Law reform improves marine environmental protection



Restored corals are growing around a coral reef near Fengzhou Island in Hainan Province. [Photo by Zhang Mao/China Daily]

According to the revised Marine Environmental Protection Law, China plans to strengthen environmental monitoring and stiffen penalties for violations in order to strengthen marine protection.

The draft was passed on Tuesday after being submitted to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee for third reading.

According to a press release from the Legislative Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the proposed amendment is problem-oriented and targets the major contradictions and special problems facing marine conservation.

“By establishing institutions and improving existing institutions, we aim to further improve the quality of the marine environment,” the report said.

The proposed amendments emphasize the use of more advanced instruments and information technology to improve the capacity for monitoring and governance of the marine environment, and encourage governments at different levels and their ministries to build capacity in this regard. It stipulates that it must be strengthened.

The proposed amendment stipulates that each department of the State Council, the national cabinet, coast guard authorities, and governments at or above the prefecture level in coastal areas must promote comprehensive, coordinated, and regular environmental monitoring at sea. There is.

He added that information sharing on marine environmental management needs to be strengthened to improve marine protection capacity.

The report says governments at the county level and above in coastal areas should also establish institutions to both monitor and clean up marine waste.

In addition to the mandate of designating government agencies, public bodies, and companies responsible for trash management in specific sea areas, the proposed amendments also establish systems to monitor, interdict, collect, transport, and dispose of marine debris, and ensure safety. The company says it has a responsibility to take measures to ensure this. their implementation.

To strengthen marine radiation monitoring, the proposed amendment stipulates that national environmental monitoring agencies should develop a monitoring plan for emergency marine radiation monitoring and coordinate its implementation.

The country will also work to improve its research, monitoring, evaluation and conservation systems for marine biodiversity conservation, as well as protect and restore important marine life corridors.

It provides that anyone who causes damage to marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs and protected natural areas, must take steps to rectify the violation and repair the damage. They will also be subject to a fine of between 1,000 yuan ($137) and 10,000 yuan per square meter of damaged area.

According to Xin Chunying, a staff member of the NPC Constitution Law Committee, the NPC Standing Committee solicited suggestions from the public and NPC members in preparing the draft, held a symposium, and planned research trips to Guangdong and Hainan provinces. I did it.

The Marine Environment Protection Act was passed in 1982 and has since been revised four times, the last being in 2017. According to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, the latest amendments will come into effect on January 1.

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