Nationwide inspection set for China's natural reserves
The State Forestry and Grassland Administration will launch a nationwide inspection of China's natural reserves, taking precautions and punishing illegal actions and problems in areas that have been protected to build a healthy environment.
The inspection starting in June will cover all natural reserves in the country. More attention will be focused on state natural reserves, state scenic spots, national forestry parks, wetland parks, geological parks, marine parks and natural heritage.
Through multiple methods of inspection, the administration aims to collect specific information on the country's natural reserves to create a better management plan for the areas.
Issues or problems that been reported by media or the public will be used to make breakthroughs. Key areas for the inspection are those along the Yangtze River, Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, as well as the Pearl River Delta.
Illegal activities -- including real estate projects, utilization of forests or other natural resources without permission, and tourism or hydroelectric development within the core natural reserves and buffer areas -- will be specially targeted in the inspection.
China now has more than 10,000 natural reserves, covering 18 percent of its land area, according to statistics from the administration.
Those reserves include the country's typical ecosystems -- such as forests, grasslands, wetlands and deserts -- which are home to the most precious and endangered wild species and natural heritage that have strong value for scientific research.
"Natural reserves are of essential importance to natural ecosystems and crucial to the country's ecological civilization and our mission to build a beautiful China," said Li Chunliang, deputy director of the administration.
He said the inspection, which is expected to last for half a year, will not tolerate any problems or illegal activities within the protected areas. "Anyone or any department that breaks the law will be punished according to the law," he said.
During the inspection, a hotline and email address for public reports and supervision will be released to encourage more engagement of the people to protect the country's environment together with the government.