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Ecological civilization building drives common prosperity

GUO MINYUAN | 2022-05-12 | Hits:
Chinese Social Sciences Today

The Bank of Hainan project built with assembly technology in the ecological CBD, Haikou City, Hainan Province, March 21, 2022 Photo: CFP

Building a high-level ecological civilization, transforming the natural resource endowment of underdeveloped areas into economic development dividends, transforming rural natural resources into assets to boost farmers’ incomes, closely combining improvement of the effectiveness of ecological civilization building with the improvement of socioeconomic wellbeing, and providing ecological solutions to narrow regional gaps, urban-rural gaps, and income gaps have become a vital starting point from which to solidly promote common prosperity.
Green transformation
First, focus should be placed on narrowing the gap between underdeveloped and developed regions in infrastructure construction. Sustainable development principles should be observed. Investment in energy networks in underdeveloped regions should be increased to provide a solid foundation for central and western regions to better align with industrial transfer in the eastern region.
Second, we should follow national strategic layouts for functional zones, comply with the requirements of economic and ecological development, follow the guidance of green development initiatives, innovate realization mechanisms and the ecological economy path, and foster economic cooperation between underdeveloped and developed regions. With domestic circulation as the fulcrum and a timely realization of the “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality” goals, we can encourage central and western regions to develop biomass power generation, biomass energy, biogas, wind power, photovoltaic technology, and other resource development industries according to local conditions. This will consistently expand ecological economy industries including ecological planting, ecological breeding and ecotourism.
Third, we should deepen reform of the property right system for natural resource assets, innovate management and operation modes, accelerate the construction of market systems for natural resource factors of production, and effectively transform all factors of production (originally belonging to the means of production) into a source of property income that helps people increase their income levels.
Improving wellbeing 
We are committed to improving living standards in ecologically fragile areas, and key ecological protection areas, enhancing their development capacity, improving the resettlement of ecological migrants, and deepening reform of ecological protection compensation systems.
Yet we should also focus on improving rural living environments, raise the level of rural public services, and enhance rural self-development in environmental construction.
After the above goals are reached, we can achieve higher employment levels, construct skilled personnel training systems related to ecological and environmental protection, enhance fair access to vocational training services, and promote high-quality employment. 
Beautiful environment
Going forward, we should create a natural environment that supports physical and mental health, to fully inherit, and further develop China’s excellent rural ecological culture. This establishes a high-quality ecological environment for people’s general wellbeing.
In addition, we should improve the quality and stability of the ecosystem, fight a tough battle to prevent and control pollution, earnestly protect ecological diversity, and strive to improve the ecological security index. We will complete work on drawing redlines for protecting ecosystems, carry out in-depth pollution control, ecological protection, and restoration, turn more marginal farmlands into forests and grasslands, and strengthen the in-situ protection of biodiversity, to provide a sound ecological guarantee for common prosperity.
Finally, we should deeply tap into the ecological and cultural heritage contained in socioeconomic activities, strengthen education in ecological civilization, enhance ecological self-confidence and improve ecological consciousness. We will promote the protection of ancient villages and ancient, precious, and rare trees, and successfully protect our inheritance of traditional ecological culture and crafts. 
We should make full use of all kinds of media including WeMedia platforms, vigorously promote the achievements of China’s ecological civilization building in the new era, and the spirit of the times contained therein, publicize all achievements, practices, and innovations formed in the process of green and sustainable development, and the exploration of a path toward ecological common prosperity.
Guo Minyuan is an associate research fellow from the Institute of Resources, Environment and Ecology at Tianjin Academy of Social Sciences.
Edited by ZHAO YUAN