Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Experts call for eco-conservation mechanism

Experts in China are trying to establish a system to ensure compensation for damage to the environment. The aim is to use economic mechanisms to encourage sustainable use of the environment.

"The absence of this type of mechanism is the fundamental economic reason for eco-system destruction in China," said Ye Rutang, vice-chairman of the Environmental and Resources Protection Committee of the National People's Congress.

The country has set up a relatively complete policy system for pollution prevention and control, but policies for conservation are still missing. The lack of a mechanism leads to unequal distribution of environmental benefits and related economic benefits, according to Li Wenhua, co-chair of the Task Force on Eco-compensation Mechanism and Policies of the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development.

Li's group will work out strategic guidelines and policy recommendations for the eco-compensation mechanism, first in the fields of water, mining, forestry and nature reserves. The task will not be easy, according to Li. For example, it will be hard to implement the study's recommendations on the ground, it will be difficult to calculate the standard for compensation and there is insufficient legislation.

Experts at international conference in Beijing in late August called for the acceleration of conservation legislation.

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