Editor’s note: The Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s China Environment News released an article entitled, Shen Guojun: Promoting ecological conservation is the mission of entrepreneurs too. The following is the full text of article.
“As a CPPCC member and an entrepreneur, I have a mission to continue to promote ecological and environmental conservation, and actively carry out the green development strategy of the Party and the country,” said Shen Guojun, CPPCC National Committee member, Founder and Chairman of Yintai Group, and Executive Chairman of The Paradise International Foundation. To help boost development in ecological conservation, he continued to advocate “accelerating nature reserve legislation and encouraging public participation in nature reserve governance”.
In fact, this is the third consecutive year committee member Shen had submitted proposals related to nature reserves to the CPPCC. In 2018, he submitted a proposal to the State to actively promote the development of ecological reserves. In 2019, Shen continued to focus on issues relevant to conservation easement. To him, promoting laws related to reserves would have a marked effect on the conservation of natural resources and the ecological environment.
The 2019 proposal, upon submission, was endorsed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration. The Ministry of Natural Resources said that “the proposal was very constructive, and had practical significance in promoting ecological environmental protection, and accelerating the development of nature reserves. We will work together with the relevant departments to further carry out research and surveys, summarize the practices of various regions, and actively promote a legal system for conservation easement as well as relevant policy research.”
In 2020, Shen continued to offer advice on exploring a social participation model that involves public interest governance, community governance and co-governance. He said that an administrative contract method could be adopted whereby social organizations or communities are encouraged to manage nature reserves, and members of the public encouraged to volunteer to join in the management of nature reserves.
Shen has consistently performed his duties enthusiastically, set a good example, and been passionate about ecological and environmental conservation as well as other philanthropic undertakings. In particular, The Paradise International Foundation, for which he is Executive Chairman, has always been focused on promoting nature reserve pilot programs and implementation in China. To date, it has established and manages five nature reserves, namely, Laohegou in Sichuan, Bayuelin in Leshan, Sichuan, Jiulong Peak at Huangshan, Anhui, Xianghai, Jilin, and Shenlongjia, Hubei. It is now in the process of preparing to set up a sixth nature reserve in Quzhou, Zhejiang, and will continue to promote pilot programs related to easement.
Shen’s other identity has made him aware that he shoulders a heavy mission and responsibility. Since becoming Executive Chairman of the General Association of Zhejiang Entrepreneurs and President of the General Association of Ningbo Entrepreneurs, he constantly thinks about how he can, through his own capacity and practices, involve more entrepreneur groups in the management of nature reserves. In 2017, Yintai Foundation, The Paradise International Foundation and 24 other philanthropic organizations jointly sponsored and founded the Nature Reserve Alliance with the hope of leveraging the public’s strength to help promote nature reserve development in China, and jointly protect 1% of China’s land area effectively.
To date, the Land Trust Alliance has established and manages 39 nature reserves, and more than 100 million netizens have participated in the adoption of nature reserves via Ant Forest.
Wide participation by entrepreneur groups and netizens is precisely the goal advocated by Shen, i.e., “public participation in nature reserve governance”. He recommends using “commercial means” and “platform thinking” to carry out philanthropy, and puts into practice what he advocates to call society to attention to the need for nature reserve and ecological conservation..
“Ecological and environmental conservation is a systemic program that requires long-term commitment and perseverance. We will continue to monitor and commit to conservation, and will continue explore and introduce new methods and approaches that will allow public interest organizations and social capital to take part in the conservation of natural resources.” Shen said that he would continue to propose relevant recommendations using different means, and promote ecological and environmental conservation.