BEIJING, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese official has called for more to be done to ensure ecological security as the country observed National Security Education Day on Saturday.
China faces multiple challenges in this regard, including water loss, soil erosion and smog, noted an unnamed official with the National Development and Reform Commission.
China has 2.95 million square kilometers of land suffering from water losses and soil erosion, and 1.73 million square kilometers of desertificated land, according to the official.
To improve the environment, China needs to strengthen control and regulation over the use of land and resources, and implement green industrial policies, the official stressed.
Related laws and regulations should be improved to hold local officials to account when environment damage is incurred, the official said, calling for the building of a mechanism for paid use of natural resources.
China will also step up protection and restoration of the ecological system and address key problems such as water, air and soil pollution.
In addition, China will intensify monitoring of ecological security and actively engage in the global mechanism for improving the ecological environment, the official pledged.
China's environmental protection lags far behind its economic status, and decades of breakneck growth have left the country saddled with problems such as smog and contaminated waterways and soil.
Earlier this year, China's central authorities issued guidelines on an ecological "red line" strategy that will make certain regions protected. The zones will be clearly defined by the end of 2020.
China passed the National Security Law on July 1 of 2015, declaring April 15 the day to raise awareness of national security among the public.