Environmental protection and nature conservation measures in China are planned and implemented more effectively.
Economic growth in China has slowed and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. In this context, China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) aims to achieve qualitative economic growth and balance this with environment protection. The wording by the Chinese Government for this is “Green Development that is in harmony with both mankind and nature”. Yet, that balancing seems to incline somewhat more towards economic growth, in order to foster economic rebound after the zero-Covid policy.
The Chinese Government has already made considerable efforts to reverse the damage caused by environmental degradation over the past few decades, in particular in the fields of improving air quality, expanding protected areas and forest cover, and renewable energy. However, a number of measures do not fully translate into action on the ground, such as biodiversity protection in parts of the designated areas or plastic pollution, including marine litter. This can be attributed to an unclear structure, which of the various ministries and departments bear responsibility for specific policies and measures. Added to this is an inefficient institutional set-up, which causes sluggish implementation of the stated environmental and nature conservation goals.
APPROACH/FIELD OF INTERVENTION
The project strengthens the capacities of China’s environmental protection and nature conservation authorities. It also advises relevant decision-makers, experts as well as managers, and promotes research, technical cooperation and experience-sharing in the following priority action areas:
Support for the environmental policy dialogue between the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of the People’s Republic of China. In particular, the project supports exchanges in the framework of the Sino-German government consultations, the Sino-German Environment Forum and events of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED);
Environmental protection, aimed primarily at controlling and preventing soil, air and water pollution;
Sustainable production and consumption with a focus on waste management and circular economy;
Biodiversity protection with a focus on protected area management, ecosystem restoration and the biodiversity-climate nexus.
The central target group of the project includes key actors who are significantly involved in shaping a resource-conserving, climate-friendly, inclusive and sustainable environmental and nature conservation policy:
Policymakers in the environmental and nature conservation governance system in China (MEE, FECO, Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning (CAEP), Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES), Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences (NIES), Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy (PRCEE)), as well as experts and officials at the national, provincial and local levels in China;
Actors in public and private sectors who plan and implement new policies (e.g. representatives of line ministries, planning institutes);
Businesses, industry associations and civil society as well as NGOs (whenever possible), which are to be given a stronger role in shaping environmental policy and its implementation in the future;
Governmental and private think tanks, training institutions, scientific institutes and universities involved in the development of environmental laws, administrative regulations and guidelines;
Members and stakeholders of the CCICED and the CCICED Secretariat.