Environmental Issues in China

China’s Environmental Issues

China has environmental issues in may areas of concern. This post is was created to bring light to those areas with the hopes that a later post will relate what China has done to correct the problems created

Problem #1:  Water Pollution

Water pollution and water problems in China are vast. They range from the unavailability of water in some regions and lack of quality water in others.

As the population in China continues to increase and the cities continue to grow at what seems at an exponential rate, the demand for water and the amount of water pollution continues to rise.

China has built infrastructure for water and has increased their regulations to try and control this problem as well as put money into research for technological solutions to correct the situation.

The Coal Fired Power Stations are slowly using less water for their cooling towers and the idea of solar electricity and wind electricity might be taking hold.

Over 50% of the groundwater in China are considered to be of extremely poor quality. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_China)

2. Tree Protection

China’s forest covers approximately 20% of the country and offers some of the largest areas of forest in the world.  In 2001, the United Nations Environment Program said that China was on of the top 15 countries in the world to have the most closed forests which includes virgin or old growth forests that have not been touched by humans for years.   Over 12% of the land in China is a closed forest and is threatened to decline as the population in China continues to advance.

China is putting money into protecting Chinese vegetation, farms and forests.  They are taking farmlands and converting them to forests…however, this would not undue any damage to the hundred year old virgin forests that currently exists still today in that 20%.

3. China’s Coast Reclaimed

The coastal areas of China such as the South China Sea and the yellow sea are considered on of the most harmed marine areas on Earth.  Natural habitat losses are excessive due to land reclamations  that have caused damage to over 65% of the tidal wetland near the Yellow Sea in the past 50 years.

Agriculture and Industry are the main culprits in damage to China’s coastal regions and this will not stop as long as the Chinese population economy continues to grow.

4. Land degradation –  Where dry land becomes more aird and the lose of water, vegetation and wildlife is common is a problem caused by many factors in China.

Some land degradation has been “fixed” in some areas but with China still expanding the land continues to become wasted at a rate of over 60 kilometers squared per year.

Most of the land degradation takes place in West China where 30% of their land is desert.  The plains that used to be flooded by the Yellow River is expanding due to overgrazing and agricultural expansion. This leads to less vegetation to soak up the water during floods and causes the area to expand.

There Green Wall of China project, created in 2001, was made to address the issue of an expanding Gobi Desert and planned to restore over 9 million acres of forest to the region.  Their goal is to restore the desert back to forest.


To be continued


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