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Review of challenges and strategies for balanced urban-rural environmental protection in China

Author:
Xi, Beidou, Li, Xiaoguang, Gao, Jixi, Zhao, Ying, Liu, Hongliang, Xia, Xunfeng, Yang, Tianxue, Zhang, Lieyu, Jia, Xuan
Source:
Frontiers of environmental science & engineering 2015 v.9 no.3 pp. 371-384
ISSN:
2095-2201
Subject:
decision making, environmental policy, environmental protection, people, socioeconomic development, China
Abstract:
With the rise of environmentalism in China, great efforts have been devoted to environmental protection over the past several decades. Compared with urban environmental protection, rural environmental protection has not been attached enough importance in China due to the dual-track structure of socio-economic development. As a result, rural China is shouldering disproportionally heavy environmental burdens partly because of the differences and biases between urban and rural environmental protection seen in environmental policies, environmental rights and interests, environmental protection investment, and the environmental protection awareness of people. To eliminate the gap between rural and urban environmental protection, and achieve the goal of “balanced urban-rural environmental protection” (BUREP), government should consider mapping out proper policies and strategies. In this paper we put forward an innovative strategy of BUREP against the background of China’s urban-rural environmental protection. First, we review the current status of rural environmental protection status and its challenges compared with urban environmental protection in China. Secondly, we analyzed the main driving factors and reasons deeply, and then we put forward the BUREP strategy base on the unequal status between urban and rural environment. Finally, we proposed the framework of BUREP. This study may serve as a scientific reference regarding decision-making in coordinating urban and rural environmental protection and in constructing the new countryside of China.