Minister warns on urgent need for land conservation

08:38, December 09, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The national imbalance between land supply and demand for construction will increase over the next five years as China's industrialization and urbanization maintain rapid pace, Minister of Land and Resources Xu Shaoshi said.

"The country's annual land supply for construction remained at about 4 billion square meters in the past five years, and this accounts for only 50 percent of annual demand," the minister said.

Xu published a signed article on China Land and Resources News on Monday, highlighting the need for China to increase its efforts to save resources during future development.

With a growing population, shortage of resources will be a long-term limitation for the country's economic and social development, the article said.

The per capita area of cultivated farmland in China is only 43 percent of the world average. Per capita fresh water and forestland are 25 percent and 14 percent of the world average, official figures showed.

Only about 20 percent of the country's total land area is suitable for living.

The country faces the major challenge of feeding one-fifth of the world's population on one-tenth of its arable land. And China's population is expected to peak at roughly 1.5 billion by 2030.

"The current extensive economic development has caused great consumption and wasteful use of resources," Xu said.

In 2008, rural residential area per capita reached 214 sq m, far exceeding the country's latest standard of 140 sq m, released in 2007.

Similarly low utilization of land also occurred in urban areas, such as in industrial and mining construction, the article said.

As well, decades of construction have caused great damage to the country's limited resources, Xu said, adding that nearly 17 percent of land has been polluted by heavy metals and 25 percent of surface water has been polluted.

"The government will implement a series of measures to control land use for urban expansion and encourage land conservation in future development," he said.

By 2015, the country's arable land will remain above 104 million hectares to ensure food safety, the ministry said on Dec 6.

Yan Jinming, a professor of land management at Renmin University of China, said at present most instances of wasteful use of land were caused by local governments, as they have not understood the importance of land conservation.

"For instance, many large squares and wide roads have been built in cities, which are beyond actual needs," he said.

"The central government needs to strengthen its supervision of land use and investigate officials for illegal use," he said.

By Jin Zhu, China Daily


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Models present cheongsams designed by Chen Yanqin during a fashion show in Yantai, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 30, 2011. More than 100 creations of cheongsams, a traditional Chinese women's dress also known as mandarin gown or Qipao, were displayed here Friday. (Xinhua/Li Mingfang)
  • Citizens watch fireworks exploding over the Jingtian Lake during a music firework show in Shanghai, east China, Sept. 30, 2011, on the eve of the National Day. (Xinhua/Pei Xin)
  • A member of the media takes a look at a Bluecar, an electric-powered car made by French company Bollore, at a media presentation in Vaucresson, west of Paris, yesterday. The Bluecars have a range of 250 kilometers in urban use and a maximum speed of 130km per hour, and will be available to rent in the streets of Paris under the name of Autolib. The four-seater Bluecars will be positioned at 1,200 stations in the French capital, where customers can pick them up and drop them off, and will be available around the clock. Users must have a valid driver's license and pay a subscription fee to borrow one of the vehicles.
  • Tourists watch a performance about an ancient court trial. (Photo/Xinhua)
  • U.S. President Barack Obama (4th L, front) shakes hands with outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen (1st R, front) as Vice President Joe Biden (3rd L, front), Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (2nd L, front), and Army General Martin Dempsey (1st L, front) look on during the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Change of Responsibility Ceremony at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, the United States, Sept. 30, 2011. Army General Martin Dempsey succeeded Mike Mullen to become the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff on Friday. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
  • Chinese national flag guards escort the flag across the Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2011. More than 120,000 people gathered at the Tian'anmen Square to watch the national flag raising ceremony at dawn on Oct. 1, in celebration of the 62th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)
Hot Forum Discussion