Delimitation and strict management of ECR was a major decision and deployment made by the Chinese government in the construction of ecological civilization in the new era. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attached great importance to the work of ECR. General Secretary Xi Jinping has made important instructions on ECR on different occasions more than 20 times.
As early as 2000, Gao Jixi, the chief expert of the China's ECR, has put forward the concept of ECR when compiling the ecological planning of Anji County, in Zhejiang Province. Since China officially launched the delimitation of ECR in 2012, the technical team with Gao Jixi as the core member has made remarkable achievements in the theory, practice and effectiveness of ECR. First, in terms of the delimitation of ECR, they have led in drafting "Several Opinions on Delimitation and Strict Management of ECR", formulated a series of important technical documents which have completed the national top-level design, such as "Guidelines for the Delimitation of ECR" and "Suggestions on the Distribution of ECR in Provinces (Autonomous regions and municipalities)", "Technical Review Regulations for ECR" and "Technical Regulations for ECR Demarcation and Mark". Secondly, in terms of the strict management of ECR, they have established a supervision system, issued the logo, built a national supervision platform and formulated a series of supervision standards and specifications of ECR.
In recent years, China’s ECR have gradually become “visible” on the international stage. China and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) jointly developed the ECR’s delimitation toolkit. The research results related to the ECR provided Chinese government for the implementation of international conventions, which was selected as one of the 16 initiatives to improve climate ambition and accelerate action at the UN Climate Action Summit (2019). China’s ECR were selected into the 100 + global cases of biodiversity and strongly recommended by the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.
It is agreed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international organizations that ECR’s innovative design for nature protection systems was very significant to biodiversity protection and climate change. With these redlines, China’s framework designed for the conservation system of nature ranked as one of the most ambitious and rigorous ones 1around the world.
The successful experience of China's ECR has also been praised by international experts and scholars, e. .g.,
? Guido Schmidt-Traub, director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions, said “There aren’t many places I can think of that have similarly sophisticated science-based approach to identifying and implementing what’s called redlining policy, and the system highlights implementation. …..and should really consider how this can be applied in other countries”.
? Erik Solheim, former executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said “China's ecological conservation redline policy is formulated on the basis of scientific evaluation of ecosystem value. It aims to protect important regions throughout the country, which is the best practice in the world.”
? Cristiana Pasca Palmer, executive secretary of Convention on Biological diversity, she said“China's ecological conservation redline has achieved great success in biodiversity protection and promoting ecological civilization, which is an effective strategy.”
? Achim Steiner, administrator of the United Nations Development Program, said “China's Ecological Redline Policy can help areas with significantly ecological effects to improve local biodiversity and human development.”
? Dimitri de Boer, chief representative of the Client Earth China, considers that the ecological conservation redline proposed by China has distinct uniqueness. The protection objects have been extended to ecological functional areas and ecologically fragile areas, so that the protection objects are more complete.
? Zhang Yan, director of the IUCN representative office in China, said“In the region of biodiversity protection, the ecological conservation redline is a system with Chinese character, which is of great innovative significance to the global biodiversity protection. “
? Sean L. Maxwell, the famous foreign scholar, considers that China is the first major economy to formulate a national policy—known as the Ecological Redline Policy—that mandates municipality and provincial governments to establish biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments in land-use planning. It is hoped that the Ecological Redline Policy extends to China’s planned activities beyond their national boundaries—including the Belt and Road Initiative, which could affect many areas of critical conservation concern.
Next step, the ECR technical team of Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences will continue to carry out innovative research around the ECR in improving theoretical methods, building supervision technical system and optimizing management and control policies, and make more efforts in national top-level design and local practice. At the same time, they will also publicize and promote the experience and practice of China’s ECR to the international community through various forms, so as to contribute to global ecological protection and sustainable development.