Yellow River protection at heart of guideline
An outline on the protection and sustainable development of the Yellow River basin was released recently, ensuring the safe handling of one of China's most important watercourses until the middle of the century.
It includes measures to support environmental protection, water conservation and urban planning along China's second-longest river, whose agricultural production areas account for about one-third of the country's total grain and meat output.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the ministries of natural resources and water resources jointly issued the document, titled "Outline of the Yellow River Basin's Ecological and Environmental Protection".
The document will serve as a guide addressing challenges for policymaking and engineering project planning in the basin.
By 2030, the document predicts that the basin's environment and associated industrial layout will have been further improved, as well as governance systems around its climate and broader environment.
By the middle of the century, the Yellow River basin will be full of vitality, with people and the waterway coexisting in harmony, the document said.
It said that to achieve its goals, the country will need to coordinate the governance of industry, agriculture, urban and rural life, and mining interests along the Yellow River basin.
Regarding water conservation, the document requires cities to plan industries and other development based on sustainable water resource capacity.
The document said that provincial regions should cooperate to manage and protect the river's upper, middle and lower reaches, its mainstream tributaries and its banks.
The Yellow River nourishes major agricultural production areas that are also important bases for the energy, chemicals and raw materials industries. The river's development is critical for the socioeconomic growth of the country, the document said.
The document covers vital ecological areas along sections of the river that run through seven provinces－Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Henan and Shandong－as well as the Ningxia Hui and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions.
In recent years, the environmental health of the river has improved due to water conservation and reasonable space arrangement, the document said.