China will strengthen surveys, observations and assessments related to biodiversity to identify prominent conservation problems and ensure national ecological security, the country’s top environmental official said.
Li Ganjie, minister of ecology and environment, said on Wednesday that biodiversity is the basis of human survival and development. China is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, but also one of the countries most threatened by biodiversity deterioration, Li said at an event marking International Day for Biological Diversity in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.
“The Chinese government attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation and regards it as an important part of promoting high-quality development,” he said.
According to Li, China will continue to integrate biodiversity conservation into policies, regulations and development plans in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, water conservancy, infrastructure construction and finance. It will make sure the policies are implemented.
The country will also accelerate the legislative process on biosafety, access to biological resources and benefit-sharing management to improve the biodiversity regulatory system. Responsibilities will be further clarified and the level of supervision will also be raised.
Authorities will be engaged in evaluating biodiversity conditions across the country to identify potential threats before developing specific conservation strategies and policy recommendations. The work will be prioritized in the Yangtze River Economic Belt and Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.
Enterprises and social organizations are also encouraged to participate in biodiversity conservation. Stronger publicity and education will be needed to help raise the awareness of more members of the public.
International Day for Biological Diversity was proclaimed by the United Nations to increase the awareness of biodiversity issues worldwide. This year’s theme aims to highlight “the dependency of our food systems, nutrition and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems”, according to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Biodiversity loss is a global problem that is connected with many other concerns including loss of natural habitats, over-exploitation of resources, environmental pollution, invasion of alien species and climate change. A UN report released recently says the planet’s biodiversity faces an “unprecedented” threat with 1 million plant and animal species in danger of extinction.
The event held in Nanchang was jointly organized by the ministry, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences and Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences.
More than 200 experts, researchers, enterprises, and representatives of domestic and foreign social organizations have participated and discussed how China could contributed its efforts on the global stage.
Xinhua contributed to this story.