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Seven line ministries launch the “Green Shield 2017” thematic inspection over national nature reserves

Recently, the MEP, MLR, MWR, MOA, SFA, CAS, and SOA jointly printed and distributed the Circular on the Collaborative Thematic Inspection over National Nature Reserves-“Green Shield 2017”, announcing the decision to conduct the thematic inspection from July through December this year.

Since the 18th National Congress was held, the CPC Central Committee has attached great importance to the ecological conservation and environmental protection effort and General Secretary Xi Jinping has made instructions on prominent ecological damages and environmental problems on multiple occasions. However, some of the local areas did not fully implement the new development concepts, which led to frequent ecological damages. In June, the General Offices of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council issued a circular on the ecological damages in Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve in Gansu Province, analyzing the problems and causes and holding local officials accountable. The ramifications of the circular are profound and extensive, which renders it a milestone. In this context, the seven line ministries launched the thematic inspection to draw lessons from Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve, severely crack down on environmental irregularities and incompliances in nature reserves, and build a solid barrier for national ecological security.

The thematic inspection is organized by seven line ministries and will combine the inspection by the provincial competent department of nature reserves together with the environmental protection department at the seat of the nature reserve concerned, with the self-check of the nature reserve administration.

The thematic inspection will canvass the 446 national nature reserves across the country and investigate and punish the following environmental incompliances. To be specific,

a.     To canvass the national nature reserves for any incompliance or irregularity, with the emphasis on the mineral and sand miners and industrial enterprises, as well as the tourism and hydropower development projects and other activities with great ecological impact inside the core zones and buffer zones of nature reserves; the problems for which the local governors were summoned for talks, and the circulated and monitored problems in recent years, as well as the rectification results of the problems revealed by the central government environmental protection inspection;

b.     To monitor and check the rectification progress of previously identified problems. The inspectors will straighten out how well the problems identified by previous inspections have been corrected, and check the rectification progress and results and the accountability of the persons involved.

c.     To resolutely investigate and punish all sorts of environmental incompliances and irregularities. The inspectors will put a stop to all sorts of activities that break the environmental laws and regulations and hold the organizations and individuals concerned accountable. Rectification plans will be put in place to restore the local ecological conditions, and an account will be kept, with the records on the incompliances and irregularities of a specific nature reserve, so that each incompliance or irregularity will be crossed out once it is rectified.

d.     To straighten out the local regulations and policies (rules and regulatory documents) that run afoul of the environment protection law, the wildlife conservation law, and the regulations on nature reserves.

e.     To monitor closely the canvassing and rectification of the problems in nature reserves. The seven line ministries will step up the inspection over the local efforts in canvassing the problems and circulate criticisms for slackness, data fraud or leniency in accountability.

The Circular stresses inter-departmental collaboration and coordination, highlights the public supervision, announces the tip lines and mailboxes for reporting incompliances in nature reserves, and vows to use the TV, broadcasting, newspaper, and internet to make public the progress of the thematic inspection.

The thematic inspection spans from middle July to the end of December. The local provinces will have reported the local inspection results to MEP and other relevant competent departments by the end of October. MEP will, together with relevant State departments, have prepared the final report of the inspection, reported it to the State Council, and made it public by the end of December.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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