Baishan City, China
Chang Bai Mountain Water Resource
Development and Protection Sample Area
Baishan City is situated in the Western foothills of the Chang Bai Mountains and covers a total area of 17,840 square km. An area of extremely fertile land surrounded by hills and mountains. These mountainous regions are a source of plentiful, pristine water. The per capita amount of available water in this region is 2.8 times that of the country average.
Abundant in natural resources, Baishan City is faced with many opportunities, for example the resource can sustain the extraction of 3 million tons of high quality mineral water annually. Baishan City Government has made a great deal of progress with its environmental policy, which has been under development since 1995.
Work in progress includes:
- Testing and evaluation of the Cities natural mineral water resource
- Establishment of Protection Areas
- Establishment of Sustainable Environmental Development areas
- Establishment of National Forest and Eco-tourism areas
- Establishment of designated zones for zoology protection and formulation of a sustainable development strategy for the Chang Bai Mountain region.
- Establishment of a mineral resource development strategy.
Central Government – Ministry of Land Resources approved “Chang Bai Mountain region, Baishan, China, as a Sustainable Mineral Water Resource Area of self determination”. This is the first area in China to be vested with this power.
Dialog commenced with the International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water on the establishment of Protected Regions early in 2001. In April 2001 Letter of understanding was signed by the Parties and preparations commenced.
- Investigatory field trip to Baishan City
- Provide as reference material the International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water “Standards”
- Provide as reference material the International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water “Code of Practice”
- Provide as reference material the relevant chapters of Agenda 21
- Collect samples from seven source water locations
- Facilitate independent testing of the source water samples
- Complete the evaluation reports for the tested outlets
- Set up the management office in the “sample area”
“Chang Bai Mountain sustainable mineral water development, model protected area, Baishan, China”, will be officially founded in June 2002. Its establishment will confirm the partnership between Baishan City Government and International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water. It was the willingness of the Baishan City Government to incorporate the water resource protection issue in their cities “Economic Development Plan” and confirm it as a priority.
This “Sample area” is of considerable significance:
Baishan City Government, mindful of the potential of the area has applied for assistance from the IFPDW, to assist them to protect and realize the full potential of the region in an international capacity. The significance of Sustainable Resource Development is becoming well understood in Baishan City. Sustainable Resource Development strategy is becoming an important element of the city administration.
Eco-resource protection, will rapidly establish its own reputation, attract international communication and cooperation, introduce investment, a prospering economy with social development will promote itself.
Economic development in terms of the “Standards” of the Foundation and United Nation 21st Agenda will improve the local citizens lives. The people will support future protection for the Eco-resource.
Today, as water resource issues become more serious, Baishan City, with the advantage of plentiful and pristine water supply to protect, is taking the first steps. Cooperation between Baishan City and International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water provides a successful example for the Five-Year Plan.