China speeds up first survey on soil pollution
Updated: 2007-02-22 17:18
China is speeding up its first survey on soil pollution which is costing the
country more than 20 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars) a year,
according to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) recently.
However, the administration did not provide any details of the ways in
which they might complete the survey, which began last July, more quickly.
The investigation focuses on farmland protection areas, main
grain-producing areas, the Yangtze Delta Region, Pearl River Delta Region, and
areas around Bohai Bay.
China launched two nationwide investigations
into its soil quality respectively in the 1950s and 1970s but the two previous
ones investigated the fertility of the soil rather than soil pollution.
The central government is to allocate 1 billion yuan (125 million U.S.
dollars) for the national survey which will be concluded in 2008.
the survey, plans will be drafted for soil pollution prevention and pilot
projects on rehabilitating and treating the soil will be carried out. A soil
quality supervision and management system will also be built.
director Zhou Shengxian has said that China faces "serious" soil pollution that
jeopardizes the ecology, food safety, people's health and the sustainable
development of agriculture.
It is estimated that 12 million tons of
grain are polluted each year by heavy metals that have found their way into
soil. Direct economic losses exceed 20 billion yuan (about 2.5 billion U.S.
dollars), according to SEPA figures.