Local governments along the Yangtze River should draw up red lines for ecological protection by the end of 2017, the country's environmental protection minister said Monday.
A total of 11 provincial regions including Hubei and Jiangsu should specify the regions and targets for ecological protection and stick to the bottom lines while developing an integrated economic zone along the river, according to Chen Jining, minister of environmental protection.
Water quality of the region improved by 2.8 percentage points in 2016 compared with the previous year, however, more efforts are needed to tackle pollution and ensure drinking water safety, Chen said.
Chen urged local governments to upgrade industries along the river and control growth of water-consuming sectors.
Local governments should enhance inspections and punishments to ensure the region is generally free from heavily polluted water by the end of this year.
In its latest attempt to fight pollution, China decided in December to appoint "river chiefs" nationwide.
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