China protects key river sources
                 English.news.cn | 2013-12-18 22:31:41 | Editor: Mu Xuequan

BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- China plans to strengthen the environmental protection of the Sanjiangyuan region of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, the source of important rivers.

With an average altitude of 4,000 meters, Sanjiangyuan, which means "source of three rivers" in Chinese, lies in the hinterland of west China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and is home to China's biggest and highest wetlands ecosystem.

A newly-approved protection plan for the region aims to expand the rehabilitation area from 152,000 to 395,000 square kilometers, according to a statement released after Wednesday's executive meeting of the State Council, the country's Cabinet, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.

According to the plan, efforts will focus on protecting and rehabilitating vegetation in the area while improving a monitoring and warning network for local ecological conditions.

Meanwhile, a separate plan on lakes whose water quality are relatively sound was also approved at the meeting. It called for adjusting the industrial structure and distribution in major lake areas and strengthened pollution control of rivers that flow into these lakes.

The statement encouraged strengthened scientific management, wider use of proper technology and the strictest source protection rules, calling for greater government investment and a balance among environmental protection, economic development and people's livelihoods.

Also at the meeting, a report was delivered on combating sandstorms in Beijing and Tianjin, urging more forestation subsidies from the central government and a responsibility pursuit system for forests management.

"Unapproved tree felling, land reclamation, farming, digging and the use of water resources in the forested areas must be strictly cracked down on," said the statement.

In addition, the meeting approved a blueprint on establishing a multifunction ecological experimentation zone in northwest China's Gansu Province that incorporates water saving, ecological protection, industrial restructuring, resettlement of residents and poverty relief.

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