Action plan aims to amp up biodiversity conservation

Updated: Jan 19, 2024 By Hou Liqiang Print
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China unveiled, on Thursday, an action plan on biodiversity conservation, vowing to restore at least 30 percent of its degraded ecosystems by the end of this decade.

The plan noted a grim situation for biodiversity conservation in China, saying: "The country's ecosystems, species and genetic diversity all suffer varying degrees of degradation and loss."

With degradation to one degree or another the country's grassland ecosystems are generally fragile, it noted. Function degradation and loss also occur in the ecosystems of some rivers, wetland and lakes.

Quoting the Redlist of China's Biodiversity, the latest version of which was made public in 2023, the action plan said 4,088 of the higher plant species, or roughly 10 percent of the total assessed, were under threat.

It said 1,050 vertebrate species excluding marine fish in the country were also under threat, representing some 22 percent of the total assessed.

"There remain significant conflicts between biodiversity conservation and socioeconomic development in different regions," it said.

The intensified land use changes that have encroached upon natural ecological spaces, over-exploitation and disorderly development on biological resources have further exacerbated the biodiversity conservation situation, it said.

The action plan includes a slate of measures that aim to effectively relieve the country from biodiversity loss.

One of the priorities is to beef up the country's capability in biodiversity conservation surveying and monitoring.

By 2030, the country will strive to see ecosystems in key areas, key species and important genetic resources covered by regular surveying and monitoring, it said.

Efforts will be made to make areas with key ecological functions, source regions for important water bodies and protected natural areas economically benefit from their efforts in protecting the environment, it noted.

It said a compensation mechanism, under which those who intrude into and occupy ecological spaces will have to compensate for the damages they cause, will be established in a gradual manner by 2030.

The document said the country will make it mandatory for enterprises to release their information concerning biodiversity conservation.

By 2030, a long-term mechanism will be worked out to promote enterprises to protect and sustainably utilize biodiversity resources, it said.

The country will also regularly monitor and assess the risks posed by key enterprises on biodiversity resources, their dependence and potential impacts on such resources, it noted.

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