Editorial﹕Curbing river pollution: a test of institutional reform

【明報專訊】THE Ministry of Ecology and Environment established earlier this year as a result of the State Council reshuffle plan has released a monitoring report on China's marine ecology and environment. The report gives a rating of "very poor", the lowest of all ratings, to the water quality of the Pearl River Estuary region, which has remained unchanged over the past 18 years. This is an outcome of the irresponsibility of governments of all ranks in the Guangdong province, which for decades have ignored the unbridled discharge of pollutants into rivers. While industrialisation is definitely a factor, the problem is also structurally related to the deficient administrative system. Now that the national government intends to stop pollution at source, the effectiveness of the institutional reform will be put to the test.