China passes landmark law to protect Qinghai-Tibet Plateau ecosystem
Chinese lawmakers voted on Wednesday to adopt a law on ecological conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The law, passed at a standing committee session of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, will take effect on September 1.
The law on ecological conservation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a new addition to China's laws for special regions, following the enactment of the Yangtze River Protection Law, the Yellow River Protection Law, and the Black Soil Protection Law.
The law prohibits production and construction activities that may cause soil erosion in areas that already suffer severe soil erosion or have fragile ecology.
It bans sand mining and mining activities that do not meet conservation requirements in nature reserves for river sources and imposes strict rules against the construction of new small hydropower stations on the plateau.
The law also contains provisions for travelers. It prescribes penalties for those who litter on the plateau, stipulating that individuals with serious circumstances shall be fined between 500 yuan (US$72) and 10,000 yuan.