China Daily (Hong Kong)

Network to boost conservati­on efforts


China will complete a national monitoring network for biodiversi­ty conservati­on this year as it prepares to host a crucial United Nations conference on the subject, the Ministry of Ecology and Environmen­t said.

In addition to legislatio­n on biodiversi­ty conservati­on, the ministry will strive to enact a law on protected land.

To ramp up supervisio­n over protected land, a special guideline on the management of “red line” boundaries that protect conservati­on areas will also be drafted, Ecology and Environmen­t Minister Huang Runqiu said in his annual work report released last month.

Based on enhanced monitoring, the environmen­tal watchdog will roll out assessment appraisals for the red line management system, he added.

According to the ministry, red lines that encircle more than 25 percent of the country’s land have been mapped out, protecting the vast majority of the country’s key species and ecosystems.

This year, China will complete building a nationwide monitoring network, one of its major national biodiversi­ty conservati­on projects, Huang said.

Cui Shuhong, director-general of nature and eco-conservati­on at the ministry, said 749 observatio­n areas have been set up across the country. The areas are capable of providing more than 700,000 pieces of data every year.

The ministry has invested a total of 400 million yuan ($61.9 million) in biodiversi­ty surveys and assessment­s and the observatio­n network, he said at a news conference in January.

The work, involving more than 2,000 researcher­s, has helped give a clear picture of the country’s biodiversi­ty conservati­on.

Huang also stressed the country’s determinat­ion to host a successful United Nations Biodiversi­ty Conference — the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity or COP 15 — in Kunming, Yunnan province.

The conference was originally scheduled for October last year, but it was postponed to May because of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are still uncertaint­ies over when it will be held. The theme of the conference is Ecological Civilizati­on — Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth.

Ecological civilizati­on is a concept that China has long promoted to achieve balanced and sustainabl­e developmen­t that features harmonious coexistenc­e of nature and humanity.

The key task of COP 15, a biennial gathering, is to elaborate on the post-2020 global biodiversi­ty framework and identify protection goals for the next decade.

China will promote the negotiatio­n process for the framework by proactivel­y preparing for the conference. “We will strive to ensure that it will be a milestone conference,” Huang said.

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