Status and challenges of ecological restoration in coal mining areas in China

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Shaoliang Zhang

Publication Date:

China is a country with coal as its main energy source and the coal output exceeds 3.5 billion tons per year. Each year, about 60,000 hectares of land is damaged and the subsided land has accumulated to nearly 4 million hectares due to coal mining activities. Ecological restoration of coal mining areas in China has experienced a development process from land reclamation with the main objective of economic utilisation to ecological restoration with the main objective of ecological protection, from sporadic spontaneous governance to organised governmental regulatory control, and from no law to follow to having laws to follow. This presentation will systematically introduce the temporal and spatial changes of coal development in China over the past 40 years; analyse the features of ecological damage, as well as the difficulties and priorities of ecological restoration in different regions; explain the achievements of ecological restoration in the past 40 years; and list some typical cases of ecological restoration success. Finally, it presents in detail the challenges in theory, technology, funding, policy and management faced by ecological restoration to China’s coal mining areas under the new era in which the country’s ecological environment is protected ahead of economic expediency. In the future, international cooperation is the key to achieve ecological enhancement and restoration of mining areas in China.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

Society for Ecological Restoration