Awareness and visions:
Often, areas experiencing the worst pollution are the first to take pollution abatement seriously. In this example, a major Chinese industrial city undergoes a complete reformation.
Policies and measures:
By integrating environmental management and economic development, various pollution control measures have been implemented in a more sustainable nature, for instance, a shift from end-of-pipe control to a more sustainable head-of-pipe prevention.
Pollution abatement, Urban renewal
Benxi city, located in the eastern mountainous region of Liaoning Province and famous for Coal and Iron, is an industrial raw material base producing mainly iron and steel, coal, building materials and chemical products. The conflict between economic development is especially outstanding; as a result the city was once labeled "a city invisible from the satellite".
Facing with the increasingly worse environmental situation, Benxi began to explore a coordinated development of economy and environment. Taking urban environmental control as the starting point, from 1989 the city began to implement Seven - Year Plan for Environmental Pollution Control in order to hold back the tendency of the unceasingly aggravated environmental pollution.
By 1996, nearly RMB ?400 million were invested directly in environmental pollution control in the city and the major pollution sources were equipped with environmental facilities in the main thus the urban environmental pollution was brought under efficient control.
The city accomplished the following improvements:
- 22 out of 33 chimneys that seriously affected air quality were controlled
- 20 out of 37 sewage streams that critically polluted major rivers such as Taizi River and Cao River were eliminated.
- A 32.8 square kilometers dust control zone was been established in the urban districts and the quality of domestic water intakes reached surface water standard grade II .
- The sky has been bluer, water cleaner, environmental quality improved.
- Eco-farming practices were initiated in rural areas,
- Set up an integrated control of small - sized river basins ,
- Maintained and expanded forest coverage areas ,
- Controlled soil erosion and water loss and
- Realized the coordination between development of production and the protection and improvement of ecological environment.
- By 1996, the forest coverage has been raised to 61.4 per cent and a green belt of more than 225.9 square kilometers has been planted around the city thus the urban pollution capacity has been improved.
In early 1994, in accordance with China's Agenda 21, Benxi adopted Benxi's Agenda 21 and proposed a project entitled Sustainable Development through Industrial Transformation and Cleaner Production:
Benxi City based on the experience and lessons of environmental management and eco - farming construction for years. The coordinated development of economy and environment began to shift from source control to integrated management, from end - of - pipe control to head - of - pipe prevention, and from pollution control to sustainable development.
In order to better promote Benxi's Agenda 21 and implement priority projects, we strengthened organizational framework and established the Leading Group of Benxi's Agenda 21 headed by the mayor and created Benxi Agenda 21 Management Center (BAMC) in charge of daily management.
The efforts of BAMC were focused mainly on the promotion of cleaner production technology, fostering 15 CP demonstration enterprises including iron and steel, building material industrial sectors, etc. resulting an efficiency savings of tens of millions, and the training of internal and external CP auditors of nearly 50 persons.
At present time Benxi is undertaking a UNDP technical assisted project entitled Capacity Building for Widespread Adoption of Clean Production for Air Pollution Control in Benxi (CPR / 96 / 307). The Resident Representative of UNDP Mr. Arthur N. Holcombe, who visited Benxi for 3 times once pointed out: Benxi took a quicker action in sustainable development and I saw an energetic city government and creative sustainable development efforts after visits. I am convinced that there will be a bright future for Benxi's sustainable development.
Literature or other written project review references
Source of Information:
Office of Leading Group for Benxi Agenda 21
Mr. Chen Yuxiang
The Administrative Centre for China's Agenda 21