In your country, is there more need for land to be left in its natural condition or is there more need for land to be developed for housing and industry?
With a population accounting nearly for one quarter of the world population, my country, China, has been suffering from serious loss of arable land, which now hardly accounts for 7% of overall arable land of the world. Yet some people simply did not realize that land loss is so crucial that we one day might incapable of averting that catastrophe if we now close our eyes to it.
Industrial development without careful consideration regarding land preservation has caused problems more serious than people can ever imagine. Take the great Sanxia dam for example, which will be put into operation next year. While the country benefits from gargantuan potential of electricity generation, we have to face up to various environmental conservation issues concerning geological and ecological environment along both river sides and whole upper reaches. The professional designers of the great dam now have to work out a practical way to prevent and remedy pollution effectively, which has already been the focus of world attention.
After the entrance of the WTO, industry development is more and more important for our country, yet we should be careful about the pollution which is inevitably caused by industry. Recent surveys have shown that refuse treatment engineering is not well financed in China, while attentions are drawn to those much more obvious achievements. Industrial pollution accidents occur far more frequently in our still developing country than in other more advanced countries. Urban population also produce astoundingly large amount of pollution. Today the alleged white pollution is creeping all over the country – people throw plastic bags, films everywhere, never feeling anything wrong.
We no doubt need land either for natural condition or for industry, and it seems we need more if posssible. Nevertheless, we live in a world where everything has its cost, and some day in the future, I believe, we will inescapably pay for what we have ignored.