The 1st Environmental Lawsuit to Build a Shared Community For All Life: Litigation against Illegal Conophytum Trader "Dr Flower" to Heard on July 11, 2023
2023/7/4 17:04:00 本站

On July 3, 2023, the Legal Committee of the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) received a summons from the Intermediate People's Court in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. The CBCGDF has filed an environmental public interest lawsuit against Chen Qing, a seller of wild conophytum known as "Flower Doctor." The pre-trial meeting will be held on the morning of July 11 2023, followed by the formal trial in the afternoon.

On July 4, 2023, the CBCGDF's Clean Internet for Conophytum (CLC) campaign team convened a case discussion meeting with litigation lawyers, experts, and an environmental law research team.

One key point of discussion was whether the actions of a few Chinese traders directly (by going to South Africa) or indirectly (by employing local residents) in harvesting South Africa's wild conophytum have harmed China's environmental interests and affected its international image in biodiversity conservation. Some argue that the illegal collection of wild plants in South Africa only causes harm to South Africa and does not violate Chinese laws or cause any harm to China. However, a larger consensus believes that the illicit harvesting of South Africa's wild plants has led to their inclusion in Appendix III of the CITES convention. As the Earth is a "shared community of life," as advocated by Chinese national leaders, we have a responsibility to rectify such behavior. Scholars, lawyers, and conservationists engaged in a thorough debate on this matter.

The second core issue addressed was how to compensate for environmental damages if the illegal collection of those wild plants by some Chinese individuals indeed has caused harm. Dr Jinfeng Zhou, the Secretary-General of the CBCGDF, proposed that those who's responsible involved in the IWT & ecological destruction and along the illegal wildlife trade chain should provide compensation. The funds could be injected into the "Kunming Biodiversity Fund," an initiative proposed by the Chinese leader at the CBD COP15 to support biodiversity conservation efforts in developing countries.

Currently, there has never been such a case where a Chinese social organization files a lawsuit involving illegal transnational trade of endangered plants. This case is widely regarded as the first environmental public interest litigation in China under the concept of "building a shared community of life on Earth."

The background of this case stems from the CBCGDF's efforts to protect the endangered Conophytum. The organization filed a lawsuit against one of the largest IWT sellers of wild conophytum in China. On April 18, 2023, the Intermediate People's Court in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province officially accepted the environmental public interest lawsuit. The case aims to safeguard the survival and reproduction of wild conophytum and other succulent plants in their native habitats, support the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), assist domestic and international law enforcement agencies in combating illegal wildlife trade and poaching, and protect biodiversity. It is also an effort to fulfill the initiative of building "a shared community for all life on the Earth" put forward by Chinese leaders at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15).

(This post is a daily record of daily work. Just for information.)

Reporter: Chaubi
Editor: YJ
Contact:; +8617319454776


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