More on harm to environment including ecosystems; from Nature news:
Government officials at the Symposium on Ecosystem Monitoring and Evaluation in Beijing promised to step up investment in ecological conservation and restoration over the next five years, although no precise details were given. Other delegates warned that the lack of a national long-term strategic plan for the environment, compounded by insufficient coordination among government sectors, could jeopardize such efforts.
"The ecological situation is terrible," admits Xu Jun of the Ministry of Science and Technology. More than a quarter of China's grasslands, for instance, have been lost to farming and mining activities in the past decade, and 90% of the country's remaining 4 million square kilometres of grassland is in poor health. The grassland loss contributes to problems such as water shortages and sandstorms.
Coastal areas are under even greater pressure — from pollution, drainage and development. "Of all ecosystems, wetlands are the worst hit," says Yu Xiubo, an ecologist at the Beijing-based Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).