Ministry of Environmental Protection Issues Communique of China’s Environment in 2013
According to the Communique of China’s Environment in 2013 released on Jun. 4 by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, ecological protection in China is faced with difficulties and challenges despite the improvement in environmental quality nationwide. First of all, the quality of the national water environment is not satisfactory. Secondly, the water quality in offshore areas is at an ordinary level. Thirdly, the ambient air quality of Chinese cities is far below the standard. Based on the new Ambient Air Quality Standard, only 4.1 percent of the 74 cities using the new standard to monitor air quality are up to the standard in the first phase. 69.5 percent of the other 256 cities using the old standard are up to the standard. Fourthly, the national urban acoustic environmental quality is preferable in general. Fifthly, the national radiation environmental quality is generally favorable. Sixthly, the national land environment is still in a serious situation. Regional arable land decreased by 80,200 ha within a year due to land degradation. In China, the existing soil erosion area is 295 million ha, accounting for 30.7 percent of the total land area. Seventhly, forest and grassland resources remain stable. With the forest area of 208 million ha, the forest coverage rate in China is 21.6 percent; grassland area, with nearly 400 million ha, accounts for 41.7 percent of the total land area. Eighthly, the ecological environmental quality is generally stable. About 67.2 percent of the land area has a good or ordinary ecological quality. As of the end of 2013, China had set up 2,697 nature reserves at different levels, with a total area of about 146.31 million ha, of which the land area accounts for about 14.8 percent of China’s total land area; 407 national-level nature reserves, with an area of about 94.04 million ha.