The Development of Environmental Assessment in China

The Development of Environmental Assessment in China
Jiang; Yan; 이현우
Issue Date
The Development of Environmental Assessment in China
Series/Report No.
Policy Review : 2007-05
74 p.
Environmental impact analysis- China
Table Of Contents

Along with economic development and the abundance of social material, the pursuit for a clean, beautiful, and comfortable environment is increasingly high. Especially in the 20th century, environmental issues have become the key factors regarding the survival and development of humanity, the concept of global environmental management has also undergone major changes. Solutions to environmental problems do not simply start at an economic level; they require long-term considerations relating to human health and sustainable development, which has become a goal commonly recognized by the international community. China is one of the first developing countries to implement a construction project environmental impact assessment system. After more than 30 years of experience, the environmental protection industry has been continuously enriched and improved, and EIA is playing an increasingly important role in the country's sustainable development. Under the new situation, China drew up an industrialization road map that takes advantage of high technological content, good economic returns, low resource consumption, little environmental pollution, and human resources. In order to control pollution at the source, and to create a better environment, we must conduct Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) for new policy, planning, development and other construction projects. EIA is an important tool to achieve sustainable development. EIA for construction projects has become a legal requirement in most countries. Nowadays, EIA policies, plans and programs, are being required in more and more countries to enable the integration of environmental considerations regarding development plans, programmes, and activities during the decision-making process and the adoption of corresponding countermeasures to minimize the adverse environmental impact caused by human activities. An EIA Law was enacted by the government of China in September 2003, in which Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) complements the current project-oriented EIA process. In order to assess the likely prospects of the new EIA Law for project-level EIA, this report presents an evaluation of the current EIA process in China, by establishing the historical context of the current process, considering the main issues and concerns relating to the statutory status and administration framework, and the practical implementation of the process. The main problems highlighted are as follows: the lower legal status of SEPA, the lack of sufficient staff, financing, and equipment, an ineffective implementation mechanism, and the weak enforcement of the EIA system. Moreover, effective public participation is largely absent from the current EIA system in China, both in terms of statutory support and in practice. The report is based on research conducted recently using literature and documentary analysis, and some official Chinese declarations. This research uses a historical analysis method to describe the EIA system development process in China. This paper also focuses on the implementation effect of the EIA system, and provides some reasonable and feasible policy recommendations, such as elevating the status of SEPA, developing cleaner production strategies and promoting the economic cycle, and improving the mechanism of public participation. This report is divided into two parts: the first part deals with the construction project level to conduct China EIA reference and analysis, while the second part principally recommends SEA implementation in China. This paper also represents the cooperation between the Appraisal Center for Environmental & Engineering of SEPA and the Korea Environment Institute.

- Contents -
Chapter 1.Environmental Impact Assessment in China 1.Introduction 2.The development process of EIA in China 2.1.Introduction and identifying stage: 1973-1980 2.2.Norms and construction stage: 1981-1989 2.3.Strengthen and Consolidation stage: 1990 - 2002 2.4.Improvement and expansion stage: 2003 - date 3.Introduction of EIA in China 3.1.Statutory basis of EIA in China 3.2.Administration and framework of EIA in China 3.3.EIA process 4.Evaluation of EIA in China 4.1.Lower legal status of SEPA 4.2.Lack of an effective implementation mechanism 4.3.Lack of public participation 5.Suggestions Regarding EIA Improvement in China 5.1.Elevate the status of SEPA, enhance the legal effect of EIA 5.2.Vigorously develop cleaner production strategies, and actively promote the economic cycle 5.3.Improve the mechanism of public participation in EIA 5.4.Improve the environmental risk assessment system 5.5.Perfect strategic environmental assessment theories and systems Chapter 2.Strategic Environmental Assessment in China 1.Introduction 1.1.Introduction 1.2.A summary of SEA development in China 2.The basis for SEA development in China 2.1.Background 2.2.Political and legal basis of SEA in China 3.Frameworks of SEA enforcement in China 3.1.Explanation of EIA Laws relevant to SEA 3.2.Administrative procedures and institutions involved in SEA 3.3.Technical procedures for SEA 3.4.Methods used in SEA 4.Problems with SEA in China 4.1.Procedural problems 4.2.Technical and methodological problems 4.3.Public participation problems 4.4.Limitations regarding the 2003 EIA Law 5.Trends and suggestions for SEA in China 5.1.To establish and improve operational systems for enforcing SEA 5.2.SEA pilot work in law and policy
References Acknowledgements Appendix: Overview of the New EIA Law

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