Fujian province is seeking greener and higher-quality development in its economy and environmental protection work, the province’s senior officials said at a news conference organized by the State Council Information Office on Friday.
Environmental protection, according to Yu Weiguo, the province’s Party secretary, has long been recognized as a priority, since the province was listed as the nation’s first experimental zone for ecological civilization development by the State Council in 2014.
The construction of the experimental zone, according to the State Council, aims to shape Fujian into a livable province with scientific urban planning, greener production and a pleasant living environment, whose efficiency in resources utilization and pollution treatment capacity are projected to be enhanced by 2020.
“We’ve dropped GDP as a performance metric for 34 counties since 2014, and did the same for the five cities of Nanping, Longyan, Sanming, Ningde and Pingtan this year. Instead, high-quality development and people’s incomes are the focus of the performance evaluation,” Yu said.
The province has achieved progress in its environmentally friendly development in recent years, according to a document released at the conference.
The forest coverage rate reached 66.8 percent in 2018, representing two-thirds of the province’s territory, remaining in the top position nationwide, the document said.
Air quality has improved as the average density of PM2.5 particulate matter was about 26 micrograms per cubic meter in 2018, lower than the 28 micrograms recorded in 2016.
Wuyi Mountain, a tourist attraction with a well-preserved environment in the province, was included in the plan to build the first 10 national parks, released by the State Council in September 2017.
“President Xi Jinping has said that the ecological environment constitutes Fujian’s most valuable resource and its best competitive edge, which deserves the government’s utmost efforts to protect,” Yu said at the conference.
He said that efforts to protect water, air and soil are recognized as the top three missions for environmental protection work. “What we need to do is not only to reduce pollution but to improve the mechanism to better secure environmental protection work in the future.”
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In April 2018, Fujian launched the nation’s first eco-cloud platform, where the government can manage data in real-time on air, water and soil in the province, offering more scientific support to the government’s policymaking.