On Mar. 27, seven line departments Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and State Oceanic Administration jointly held a video conference on the “Green Shield 2018” inspection on nature reserves.
Minister Li Ganjie presented and spoke at the conference. He held that the “Green Shield 2018” is one of the major initiatives jointly launched by the newly established Ministry of Ecology and Environment and six other line departments, following the latest institutional reform of the State Council. We should follow the guidance of the Xi Jinping Thought on the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, act upon the guiding principles of Xi’s major strategic thoughts on promoting ecological progress, make full use of the benefits of the institutional reforms in the ecological and environmental areas, further carry on the “Green Shield” initiative, straighten out the nature reserves, preserve their pristine beauty, and restore the nature to serenity, harmony, and beauty.
We will set aside territorial space for the nature and ecosystems to rehabilitate, provide more quality ecological goods for the people, and lay a solid ecological foundation for achieving the goal of building a beautiful China.
Li pointed it out that the “Green Shield 2017” initiative had yielded achievements for a period. It was the largest-scale initiative since China had begun to establish its first nature reserve, ended with the biggest number of problems identified, the tremendous rectifications that ensued, and the toughest accountability of liabilities ever. The initiative was carried out between July and December last year by seven State departments following Xi’s instructions and a circular of the general offices of the CPC and the State Council on the lessons drawn from the ecological problems with Qilian Mountain National Nature Reserve.
By the end of the year, the inspectors had probed into 20,800 leads on the problems found in 446 national nature reserves, shut down more than 2,460 illegal enterprises, and had over 5.9 mil. square meter illegal construction facilities dismantled. More than 1,100 officials, including 60 directors general and 240 directors, had been held accountable. Over 13,100 problems had been rectified, accounting for about 63 percent of the total; the remaining problems were inventoried and under rectification.
Li emphasized that we should be keenly aware of the much tougher problems and more complicated conflict of interests to be encountered in this year’s inspection, so we should brave our responsibilities and never give up until the problems are solved.
To this end, first, we will raise our political awareness and shoulder the political responsibility for promoting ecological progress. We will act upon Xi’s thoughts on ecological civilization, translate the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council into concrete roadmaps, step up the oversight over the environment, spare no effort in solving the prominent problems with the development and management of nature reserves, and build a solid barrier to safeguard the ecological security.
Second, we will establish sound working mechanisms to make sure the inspection go smoothly. The initiative comes at a critical period of institutional reforms in the ecological and environmental areas, so we will avail of this opportunity to strengthen the ecological and environmental regulation and do better in performing our responsibilities. We will make well-thought plans and establish sound working mechanisms, canvass the 469 national nature reserves and 847 provincial nature reserves, make a list of problems to be rectified, and urge the nature reserve administrations to uplift management level.
Third, we will solve the old and new problems once and for all. The top priority of the “Green Shield 2018” is to revisit the old problems identified in last year’s inspection and see how the rectifications are going. We will make sure the old problems are tackled completely and admonish the sluggish local governments or departments. In the meantime, we will put a break on emerging incompliances in the nature reserves. The focus is on checking for the underperformance in the management of national nature reserves, the missing boundary signs, the inaccurately defined scopes and functions, and the deficiencies in the organizational structure, staffing, and financial support of the nature reserves.
Fourth, we will crack hard nuts and fulfill our responsibilities. We will maintain a tough stance against dereliction of duty and hold the perpetrators accountable for severe consequences and ramifications. Also, we will continue with the publicity and information sharing, properly guide the public opinions, and encourage the public participation and supervision.
Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Zhang Taolin stressed that the 2018 inspection is both a test stone and an opportunity for the development and management of nature reserves in the agricultural sector. The agricultural and rural affairs departments at all levels should implement the guiding principles of this conference and the implementation plan of this initiative, improve the regulatory mechanisms and map out effective rectification measures, and create a sound environment for the whole society to be part of the efforts in the oversight and management of those nature reserves.
The Deputy Administrator of Forestry and Grasslands Peng Youdong emphasized that the forestry and grassland management departments at all levels should enhance the sense of responsibility and sense of urgency, perform their duties on the management of nature reserves, and make sure the 2018 inspection gain substantial effects. We will work with relevant departments to urge the local governments to play a major part in nature reserve management, make a list of problems for each reserve and eliminate them item by item, and establish a long-term mechanism for the healthy and sustainable development of nature reserves.
Vice Minister Huang Runqiu presided over the video conference.
Vice Minister of Natural Resources Ling Yueming, officials in charge of the 2018 Green Shield inspection from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, State Forestry and Grassland Administration, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and State Oceanic Administration, as well as the directors general of relevant departments of MEE attended the conference.
Participants also included the officials with the environmental protection, land resources, water resources, agricultural, forestry, and oceanic (fishery) departments of provincial-level governments, South China Botanical Garden of the CAS, and the national and major provincial nature reserve administrations.
(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)