China’s State Council has released a plan for the country’s second national census on pollution sources, with the results to be published in 2019. Seven years after the results of the first national pollution census, the government launched a second survey to investigate the scale, structure and distribution of pollution sources. The survey will cover industrial, agricultural and residential pollution…Full Article: Xinhua Sept 2017

Key Point

  • In 2010, China published its first national pollution census.

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  • In August 2017, the World Bank in China announced it would lend USD 100 million to ameliorate heavy metal pollution in Hunan Province, central China. The World Bank program will encompass 8,000 hectares of farmland (primarily rice crops).
  • In June 2017, China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress began drafting a law on soil pollution prevention and control. If the law is approved, fines ranging from CNY 500,000 to CNY 2 million (~USD 73,000 to USD 292,000) will be levied on companies found dumping waste (sewage/sludge) containing heavy metals or other pollutants on farmland.
  • In November 2016, Canada’s Nelson Soil Remediation and China’s Suzhou Niersen Environmental and Ecological Technology signed a joint venture agreement.
  • In October 2016, Chinese representatives from Suzhou Niersen Environmental and Ecological Technology and Canadian representatives from Nelson Soil Remediation attended the RemTech 2016 (soil remediation) conference in Banff National Park, Alberta.
  • In May 2016, China’s State Council published an “Action Plan on the Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution”. Key to the plan would be business-backed (private enterprise) soil remediation efforts/investments.
  • In 2015, China launched a pilot program to boost the productivity of its black soil through erosion control and increased usage of organic matter. A total of 17 grain producing counties in northeastern China, including Suihua City, were select to participate. According to a Suihua agricultural official, the percentage of organic matter in Suihua City’s black soil has declined from 5.8% to 4% over the past 30 years. In general, more than 50% of the city’s arable land is threatened by erosion.
  • In July 2015, China announced it would publish an action plan on the prevention and treatment of soil pollution for the mainland. According the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Technology Standards at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the soil pollution action plan would be made public during the latter half of 2015. Also during the same month, according to China’s Ministry of Agriculture, less than 33% of fertilizers and pesticides are absorbed by crops while more than 50% of livestock and poultry waste is not processed (e.g. biofuel, fertilizers, etc.).
  • In 2014, China released a survey that 16% of its soil area exceeded state mandated pollution limits.
  • In late 2013, China announced it would halt agricultural production on ~3.33 million hectares of land owing to soil pollution (e.g. heavy metals, pesticides, and additives).
  • In June 2012, the Heilongjiang’s Director of Soil and Fertilizer Administration stated that in 1949 the province had black soil up to one meter (~3.2 feet) deep. This depth of black soil has since shrunk to half a meter or less due to soil erosion.
  • In 2012, northeastern China (i.e. Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, and Inner Mongolia) had approximately 35.2 million hectares of black soil.
  • According to a 2011 survey conducted by China’s Ministry of Agriculture, 67.8% of the sampled rice paddy land (or 107,200 hectares out of 182,133 ha) were contaminated with pollutants including cadmium, arsenic, nickel, copper, mercury and chromium. The survey took place in Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Sichuan.
  • In February 2010, The Ministry of Environmental Protection, State Statistics Bureau and Ministry of Agriculture published China’s first national census on pollution sources. Of the 5.9 million sources covered, agricultural sources comprised 2.89 million or ~49% of all sources examined. China’s livestock and poultry industries accounted for 45% and 25% of the country’s chemical oxygen demand (COD) and ammonia emissions, respectively. The COD and ammonia emissions of the livestock and poultry industries accounted for 95% and 79% of all sources of agricultural pollution, respectively.

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