Archive for the ‘conservation’ Category

China to strengthen water control in light of shortage

February 14, 2009

China will tighten water resources management and take measures to reduce waste to cope with worsening water shortage, Water Resources Minister Chen Lei said here Saturday.

Water shortage impelled us take into consideration of overall economic and social development and economical use of water resources to ensure sustainable economic and social development, Chen said at a national conference in Guilin, in southern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

GUILIN, (Guangxi), Feb. 14 (Xinhua)

China is planning to reduce water consumption per unit of GDP to 125 cubic meters by 2020, down 60 percent from now, Chen said. 

Water consumption averaged 229 cubic meters per 10,000 yuan worth of products, according to statistics provided by the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) at the end of 2008. That figure was down 10 percent compared with the previous year.

Statistics released Saturday showed the country lacked 40 billion cubic meters of water every year, with almost two thirds of cities suffering various levels of water shortages.

More than 200 million rural people face drinking water shortages.

At the same time, farmland stricken by drought reached 230 million mu (15.3 million hectares) every year, nearly 13 percent of the total farming area.

The most severe drought in half a century, which is hitting China this spring, affected 111 million mu of crops so far, with 4.68 million people and 2.49 million livestock threatened by water shortages, according to official statistics from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

“We must take strict measures to preserve water resources in the face of the severe lack of water worsened by factors such as overuse, pollution and drought ,” Chen said.

The ministry also expected to increase 79.5 billion cubic meters of water resources by 2020 and secure water supplies for both urban and rural people.

Chen proposed reinforcement of laws and regulations on water allocation, consumption and preservation as a fundamental way to achieve this goal.

Vietnam, China: Sex, Medicine Continue To Take Rare, Protected Creatures

December 22, 2008

Vietnam customs officials said Monday they had seized about five tons of frozen pangolin meat, a protected species whose trade is illegal.

The 270 boxes of pangolin meat were found Friday in northern Quang Ninh province, said an official at the Cai Lan port customs office, asking not to be named. Officials suspected the cargo was on its way to China, she said.

Another source at the port’s customs office, who also asked not to be named, said the meat came from 1,481 pangolins.

Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and trading of the animal and its products is illegal.

Demand for pangolin meat, with its supposedly medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities, is widespread in China and in Vietnam, which has a poor conservation record.

A Malaysian customs official holds a number of frozen pangolins ... 
A Malaysian customs official holds a number of frozen pangolins which were discovered en route to Vietnam, near Kuala Lumpur. Customs officials in Vietnam have said they had seized about five tons of frozen pangolin meat, a protected species whose trade is illegal.(AFP/File)

–AFP

China likely to miss energy saving goal for 2008

December 13, 2008

China is likely to miss an energy saving target that it has set itself for this year, state media reported Saturday, citing the nation’s top economic planning agency.

In the first nine months of the year, the nation cut average energy consumption by 3.46 percent, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the National Development and Reform Commission.

Workers install an electrical pylon in the southwestern province ... 
Workers install an electrical pylon in the southwestern province of Sichuan. China is likely to miss an energy saving target that it has set itself for this year, state media reported Saturday, citing the nation’s top economic planning agency(AFP/File/Liu Jin)

This makes it unlikely that China will meet its full-year target of a four-percent reduction.

The target was part of a larger ambition of reducing average energy consumption by 20 percent over the period from 2006 to 2010.

This first two years also fell short of the targets, with a 1.79-percent reduction in average energy consumption in 2006 followed by a 3.66-percent drop in 2007, according to Xinhua.

China has come under growing pressure to improve energy efficiency as its dependence on imported energy has risen, while its environment has continued to deteriorate.

–AFP

Critics Want U.N. “Water Czar” To Dry Up, Go Away

December 12, 2008

 

The United Nations named a “water czar” this week to advise the world body on water policy. And while no one disputes the growing importance of water-supply issues around the globe, some are wondering if they’ve picked the right woman for the job.

Supporters say Maude Barlow of Canada is the perfect choice. “We are just thrilled. We think there’s no one better to fill this spot,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, of which Barlow is a board member.


Above: Maude Barlow

“She has been probably the most outspoken and well-known advocate in making water a human right and making sure that water is in public control, not corporate control,” Hauter told FOXNews.com.

But critics say Barlow, 61, an activist from Nova Scotia with no scientific training, has no place advising the United Nations on hydrological issues. “[She] frequently resorts to hyperventilated or exaggerated claims — she’s convinced the bottled water industry is out to take over the world,” said Tom Lauria, vice president of communications for the International Bottled Water Association.

“She makes such outrageous statements that you wonder why the U.N. would entrust her with even a titular position.”

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From Fox News:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,465648,00.html