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China to establish modern ecological environment monitoring system by 2035

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BEIJING: China will exert great efforts to establish a modern ecological environment monitoring system by 2035 for building “Beautiful China,” according to a document released by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) in Beijing on Friday.

Beautiful China

Currently, three monitoring indicators for evaluating “Beautiful China” have been proposed, including healthy ecosystem, beautiful environment as well as green and low-carbon development.

“In terms of healthy ecosystem, it means whether the biodiversity has become richer, whether the ecosystem has become more stable and more sustainable. In terms of beautiful environment, it means whether the sky is bluer, the water is clearer and the land is greener. And green and low-carbon development is more about green lifestyle and green production methods,” said Jiang Huohua, director of the Department of Ecological and Environmental Monitoring under the MEE.

“The monitoring data will tell you how a beautiful China is achieved,” he added.

China has made remarkable strides in the construction of a modernized ecological environment monitoring system since it entered the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), according to the ministry.

Currently, there are 33,000 environment monitoring points directly monitored by the country. With satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles, monitoring vessels and ground-based survey vehicles, China has ensured a comprehensive coverage of environmental quality, ecological quality and pollution sources monitoring.

In Hangzhou City of east China’s Zhejiang Province, staff at the Office for Affairs on Ecology, Environment and Atmosphere found an alarm signal on their monitoring platform. The staff arrived at the site and found the corn straw was on fire. It turns out that such swift detection of fire was made possible by a taxi passing by.

In recent years, Hangzhou has turned hundreds of taxis and buses into mobile micro air monitoring stations. Small sensing devices are installed on the vehicles to achieve real-time monitoring of particulate matter concentrations in the air along the routes. Ultimately, real-time air images of the entire city are formed.

“Taxis and buses cover much longer routes than private vehicles. After around 400 to 500 taxis and buses are equipped with the devices, they can collect data on the road, covering hundreds of kilometers every day. The data is transmitted to the data center in real time, which enables us to detect and address emerging problems at an early stage,” said Luo Rongqiang, deputy director of the Hangzhou Municipal Ecology and Environment Bureau.

“We will strive to make major progress in the construction of a modern monitoring system in about five years, and then in another five years or so up to 2035, we will basically complete the construction of the monitoring system. We will take advantage of the monitoring data to serve our environmental management and to meet the people’s need, and contribute to building a ‘Beautiful China’ with blue skies, green lands and clear waters,” said Jiang.