km2 and above every year. 90% of this occurring in the West of the country. 30% of surface area is desert.
The “Green Wall of China” project initiated in 2001 that cost $8 billion was aimed at restoring most desert land to forest by 2050. This may sound unachievable to some but where there is a will, there is a way. Good luck to China.