By Todd Johnson, Feng Liu, Richard S. Newfarmer, World Bank
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Extra info for Clear water, blue skies: China's environment in the new century
Range lands per capita are less than half the world average. And forests and wilderness areas per capita are only 15 percent of the world average (World Bank 1992, p. 98). Similarly, water resources per capita are about onethird the world average, and energy resources (particularly hydrocarbons) are low as well. The Chinese government knows that these limited resources could eventually constrain economic growth and improvements in welfare. It has recognized that China must shift from an extensive and resource-intensive development pattern to an efficient and sustainable one.
Implementation of environmental policy in China is also the responsibility of ministries and related agencies at all levels of government. As in many countries, regulatory enforcement has been the weak link in china's system. In recent years the National Environmental Protection Agency and national ministries have been closely monitoring the enforcement of environmental laws. But to be successful, monitoring and enforcement must take place at the local level. Local governments face and tradeoff between protecting the environment and safeguarding the financial and employment performance of local firms.
The authors also thank the representatives of various ministries and institutions for their detailed comments on drafts of this report. The Canadian International Development Association facilitated this collaboration by providing resources for a workshop held in Beijing midway through the preparation of this report. The authors are also indebted to a number of Chinese scholars who wrote background papers for this report: Cao Fengzhong, Guo Xiaomin, Hao Jiming, Liu Qifeng, Wang Hanchen, Yang Zhifeng, Zheng Yisheng, and Zhou Jin.