Our column in this issue continues to focus on the chapter “Speeding up Reform of the System for Developing an Ecological Civilization, and Building a Beautiful China” of the report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the 19th CPC National Congress, zooming in on the following two aspects:
Intensifying the Protection of Ecosystems
We will carry out major projects to protect and restore key ecosystems, improve the system of shields for ecological security, and develop ecological corridors and biodiversity protection networks, so as to strengthen the quality and stability of our ecosystems. We will complete work on drawing redlines for protecting the ecosystems, designating permanent basic cropland, and delineating boundaries for urban development.
We will promote afforestation, take comprehensive steps to control desertification, stony deserts, and soil erosion, strengthen wetland conservation and restoration, and better prevent and control geological disasters. We will improve the system for protecting natural forests, and turn more marginal farmland into forests and grasslands. We will rigorously protect farmland and expand trials in crop rotation and keeping land fallow. We will improve systems for regeneration of croplands, grasslands, forests, rivers, and lakes, and set up diversified market-based mechanisms for ecological compensation.
Reforming the Environmental Regulation System
We will strengthen overall planning, organization, and leadership for building an ecological civilization. We will establish regulatory agencies to manage state-owned natural resource assets and monitor natural ecosystems, and improve environmental management systems. These agencies will, in a unified way, perform the duties of the owner of public-owned natural resource assets, the duties of regulating the use of all territorial space and protecting and restoring ecosystems, and the duties of monitoring the discharge of all pollutants in urban and rural areas and conducting administrative law enforcement.
We will establish systems for developing and protecting territorial space, improve supporting policies on functional zones, and develop a nature reserves system composed mainly of national parks. We will take tough steps to stop and punish all activities that damage the environment.
General Secretary Xi pointed out in the report, “What we are doing today to build an ecological civilization will benefit generations to come. We should have a strong commitment to socialist ecological civilization and work to develop a new model of modernization with humans developing in harmony with nature.” He called on the whole Party to do the generation’s share to protect the environment.