Hebei urged to rectify land reclamation problems

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 22:48:22|Editor: yan
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BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) on Tuesday criticized north China's Hebei Province for failing to properly approve and supervise land reclamation and implement national policy.

An SOA inspection team found a number of issues concerning land reclamation in Hebei during an inspection in August and September, said an SOA press release.

The province has made slow progress in restoring the environment along its coast, the statement said, adding that it had only finished three out of the 21 restoration projects with funding from the central government from 2012 to 2016. Only 26.5 percent of the funding required from local governments was actually allocated.

The provincial government was also found to have violated state regulations by setting the reserve of natural coastline at 20 percent instead of the 35 percent approved by the State Council, the statement said.

A total of 31 projects were approved against the red line of marine ecological protection in 2017 and 17 projects involving use of the sea were approved when they had not obtained required preview reports and sea reclamation quota.

A large amount of reclaimed land remain deserted, the statement said. Since 2002, about 30,000 hectares of sea was transformed into land in Hebei but only 32 percent of that was actually developed.

Out of 18,424 hectares of aquaculture, only 27 percent had obtained the right to use the sea area, said the statement.

Local administrative committees were also found to have used financial allocations to help businesses pay fines for illegal activities in reclamation or return the fines by other means.

The province also failed to protect nature reserves. Tourism, aquaculture and shipbuilding had all been allowed in a national nature reserve in Changli County.

The marine environment is degraded, with red tides and green tides. Quality of water flowing into the sea does has not reached the national standard for a long time, the statement said.

The provincial government was told to submit a plan for rectification within 30 work days and report on progress in six months.