position: EnglishChannel > Innovation China > Article

10 Years Review: Advances in Management of Natural Resources

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2022-09-29 10:42:23 | Author: WANG?Xiaoxia

The Tongluoshan Mine Park built on a former mining area in Chongqing. (PHOTO: XINHUA)

By WANG Xiaoxia

China enjoys an extensive deposit of natural resources including forests, grassland, cultivated land and mineral resources, which has laid a solid foundation for the country's development.

Over the past ten years, thanks to the improvement of governance and the support of science and technology, China has made progress in the protection of forests and grassland, and the more efficient utilization of mineral resources, as well as the restoration of the country's ecological environment.

Improved management

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), China has established a standard system for the confirmation and registration of natural resources, and launched an overall plan for land use.

The enactment of Wetland Protection Law and the revision of the Land Management Law, the Forest Law, and the Surveying and Mapping Law, have helped protection of natural resources and the ecological environment.

With the high-resolution images acquired through China's remote sensing satellites, the mapping geographic information has given strong support to land surveys, pollution source surveys and disaster prevention, and given a strong impetus to the reform of digital governance.

The damage rates of forest fires and grassland fires remained below 0.9 permille and 3 permille, respectively, much lower than the world average, according to MNR. Over the past 10 years, China has planted a total of 960 million mu (1 mu is equal to 1/15 hectare) of forests, which contributed a quarter of the world's new forest area, with 165 million mu of grassland witnessing improved conditions, and more than 12 million mu of wetlands restored, said MNR.

In 2021, a herd of Asian elephants went viral online. After 124 days and a journey of more than 1,400 kilometers, the elephants safely returned to their original habitat, Xishuangbanna Reserve, and are now in good health, said Li Chunliang, deputy administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, adding that this story implies the improvement of China's forests and grasslands.

Green transformation

China has recorded an increase in the reserves of major mineral resources through continuous exploration, and maintained the world's largest output of coal, tungsten and other mineral products for many years, according to MNR.

Meanwhile, China's energy consumption mix has kept improving. Over the past decade, the proportion of coal in energy consumption decreased by 14.2 percent, while the proportion of non-fossil energy such as hydropower, nuclear power and wind power increased by 8.2 percent, according to the report China Mineral Resources 2022 released by the MNR.

Efforts were also made to regulate the exploration and promote the construction of green mines and ecological rehabilitation of mines, during the past ten years.

As of December 2021, 10,202 exploration rights were registered nationwide, down by 1.6 percent year-on-year; and 32,536 mining rights were registered nationwide, down by 6.1 percent year-on-year. To date, there are more than 1,100 national-level green mines in China.

In Tangshan, Hebei province, an ecological park was built on mine subsidence of more than 30 square kilometers, improving local living conditions and bringing job opportunities.

International cooperation

Over the past ten years, China has been committed to the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by innovating the methods of international exchanges and cooperation in the field of natural resources.

In 2020, the country offered its updated 30-meter resolution global land cover data to the UN, while in May this year, the UN Global Geospatial Knowledge and Innovation Centre was inaugurated in Deqing, Zhejiang province.

Practical cooperation was also carried out in the field of geology and minerals through exchange platforms such as China International Mining Conference, and the China-ASEAN Mining Cooperation Forum and Promotion Exhibition.

Meanwhile China has participated in the global marine and ecological governance under the framework of the UN, and implemented the United Nations Decade of Marine Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), so as to ensure marine science can promote sustainable development of the ocean.

By promoting the Blue Partnership, China has established maritime cooperation relations with more than 50 countries and international organizations, and provided tsunami warnings and other public goods and services to countries surrounding the South China Sea.

China will continue to improve the system for marine resources protection and exploration, and promote high-quality development of the marine economy, said the MNR.

Editor: 王晓夏

Top News

RCEP Cooperation Concrete

For the past two weeks, a series of events were held to boost regional and international cooperation, including the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits in Cambodia, the 17th Summit of the Group of 20 (G20) in Indonesia, and the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting in Thailand.

Sci-tech Advance Needs Collaboration, No Decoupling

China and the U.S. need to find an intermediate point, where both sides can be accommodated.