Zhou Jinfeng Discusses Green Finance and Sustainable Development with the Senior Advisor of UNEP FI
2019/6/13 14:35:00 本站

On May 31, Ms. Yu Xiaowen, Senior Advisor of the United United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) visits the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF). She discusses sustainable finance, biodiversity conservation, and Fintech with Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of CBCGDF.


Dr. Zhou Jinfeng introduces what CBCGDF has achieved in biodiversity conservation, green development, sustainable development, the initiative of ecological “Belt and Road”, C-SDG World Youth Leadership Program. His opinions are summarized below.


Zhou Jinfeng quotes the remark of President Xi Jinping, afforestation should attach equal importance to quantity and quality. We should stick to scientific and ecological afforestation and continue our efforts in a long period in order to improve forestry and ecological system. In some areas, afforestation has been treated as an industrialized campaign, failing to get the gist of high-quality afforestation. For instance, we are concerned about planting single plant species extensively in arid region extensively. It is biodiversity that should be taken into account in afforestation and species selection. And afforestation is not always the ideal and effective instrument, which should be considered in reality.


He gives an example: over 85% of bird species in Shanghai can be observed in Dongtan wetland in Nanhui District, an important habitat for birds. The Dongtan wetland makes a diverse ecological environment for birds possible, such as reed land, mud flat, forest, and grassland by the riverside, in which birds could forage and recover. However, the municipal government has formulated greening index-- that is to achieve afforestation with an area of 10,000 mu (666.67 ha.) in Dongtan wetland. Now, the monoculture has turned into the mainstream, which will cause great damage to bird habitats. Therefore, we advocate scientific conversion of farmland to forests and advise Shanghai to convert farmland to wetlands.


When it comes to green finance, Zhou Jinfeng says it cannot be defined or regulated by any single document. It is favorable to fully understand the connotation of green finance. What is green? Are all hydroelectric projects “green”? He gives two examples:


Firstly, we file a lawsuit against a hydroelectric project in Sichuan province for its potential influence on Acer pentaphyllum, an endangered plant species. If the habitat is damaged, then how could investors declare the project is green?


Secondly, a hydroelectric project in Indonesia is proposed to be built in a virgin forest inhabited by orangutans (Pongo tapanuliensis). There are only about 800 orangutans in the world. After knowing its ecological threat to the endangered species, the investor (an international financial company) quit. Then a Chinese company invests this project. We call on Chinese enterprises to attach importance to biodiversity conservation when they go globally because it is the core of Belt and Road.


Zhou Jinfeng says NGOs can be illuminated by UN Global Compact Showcase. We adopt its mode to develop Ecological Belts & Roads (EBRs) as a reference for Chinese companies, which includes environmental, ecological and green cases. 


Both sides believe the dialogue between NGOs is necessary, and finance should be considered in biodiversity conservation. The initiative of Belt and Road is not only the road to economic prosperity but also the way to cooperation and green development.


The 15th Conference of Parties to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) will be held in China next year, which attracts global attention to Chinese biodiversity conservation. Zhou Jinfeng says the legislation of biodiversity should be further promoted. CBCGDF has held two meetings for preparing proposals to NPC and CPBCC, advising to formulate Biodiversity Conservation Law to strengthen ecological security. Moreover, CBCGDF advises adjusting the No.26 Clause in Constitution "the state organizes and encourages to plant trees and protect forest" into "the state organizes and encourages to plant trees and conserve biodiversity". Ecological civilization, a phrase enshrined in Constitution, is based on biodiversity conservation. Zhou Jinfeng believes the modification can better reflect the practice of high-quality tree planting in the era of ecological civilization.


Zhou Jinfeng also introduces a series of workshops about green finance hosted by CCBGDF in recent years, including China Financial Innovation and Development Forum, 2018 China Green Finance Innovation Development Forum & Jiangbeizui Financial Forum Annual Meeting.


CBCGDF is the member of China Green Finance Community. Dr. Zhou invites Ms. Yu Xiaowen to participate in green finance activities by CBCGDF and give guidance.


(Photo credit: CBCGDF)


(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteers)


Acer pentaphyllum (CBCGDF CCAfa volunteers)

Original Chinese article:


By / Wang Yanqing