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China Enacts Yellow River Protection Law

Mon, 05 Dec 2022
Categories: China Legal Trends

On 30 Oct. 2022, China’s legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress passed the Yellow River Protection Law (黄河保护法), which will come into effect on 1 Apr. 2023.

The Yellow River is the origin of Chinese civilization and is regarded as the mother river by the Chinese.

Although the Yellow River only accounts for 2% of the country’s total runoff, 12% of China’s population and 17% of its arable land depend on it. Moreover, it supplies water resources to more than 400 cities it flows through.

The per capita water resources in the Yellow River basin is only 27% of the national average, but its development and utilization ratio is as high as 80%. This shows the water shortage in the Yellow River basin.

Therefore, China enacts this Law to better protect the Yellow River.

The Law contains 122 articles, among which the noteworthy provisions are as follows:

  1. Under Article 30, such activities as mining, sand mining, and fishing in the upper reaches of the Yellow River are prohibited, so as to maintain the natural state of rivers and lakes.
  2. Under Article 35, production and construction activities that may cause soil erosion in the areas of the Yellow River basin where soil erosion is serious and the ecology is fragile are prohibited.
  3. Under Article 39, efforts shall be taken to protect and restore the drastically decreased or critically endangered wild animals and plants, as well as the seriously damaged habitats, naturally concentrated distribution areas and fragmented typical ecosystems in the Yellow River basin.
  4. The state shall conduct the unified allocation of the water volume of the Yellow River. The water distribution plan for the Yellow River shall be reported to the central government for approval.



Cover Photo by L S on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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