Zhou Jinfeng: The Revision of “The Wildlife Protection Law” should Start from the Revision of its Name | Biodiversity Legislation
2020/2/19 16:51:00 本站

The revision of “The Wildlife Protection Law” should start with the revision of its name. Our country should formulate a law on the protection of biodiversity to strengthen ecological security.


Biodiversity is the basic feature of a life system, including genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity. Biodiversity protection is the foundation and premise of biodiversity acquisition, development, and utilization, and legal protection of biodiversity is also one of the important ways and means of biodiversity global governance. It is suggested that China should establish a national Biodiversity Protection Law. The necessity and feasibility are as follows:


I. The Necessity of Establishing Biodiversity Protection Law in China


(1). Biodiversity Protection Law is an inevitable requirement to improve the legal system of ecological civilization. At present, many countries in the world have made special legislation to protect their biodiversity. However, there are no corresponding laws and regulations in China, and “The Wildlife Protection Law” does not fully cover the content of biodiversity protection. The construction of ecological civilization in China should be based on the rule of law, and the revision of relevant laws should be strengthened. There is no corresponding law in the major fields of ecological civilization. It is necessary to formulate the “Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of Biodiversity” as soon as possible.


(2). It is an urgent need for China to fulfill its international legal obligations. China is a big biodiversity country, and also a major member and party of several biodiversities related international conventions and protocols. China's compliance degree and performance are also highly concerned by international organizations and other member states and parties.


This is also the internal requirement for China to achieve the “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) of the United Nations. China signed the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. At the UN summit in September 2000, 189 countries, including China, signed the UN Millennium Declaration, proposing to achieve eight “Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)” in 2010 - 2015. However, according to the report on China’s implementation of the “Millennium Development Goals” released in July 2015, although China has completed several MDGs ahead of schedule, there is still one unfinished item, which is item 7b: “reduce the loss of biodiversity and significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity reduction by 2010.” At present, although our government has made remarkable efforts and achieved remarkable achievements in the realization of the goal, the form of biodiversity protection is still very severe. The 2030 Agenda calls for China to do more in biodiversity conservation.


(3). It is a proper choice to solve the problems and defects of the existing laws. From the perspective of legislation of biodiversity protection, there is no law covering all aspects of biodiversity in China, and there is a gap in this aspect. China's current “Wildlife Protection Law” is a national law at the species level to protect rare and endangered species. The concept of “biodiversity" includes three levels: gene, species, and ecology. For example, the legal status of biosafety, germ-plasm resources and livestock genetic resources is relatively low, which cannot meet the actual needs of biodiversity acquisition, development and utilization in China. Therefore, it is suggested to establish a national Biodiversity Protection Law.


II. The Feasibility of Establishing Biodiversity Protection Law in China


(1). China is facing new historical opportunities. In 2018, China formally wrote “Ecological Civilization” into the constitution, which is of symbolic significance. The 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP15) will be held in China in 2020, which is expected to produce a new ten-year goal of the United Nations on biological diversity (2021-2030). The establishment of a national Biodiversity Protection Law will show the determination and courage of China as the host country in biodiversity protection to the world.


(2). China has a positive early foundation. In 1994, the State Council of China issued the action plan for China’s biodiversity conservation, which clearly defined seven main objectives, including “protecting wild species of great significance for biodiversity” and “protecting the genetic resources of crops and livestock”. In 2001, the State Council issued the “General Plan of National Wildlife Conservation and Natural Reserve Construction Project”. In 2007, the State Council issued the “Planning Outline of National Key Ecological Function Reserves” and the “Planning Outline of National Biological Species Resource Protection and Utilization”. In 2010, the State Council approved the release of “China’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011 - 2030)". These normative documents provide a basic policy basis for biodiversity protection in China.


In 2016, with the support of China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) took the lead in drafting the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Biodiversity Conservation (Draft Proposal), organized three high-end academic exchange seminars and drafting working groups. The working group discussed and formulated the feasibility, scope and main contents of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Biodiversity Conservation, aiming at proposing to formulate a law of China on the protection of biological diversity to comprehensively and systematically protect the ecological environment of animals, plants, microorganisms and the living environment of our country, and protect biological diversity.


(3). There are a large number of examples of Biodiversity Legislation in foreign countries. After the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity, all member states actively fulfill their obligations under the Convention by formulating domestic laws, among which the creation of comprehensive biodiversity legislation is one of the specific manifestations. According to the Report on the Global Biodiversity Legal Empirical Analysis of the Legal Research Center for Sustainable Development (2014), more than 10 countries and regions have created or are creating comprehensive and specialized biodiversity bills.


In conclusion, it is suggested that Chinese government should take further actions, which can be led by the Ministry of Ecological Environment, and coordinate with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the State Forestry and Grassland Administration, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, etc., to start the relevant legislative work as soon as possible.

Original Chinese article:


By / Xue Tongtong