How does China work for environmental protection in its country?
One Belt One Road initiative was officially announced by China in 2013. Now it has more than 150 countries, Kazakhstan included, and 30 international organizations. Our colleagues attended a seminar dedicated to environmental preservation in China and saw which methods the Chinese government implemented to save nature.
China has one of the biggest populations in the world, the only country that exceeds it is India. The bigger the population, the more needs they have, which leads to active usage of environmental resources such as water, land, minerals, and different forms of flora and fauna. Industries and manufacturing also need constant consumerism of resources which will influence nature. Unfortunately, often the need for progress harms the environment. There are different ways China works to preserve the environment which will be considered in this material.

Steps towards preserving the environment

After pursuing technological development, the Chinese government faced the negative consequences of rapid growth. For example, the extent of the pollution of TaiHu Lake, the third largest lake in China that was severely polluted by disposal of chemicals and sewages was so high it led to the absence of drinking water in the grocery stores. Today's situation is way better than it was, after implementing new environmental policies in 2007, the Chinese government spent about 14 billion dollars for the lake’s preservation and cleansing. Now there are specific requirements about the construction of buildings and manufacturers' placement due to the strict water protection standards.

Membrane process

The usage of the membrane process is honored as the water treatment technology in the 21st century. A membrane is a selective barrier that rejects harmful substances and microorganisms, using four stages of protection - microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and reverse osmosis. During microfiltration, solid matter, bacteria, and big colloids are removed, ultrafiltration removes proteins, viruses, and pyrogen organics, nanofiltration rejects amino acids and divalent ions, while reverse osmosis, the last stage, removes monovalent ions and salts. The membrane process plays a pivotal role in the seawater desalination process for bottled water. While ⅓ of the world's population lacks water resources, seawater desalination is a potential way to overcome the shortage of water resources in the future.


Right now China is pursuing the usage of bioenergy, which includes renewable biomass (plants, animals, organic wastewater, garbage, and so on) to produce energy to provide convenience for our lives. There are also huge developments in organic solid waste recycling technology to receive energy, including biomass power generation and application mode of anaerobic digestion. The power generation process happens because of the direct combustion of biomass such as garbage, crops, wood, etc. By 2019, China had second place after the United States in the total installed capacity of biomass power generation. The usage of solid-formed fuel shows a good result - thermal utilization efficiency is significantly improved, with an energy efficiency of up to 45%, surpassing that of ordinary coal. However, there are some cons such as seasonal differences in surplus of biomass fuel, high operating costs, technological problems, and incomplete financial and tax policies.

New-energy vehicles

Walking on the streets of China, you can notice cars with green license plates. This means that cars use non-petroleum fuels such as electricity, bio-methanol, bio-ethanol, or hydrogen.
Bioethanol is made from biomass, often used as a fuel for cars, and can be reproduced, compared with traditional petroleum - a non-renewable resource that gradually decreases. Moreover, bio-ethanol promotes the development of agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries, and drives economic growth. Among other pros of the usage of bio-ethanol are the reduction of vehicle exhaust emissions and improvement of air quality. There is a prediction that new-energy vehicles will make up 50% of all cars by 2030 which significantly improves the environment.

Green chemistry

Green chemistry is one of the practices of chemical science and manufacturing within a framework of industrial ecology in a manner that is sustainable, safe, and non-polluting and that consumes minimum amounts of materials and energy while producing little or no waste material. The goal of green chemistry is that no pollution should be accompanied by chemical processes, this is to say, eliminate the potential of pollution before it occurs. The realization of this goal means no environmental control is needed because there will be no pollution. Atom utilization states that the reactants could be fully utilized, and the resources could be most possibly used economically, while the waste could be minimized. The goals of green chemistry are correlated with the sustainability goals of the United Nations. Green chemistry and sustainability’s parameters pursue four items of interest: chemical feedstocks, energy for feedstock processing, water for feedstock processing, and an environment sufficiently resilient to be capable of receiving whatever residues are dissipated.

Sponge City Construction

Sponge City refers to a city that is sensible to the climate and environmental changes and quickly responds to natural disasters. For example, during the rain, a sponge city can absorb, store, infiltrate, and purify water, which later can be used by citizens. Unlike the traditional modern cities, the sponge city does not try to transform the environment, on the contrary, it adapts to nature, keeping the fragile harmony with people. Low-Impact Development System is a system that aims to maintain the hydrological characteristics of the site before development, including total runoff, peak flow, and peak time. Special technologies can reduce about 30%-99% of rainstorm runoff, delaying the peak of rainstorm runoff for about 5-20 minutes. Moreover, it works as a filter, removing pollutants such as phosphorus, grease, nitrogen, and heavy metals from the water. Permeable landscape pavement directs rainwater to water stores through canals and trenches, the same happens with permeable road paving. One example of a sponge place is Jinshanhu Road, which utilizes grass-planting ditches and low-lying flood storage green spaces outside the road.

Green Engineering

Green Engineering is an approach that includes the design, commercialization, and use of processes and products that are feasible and economical while minimizing the generation of pollution at the source and risk to human health and the environment.
There are 12 principle
●Inherent rather than circumstantial
●Prevention rather than treatment
●Design for separation of waste
●Maximize mass, energy, space, and time efficiency
●Output-pulled versus input-pushed
●Conserve complexity
●Durability rather than immortality
●Meet need, no excess
●Minimize material diversity
●Integrate material and energy flow
●Design for commercial afterlife
●Renewable rather than depleting

Natural Capital Accounting

Natural Capital includes all elements of nature that produce value for people, including forests, rivers, land, minerals, and oceans. Because of the constantly increasing human wants (technological and industrial development, business profit, and so on) and limited resources, natural capital is at risk right now. The Environmental Economy states that we have to have a value of natural capital since it will help us figure out its true value and calculate the possible risks of natural disruption. Natural Capital Coalition, a non-profit organization helps to build the business case for and support the uptake of natural capital accounting, to improve business and investor decision-making. In 2013, it developed the Natural Capital Protocol, which focuses on measuring natural capital. We should remember that natural resources have infinite value since we cannot live without them. Valuing nature does not mean that we are going to sell it, it aims to show the consequences we will face if we do not save our world.
Now we see the rapid development of various environmental preservation methods in China which already improved its ecological indicators. We hope Kazakhstan will implement the same techniques to save our local environmental problems for our present and future generations.

Information from the article was taken from lectures of Suzhou University of Science and Technology