The National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) recently replied to the Proposal for Accelerating Nature Reserve Legislation and Encouraging Public Participation in Nature Reserve Governance submitted by Shen Guojun at the 2020 NPC and CPPCC, and stated that the Nature Reserve Law has been listed as a second tier legislative item in the 2020 legislation plan. Shen is a member of the 13th National Committee of the CPPCC, Founder and Chairman of Yintai Group, and Executive Chairman of The Paradise International Foundation (PIF). On July 18, 2020, NFGA held a special conference to listen to the opinions and recommendations of PIF and other social organizations as regards nature reserve legislation.
Committee member Shen said in the proposal that “verdant hills and clear waters are treasure troves.” Protecting verdant hills and clear waters, and taking the green development route has been the key development strategy of the Party since the 18th National Congress of the CPC.
2020 is the final year of the “13th Five-Year Plan” period and for building a moderately prosperous society for all. It is also the first year China will officially set up national parks. Hence, properly managing the relationship between establishing a conservation culture and socio-economic growth is particularly important. In his proposal, Committee member Shen said that public and social organization involvement in nature reserve governance has been impeded by issues such as the inability to register and file on record, as well as the lack of legal mechanisms related to land ownership to ensure community participation.
This proposal received positive response from NFGA, which invited legislative experts and social organizations to conduct in-depth discussions on specific issues such as mandated management, franchise operation, volunteer services and easement of nature reserves raised by Committee member Shen. There was a full exchange of opinions, and consensus among the relevant parties improved. By way of discussions, consultations, thematic studies and other formats, NFGA also fully absorbed the research and drafts pertaining to the Nature Reserve Law conducted by social organizations and individuals, and earnestly established long-term mechanisms that would enable participation in nature reserve management by enterprises, social organizations and the public, thus contributing to the building of a nature reserve system with Chinese characteristics, and the promotion of harmonious co-existence between nature and humanity.
This is the third consecutive time that Committee member Shen has submitted proposals on nature reserve at the CPPCC. PIF and the Land Trust Alliance have held multiple policy workshops to discuss and engage in exchanges on the policies and laws pertaining to social organization involvement in nature reserves.