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High-tech helps position ecological 'red line' zones

By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-23

A 5-month-long inspection is under way in the tropical island province of Hainan, aiming to identify and define its ecological "red line" zones using high-tech methods, including drones, location mapping and satellite positioning.

The inspection was launched by the provincial government in June. The goal is to draw a whole picture and establish an accurate archive for the situation of ecological red line zones in Hainan.

The red-line zone strategy provides regulatory environmental protection for the security of ecological systems and their sustainable development in certain regions.

Providing specific guidance on the proper handling of regions with suspected illegal construction was a fundamental concern of the activity, according to the plan created by the Hainan Provincial Planning Commission. Set up in June, it is the only department of its kind in the country to promote comprehensive and integrated planning for local development.

Hainan's ecological "red lines" have been identified by various provincial departments, including the ecology and environmental protection department, the forestry bureau, the oceanic and fishery department, the water resources bureau and land resources bureau.

"The red line is the bottom line. Any action against the bottom line must be detected and punished at an early stage," said Ding Shijiang, director of the provincial planning commission. Changjiang Li autonomous county is located in southwest Hainan and boasts tropical forests, mountains, caves, and rivers that very few people have set foot in.

The county is using popular drones to define areas that should be included on the ecological "red line" zone list.

Location mapping and global positioning systems are being used in Baisha Li autonomous county in central Hainan, a core ecological resources area, to precisely position sites of suspected illegal activity.

Last year, Hainan introduced regulations on the protection of ecological red line zones, the first province in the country to do so.

About 11,535 square kilometers of land, accounting for 33.5 percent of the island's total, and 35.1 percent or 8,317 square kilometers of its offshore area, have been defined as ecological red line zones, according to official statistics.


(China Daily 10/23/2017 page12)