Policy Solutions for Sand Storms and Other Regional Air Quality Problems in Northern China? An Introduction to Market-Based Instruments. By Jian XIE Hong LAN Guoqian WANG Zhong MA. About the authors.
Jian XIE, Senior Environmental Specialist, Environment and Social Sector Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region, the World Bank;
Hong LAN, Lecturer, School of Environment, Renmin University, Beijing, China;
Guoqian WANG, Junior Professional Associate, the World Bank Institute, the World Bank;
Zhong MA, Professor and Executive Vice Dean, School of Environment, Renmin University, Beijing, China.
Email correspondance: [email protected]
The paper is a work in progress. It reviews the situation and causes of land degradation and sand storms in northern China and existing government efforts. It introduces a few market-based instruments, aiming to improve these efforts.
Number of Major Dust Storms in China, by Decade, 1950–99, with Projection to 2009
* Preliminary estimate for decade based on more than 20 storms during 2000 and 2001.
Source: China Meteorological Administration, cited in “Grapes of Wrath in Inner Mongolia,” report from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, May 2001.
=> Tragedy of the Commons: depleting common pool resources
Targeting 1/4 of total grassland; the government subsidized local people grain and forage for their stopping breeding livestock on the grassland
The project duration is 73 years and it involves an area of 4 million square kilometers
1. Government Budget
In the period of 1998-2001, the central government alone spent 42 billion Yuan RMB (about 5 billion USD) of government revenue income on these projects.
2. National Bond
From 1998 to 2002, the central government issued 1 billion Yuan RMB of national bond for environmental protection.
3. Transfers of the central government
The central government returns part of its tax revenue to local government for conservation purpose.
Need for effective and comprehensive policy and legal framework to address the cause of land degradation and sand storms
Although the “polluters pay” principle, which has been explicitly interpreted as “whoever cause damage to eco-systems must compensate and whoever benefit from ecological services should pay for” in the area of natural conservation, has been widely endorsed by the government, real implementation rarely exist, especially at the community and individual levels.
In most cases, people confuse “open access” with “common property rights.”
Source: Pagiola, S., World Bank, 2002