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China mulls revising law to boost marine biodiversity

Chinese lawmakers are mulling a draft law revision to step up the protection of marine biodiversity, amid the country’s efforts to improve the ocean environment and build a strong maritime nation.

The draft revision to the Marine Environment Protection Law was submitted Friday for its third reading at an ongoing session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature.

It stipulates that the country should improve its system for investigating, monitoring, assessing, and protecting marine biodiversity, as well as maintaining and restoring important marine ecological corridors.

Damaged marine ecosystems which have significant ecological, economic, and social value should be restored, the draft says.

The draft revision stresses the need to strengthen control over the quality of the marine environment through the implementation of comprehensive measures, while also enforcing strict management of pollutant discharge permits.

The restrictions and requirements which are specified in the permits for the types, concentrations, and quantities of pollutants to be discharged should be adhered to, it adds.

The draft also notes that penalties for illegal activities such as individuals dumping, piling, and handling household waste on the shore should be intensified.

Its first and second readings took place in December 2022 and June this year.

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