Yellow River protection efforts bolstered
The Hukou Waterfall in Linfen, Shanxi province, attracts visitors in November. [Tao Ming/Xinhua]
The Yellow River is regarded as China's mother river. For 3,000 years, its basin served as the nation's political, economic and cultural center.
The 5,464-km-long waterway flows through a total of nine provinces and regions, feeding 12 percent of the Chinese population.
Great importance has been attached to the river's ecological protection and high-quality development, due to the waterway's economic and cultural significance, as well as its environmental impact.
The Yellow River Protection Law passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress stresses the need for conservation of water resources in the river basin. It also calls for protection and restoration of the ecological system, flood control and pollution prevention measures, and the promotion of cultural inheritance, among other action to tackle problems such as water shortages and ecological fragility.
It is China's second river basin protection law after legislation on protecting the Yangtze River was adopted in March 2021.
Lu Dongfu, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said the new law is extremely important and timely.
"Due to long-term human activities, the Yellow River's ecology has been greatly disturbed and damaged," Lu was quoted as saying by Guangming Daily.
Protection and restoration work has been carried out in recent years, but problems remain, such as excessive use of water resources, along with reclamation of the river and tidal flats, Lu said.
Excessive human intervention in the form of building artificial landscapes to protect the waterway's ecological system also needs to be resolved, as this work has damaged the river, he said.