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Health & Environment

China faces largest ecological deficit ever, WWF report finds


China PollutionChina is experiencing its largest ecological deficit ever – caused by decades of high economic growth and rapid urbanisation – as total emissions of carbon and other pollutants far exceed the capacity of its ecosystems, a new study says.

The “China Ecological Footprint Report”, released yesterday by the global conservation body the WWF, also warned that the country’s soaring carbon emissions have not only contributed to an avalanche of environmental woes, but also pose grave threats to about a dozen endangered species.

The warnings came just a few days after this year’s UN climate talks in Doha ended over the weekend with a disappointing, weak agreement that many believed was far less than what was needed to rein in global warming.

“[Although] China’s ecological footprint – or the demand the country places on the natural environment – is lower than the global average, the nation is already consuming 2-1/2 times its bio-capacity – the capacity to regenerate natural resources and absorb carbon emissions,” the report said.

Carbon remains the largest component of China’s overall ecological footprint, increasing from 10 per cent in 1961 to 54 per cent in 2008, it said.

Most mainland provinces and municipalities are in a bio-capacity deficit, which occurs when insatiable human demands for resources and widespread degradation exceed the nation’s ecological capacity.

According to the report, which was jointly compiled by the WWF and other institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, only six mainland provinces and regions – Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, Hainan and Yunnan – enjoyed a bio-capacity surplus in 2009.

Twenty-five other provinces and municipalities have all seen bio-capacity deficits, largely because of the rapid industrialisation and urbanisation push that Beijing has made over the past three decades.

And even though urban areas generally have much higher per capita footprints than rural areas across the country, rural regions also face daunting challenges in China’s anti-pollution drive.

“Reducing the nation’s [ecological] footprint isn’t a challenge faced by cities alone – it requires balanced development in urban and rural areas and the promotion of sustainable consumption patterns outside of major population centres,” said Dr Li Lin of the WWF.

The report also revealed that the populations of more than 10 “flagship and keystone species” in China, such as the Yangtze River dolphin and Siberian tiger, have undergone a marked decline due to hunting, deforestation, habitat loss and intensified human activities.

According to WWF’s findings, the Yangtze River dolphin population plummeted by 99.4 per cent from 1980 to 2006, while that of the Chinese alligator fell by 97 per cent from 1955 to 2010.

The report confirmed previous findings that highlighted the flip side of the nation’s vaunted economic success.

“China is at a turning point,” WWF international director general Jim Leape said. “The choices China makes today regarding consumption, production, investment and trade, and in managing its natural capital, will determine the country’s future.”

Source: SCMP “China faces largest ecological deficit ever, WWF report finds”
 
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About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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