China is facing serious problems with water and marine pollution. Chinese law is intended to deal with the problem and the Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law and Marine Environmental Protection Law were adopted some years ago. However, there are several drawbacks with this current legislation, such as: a lack of coordination between the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Water Resources Management; government failure to act in the countryside; and the lack of public participation. It is also noted that the most significant causes of marine pollution are from land-based sources and this pollution is principally carried into the sea. Nevertheless, China established two separate regimes for the prevention and control of water pollution and marine pollution. However, the separation of these two regimes then becomes an obstacle for effective prevention of marine pollution.
Due to the increasingly serious soil pollution problem in China legislative measures have become imperative. This chapter analyses the development and relevant specific systems of legislation on soil pollution control by diachronic and synchronic research methods; these investigations demonstrate the need for perfecting relevant regulations. In view of the national conditions, the Chinese Government has admitted that more attention should be paid to soil pollution control and this chapter argues that contributions to special legislation including the accumulation of years of practical experience and some scattered legislation are already in place. Under the circumstances, a Soil Pollution Control of People's Republic of China would be a rational step and should be recommended. This chapter makes some recommendations on how to embody the new law’s basic ideas.
Edited by Qin Tianbao
This Handbook provides a comprehensive review of the salient content and major developments of environmental law in transitional China. The core concepts, basic mechanisms and key challenges of Chinese environmental law are discussed, extending the frontier of understanding in this fundamental area. Previous knowledge of Chinese environmental law is built upon, taking into consideration the concerns of how to face environmental issues in the context of economic growth. Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of the nuances of environmental law in China from this extensive overview.
The first protected area in China was Dinghushan Nature Reserves in Guangdong Province, which was designated as such in 1956. The establishment of protected areas in China started fairly late, but has developed rapidly. Compared to the achievements of the construction of protected areas, however, the legislation in China is relatively backward. Although China had already promulgated some regulations on protected areas, like the Administrative Measures on Forest Parks (Forest Ministry, 1993); the Regulation on Nature Reserves (the State Council, 1994); and the Regulation on Scenic Interest Areas (the State Council, 2006) there has been no special law of the country of protected areas administration, although this is in now process. The purpose of this chapter is essentially to address the problem that the legislation of protected areas in China is relatively backward, through analyzing the legislative situation and the existing main problems, as well as discussing the methods necessary for a feasible solution.
Ocean and fresh water resources are vital to China’s development. After the adoption of open door policy in 1978, the Chinese economy grew extremely fast, however, the cost of this economic growth was paid in the deterioration of natural resources. The first part of this chapter provides an overview of Chinese legislation on ocean conservation. The ocean plays a significant role for mankind and China must, therefore, deal with ocean conservation. To meet its obligations China ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 1996 and has also established a legal regime for ocean conservation. This includes a Marine Environmental Protection Law, an Islands Protection Law, a Sea Areas Use Management Law, a Fisheries Law, a Protection of Wildlife Law and subordinate regulations and rules (such as the Regulation on Management of the Foreign-related Marine Scientific Research). Freshwater is one of the basic conditions for the survival of human beings and for the health of the planet. The demand for water has increased worldwide either for drinking water or for other purposes associated with modern living standards. However, the distribution of fresh water resources is not even: in some regions there may be excessive water, in other areas there may be a shortage. Moreover, human activities may have direct or indirect effects on the quality of water supply. Therefore, to ensure that the fresh water resources are used and developed in a sustainable way is a challenge for government and local community. The role performed by law is critical. A sound and well-balanced freshwater resources law should be viewed within the contemporary context. In many cases, existing legislation to manage and conserve the supply of fresh water has come down from the past when the resource was considered to be inexhaustible. Nowadays, the philosophies of sustainable development, rational use of resources and environmental protection have outdated old water resources legislation in many countries. This is the same case for China.
This chapter gives an overview of mineral resources and legislation associated with it in China. The basic legal principles of mineral resources law of China include: state ownership of mineral resources; rational exploitation and sustainable development; and attaching equal importance to mineral resources development and environment protection. The legal institutions such as the property system, mineral resources planning systems, the management system of mineral resources exploration, management system of mineral resources exploitation and the environment protection system in the process of mineral resources exploration all play an important role in the exploration, utilization, protection, and management of mineral resources. Violators will usually have administrative and criminal liability in the mineral resources affairs.
Since the PRC Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution Caused by Solid Waste was passed in 1995, the mechanism construction on the prevention of pollution by solid wastes has been gradually improved and perfected so that a pollution prevention mechanism system featuring extensive coverage, strong operability and a gradually reasonable and regulated structure has been formed. This chapter provides an overview of the regulations in this area, which include the existed legislation and its complex history, its fundamental principles and its supervision mechanism, but also its insufficiencies and recommendations for its improvement.
Toxic and harmful substances refer to those that are used in daily life that can pollute the environment, make people and animals toxic, sicken or die. From the perspective of environmental legislation, toxic and harmful substances are mainly of two types: the first type refers to chemical substance and the second to radioactive substance. At present, China has laws on single-line preventions on radioactive substances but has not yet promulgated comprehensive legislation on the prevention of pollution caused by the chemical substances. However, some regulations that originally were aimed at controlling chemical substances provide, to a degree, the legal grounds to prevent chemical pollution. This chapter provides an overview of China’s Regulations on Controlling and Prevention of Chemical Substance Pollution; on the Prevention and Treatment of Radioactive Contamination Pollution; and on the Prevention and Treatment of Pesticide Pollution.
As the scarcity of land resource becomes more serious, strengthening legal protection becomes urgent. In view of its critical importance, scholars in various fields and countries have defined land resources differently. The natural characteristics, such as finiteness, and the legal characteristics in both public and private law, make the protection of land resources unique. The situation in China is no exception. A range of challenges, such as land ecosystem deterioration, land waste and land pollution, are currently faced in contemporary China. This chapter examines all these situations and finally summarizes the legal system of protection and management, represented by the current legislation in land management in China.