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Promoting cooperation and building a heavy pollution monitoring and early warning system


By Wang Haiqin and Cheng Huiqiang, China environmental monitoring and management system research team, Research Institute of Resources and Environment Policies, Development Research Center of the State Council (DRC)

Research report No 110, 2014 (Total No 4609)


Accurate and timely monitoring and early warning is a prerequisite for China to take emergency action against heavy pollution. China's environmental protection department and meteorological department, however, are responsible for air supervision and warning separately, and they haven't joined their efforts in weather monitoring and warning due to various reasons, such as overlapping function, conflicts of interest, and different management systems at the central and local level. This has kept the country from improving its ability to monitor and warn against heavy pollution.

We suggest the two departments create a clear definition of their own functions in the short-term. The environmental protection department should take charge of the air quality supervision network for the two departments to publish unified supervision information. The meteorological department should be responsible for heavy pollution weather forecast and warning, and issue warning information together. In addition, the two departments can build regional heavy pollution weather supervision and warning centers to promote cooperation between the environmental protection department and meteorological department locally. They should also improve local supervision and warning ability as soon as possible.

In the medium and long-term, in line with the reform of the ecological efforts system, the two departments need to adjust and improve function divisions, and make warnings of heavy pollution more accurate and timely.