China to make environmental management more efficient
 ( 2016.09.22 )

BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese central authorities will conduct a pilot program to adjust the management of local environmental agencies and evaluate officials based on their performance in environmental protection, according to a guideline published Thursday.

The guideline, released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council, aims to put more focus on environmental protection and make the current management of environmental protection agencies more efficient.

ADJUSTING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

In the pilot provinces, city-level environmental agencies, though still part of city governments and subject to their regulation, will be supervised mainly by provincial environmental agencies, according to the guideline.

Provincial agencies will have the power to nominate candidates for heads and deputy heads of city-level agencies.

Supervision of local environmental protection work will be reserved for provincial agencies, which will send inspectors to cities and counties.

Environmental protection agencies at provincial-level will take charge of monitoring and assessing local environmental quality, said the guideline.

It also suggested pilot provinces explore ways of setting up agencies to handle environmental affairs that involve multiple river basins and regions.

REINFORCING RESPONSIBILITY

In assessing Party and government leaders, environmental protection performance should be an important criteria, the guideline said. An accountability mechanism should be set up to deal with officials who interfere with law enforcement and environmental protection cases.

Provincial authorities should specify the responsibilities of agencies, covering prevention and treatment of industrial, agricultural, vehicle and vessel pollution; treatment of waste and garbage; land development and preservation, as well as protection of the natural ecological matrix. Development and production should be integrated with environmental protection.

The guideline also asked provinces not involved in the pilot program to make preliminary preparations for similar adjustments in the future, saying that the goal is to extend such the system nationwide by the end of June 2018.

By 2020, all environmental protection agencies below the provincial level are expected to operate in a highly efficient way with the new system in place, the guideline said.

Enditem