The following PRC official document offers guidelines for the protection of biodiversity in China. It sets specific targets for the years 2025 and 2035 for environmental indicators such as forest cover and wetland protection. The document calls for more severe punishments for individuals and businesses that damage ecosystems, and recommends the inclusion of biodiversity protection language in Chinese officials’ performance evaluations.
The Chinese source text is available online at: http://www.news.cn/2021-10/19/c_1127974138.htm
An archived version of the Chinese source text is available online at: https://perma.cc/BH2M-WFW6
U.S. $1 ≈ 6.4 Chinese Yuan Renminbi (RMB), as of November 19, 2021.
Biodiversity is the basis for the survival and development of humankind. It is the bloodline and root of the community of all life on Earth. It provides humanity with a rich variety of necessities for productive life, a healthy and safe ecological environment, and unique cultural scenery. China is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries in the world. Conservation of biodiversity has achieved significant results, but it still faces many challenges. In order to implement the relevant decisions and arrangements of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee and the State Council and effectively promote the protection of biodiversity, the following opinions are proposed.
I. Overall Requirements
(i) Guiding ideology. Take Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as the guide, and fully implement the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and of the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Plenums of the 19th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Implement Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization (习近平生态文明思想) in an in-depth way. We must ground ourselves in the new stage of development (新发展阶段); fully, accurately, and correctly implement the new development concept (新发展理念); and construct the new development pattern (新发展格局). We must persist in putting ecology first and persist in green development. Our ultimate goal is to effectively respond to the challenges facing biodiversity and to effectively and comprehensively improve the level of biodiversity conservation. We must firmly advance major biodiversity conservation projects, continuously enhance supervision and law enforcement, and further improve our protection abilities and our level of management. This will ensure the comprehensive protection of important ecosystems, biological species, and biological genetic resources. We must integrate the concept of biodiversity conservation into the whole process of ecological civilization building, as well as promote active participation in global biodiversity governance, and jointly construct a beautiful home where all living things coexist in harmony.
(ii) Work principles:
—— Respect nature, prioritize protection. An ecological civilization concept of respecting, complying with, and protecting nature will be firmly established. We will persist in giving priority to protection and take restoring nature as our main task. We must obey the laws of natural ecosystem replacement and belt-based distribution, maximize the ability of ecosystems to repair themselves, avoid excessive human interference in ecosystems, effectively protect important ecosystems, biological species, and biological genetic resources, and ensure ecological security.
—— Improve the overall system and promote overall planning. Under the leadership of the CCP Central Committee and the State Council, the coordinating role of the China National Commission on Biodiversity Protection (中国生物多样性保护国家委员会) will be maximized to improve the annual work scheduling mechanism. All members should focus on the enhancement of the functions of ecosystem services, focusing on key regions, domains, and issues, and promote the protection of biodiversity in an orderly manner through coordination and close cooperation among departments.
—— Hierarchical implementation, vertical linkage. Clarify the division of authority between the central and local levels for the protection and management of biodiversity, and consolidate responsibilities in a hierarchical fashion. At the central level, competent work in planning, legislating, and other such top-level design must be conducted to formulate and promulgate policies and measures, plans, and technical specifications, and to strengthen guidance and support for local work. Local Party committees and governments at all levels will implement the responsibility to protect biodiversity, to create vertical linkages and form synergy.
—— The government leads, and all sectors participate. Maximizing the leading role of governments at all levels in the protection of biodiversity. Management, investment, and supervision will be enhanced, and the long-term mechanism for enterprises, public institutions,1 social organizations, and the public to participate in the protection of biodiversity will be established and improved. Awareness and participation of all sectors of society in the protection of biodiversity must be improved to create a positive atmosphere for the whole society to participate in the protection of biodiversity.
For the rest of the translation, download the PDF below.
Download Full TranslationOpinions on Further Strengthening Biodiversity Protection
- Translator’s note: “Public institutions” (事业单位) are organizations created and led by PRC government departments that provide social services. Unlike state-owned enterprises (SOEs), public institutions do not create material products and do not generate income. Public institutions are not considered government agencies, and their employees are not civil servants. Most public institutions are fully or partially government-funded, but some fully privately funded (but still government-led) public institutions exist. Public institutions typically provide services in areas such as education, science and technology, culture, health, and sanitation.