China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Environmental problems demand urgent attention

BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- The recent heavy pollution incidents in China fully demonstrated the urgency of the country's environmental problems, a senior official of China's environmental watchdog has said.

"Environmental problems in China are not something far away, but are threatening our daily life," said Pan Yue, deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration, at a concert held here Saturday night to mark the International Volunteers Day, which falls on Dec. 5.

"The problems call for urgent attention and resolute solution," Pan told crowds of environmental protection volunteers that packed a local gymnasium.

The concert was held when a major pollution, caused by a chemical plant explosion, in northeast China's Songhua River are affecting the lives of millions of people along the river.

Another chemical plant explosion, which occurred last week in Dianjiang county of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, has also caused severe pollution to a nearby river, although the local government claimed Saturday that "the situation is under control."

Environmental issues have long been ignored by some local governments in China, as many officials are far more zealous in pursuing economic growth figures for the sake of getting promotion.

Pan, well-known as a staunch environmentalist, acknowledged that environmental problems in China cannot be solved by one governmental department or a small number of people.

"It needs the participation and supervision of entire society," he noted, calling on volunteers to play a greater role in this regard.

The concert drew noted singers both from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, and they jointly advocated stepped-up efforts to build a "green China."

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