CBCGDF Submits Suggestions on the Revision of the Forestry Law (Revised Draft) to the Legislative Affairs Committee of the NPC
2019/8/12 13:14:00 本站

On August 2nd, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) officially submitted the suggestions on revision of The Forestry Law (Revised Draft) to the Legislative Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) by mail.


On June 25th, CBCGDF has organized a seminar in Beijing to collect opinions from numerous experts, institution, and media for the submission of proposals. The participants are Pro. Zhou Ke (Renmin University of China), Prof. Cao Mingde (China University of Political Science and Law), Prof. Yang Zhaoxai (Beijing Forestry University), Wang Yuzhu and Lu Shaowei (Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences), Jiang Hongfei (Chinese Academy of Forestry), Mao Chuanwei (China Timber & Woods Products Distribution Association), Zhang Xiya (NRDC), Sun Xiufang (Forest Trend), Zhang Xiaoyu and Huang Xueju (ClentEarth) and represents from media.


Based on the outcome of the seminar, CBCGDF has put forward with seven pieces of suggestion of the revised draft of The Forestry Law. The details are as follows:




The revised draft of The Forestry Law will cover the shortage of the current one. It is beneficial to adopt an economic society and people's needs. The whole society holds high expectation to The Forestry Law (Revised Draft). it is imperative to perfect the forestry legislative system for forestry and ecological protection.


1. The revised draft of The Forestry Law should give a specific definition of forestry.


The Forestry Law, serving as the fundamental guidance of forestry protection, should highlight the role of forestry in the ecosystem to promote ecological civilization. Sustainable utilization should be developed in the context of protection, cultivation, and conservation. However, the existing version doesn't give a specific definition of law, in which several terms have been mentioned without illustration, such as forestry, woods, ecological system of forestry, and forestry resources. It will lead to an obscure relation between the intonation and extension of protection and exploitation. Therefore, it is suggested to define the forestry in article 2, illustrating that forestry is an integrated ecosystem and the protection and exploitation should be in harmony. At the same time, the article 1 of The Forestry Law should clearly illustrate its function, to provide the basis for the formulation of forestry-related administrative regulations, local regulations, rules and regulations in the future.


2. The revised draft of The Forestry Law should add a chapter of information disclosure and public participation.


According to the legislative trend and existing legislation, information disclosure and public participation are the necessaries in environmental protection laws, which helps the public to be informed and ensure the right to know, participate, express and supervise. But information disclosure and public participation are unbaled to be reflected systematically in the existing version. it is suggested that special chapters should be set up in the draft to stipulate information disclosure and public participation to achieve full public participation in forestry work.


3. The system of environmental public interest litigation should be established.


Although the article 64 of revised draft regulates litigation of damage to the ecological environment, it fails to involve the system of environmental public interest litigation in. The Forestry Law stipulates that forests belong to the state. But we should also realize the reality that forests, as an eco-system, bear the interests from the national level as well the social level. The ecological value of forestry has close relations with public interests. It is suggested that the article 64 modified as anyone or any organization that causes pollution to the forestry ecological system or damage to public interests should be filed a lawsuit to the people's court when by the article 55 of The Civil Procedure Law and the article 55 of The Environmental Protection Law.


Provincial and municipal governments are eligible to file litigation to anyone and any organization who cause damage to national interests through destroying forestry resources.


4. The revised draft of The Forestry Law should confirm the function of forests in carbon sink to curb climate change through legal means.


A carbon sink is unique to restrain climate change, but there is not too much content about climate change in the revised draft, which is simply expressed as regulating climate. Regulating climate change is not equal to climate change, the latter which has already escalated into a global challenge. The revised draft should reflect global views. It is suggested to add the function of forestry in carbon sink to highlight its great importance in combating climate change and lay a solid legal foundation for future carbon sink trade in the field of forestry.


5. The trade of woods should be regulated.


Illegal woods trade has aroused concern in the international community. Therefore, we need to tackle the problem using the law. Although articles 57 and 74 have made relevant statements, they are still incomplete. The most important global treaty in combating illegal timber trade is Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Therefore, it is suggested that the draft may make a principled regulation on the illegal trade in timber, adding a paragraph in Article 57: To import or export timber and relevant products in Appendix I and II of the CITES shall be carried out by CITES." Subsequently, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration can introduce policies and regulations to standardize the market. If we don't take action, then China will be passive in the international timber trade.


6. A chapter of biodiversity conservation should be added in the revised draft of The Forestry Law


The article 1 mentions that one of the fundamental functions of forestry is to maintain biodiversity, but the following articles don’t give a clear response to biodiversity. The ecosystem of forestry is composed of woodland, wetland, waters, wildlife and so on- these elements are all key to biodiversity conservation. It is suggested to add a chapter of biodiversity conservation in the revised draft, which will not only consolidate the significant role of The Forestry Law in forest conservation but also contribute to the upcoming 15th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD CoP15)


7. The revised draft of The Forestry Law should specify the supervision system of forestry


The supervision system of forestry is important to the overall situation of forestry work, especially since the management system of forestry has changed a lot after the institutional reform. Therefore, the revised draft should specify the supervision system of forestry to advance the law construction in forestry.

Original Chinese article:


By / Wang Yanqing