China will maintain a green development strategy under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, further protecting the country's natural resources and contributing its experiences to global ecological conservation.
During the sixth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from Nov 8 to 11, a resolution was passed on the Party's major achievements and historical experience in the past century.
"Since the Party's 18th National Congress, the Central Committee has devoted greater efforts than ever before to ecological conservation. The whole Party and the entire nation have become more conscious and active in pursuing green development, and made significant progress in building a Beautiful China," said the resolution.
It noted that the CPC Central Committee has emphasized that ecological conservation is of vital importance for the sustainable development of the Chinese nation.
"To protect the environment is to protect the productive forces, and to improve the environment is to boost the productive forces," said the resolution.
Since 2012, the development of ecological civilization－a concept aiming to promote green development－has gained greater momentum as the idea that "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" (also known as the "Two Mountains Theory") conceptualized by President Xi Jinping, has taken root in the country.
In the report to the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, ecological development was included as a major task in the country's overall plan and the report proposed building a "Beautiful China" as a grand goal for ecological progress.
Eco-civilization was also included in the CPC Constitution as a principle for development during the meeting. It was the first time in the world that a ruling party had highlighted green development in its guidelines.
According to the resolution, the country's environmental protection endeavors have resulted in sweeping, historic and transformative changes.
A total of 35.27 hectares of trees were planted, while the vegetation coverage of grassland increased to 55.7 percent, according to the statistics from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.
Moreover, the country has established nature reserves covering 18 percent of its total territory. Those reserves have protected 90 percent of the country's plants and 85 percent of the wild animals.
It also initiated its first pilot program to construct grassland nature parks last year, with 39 pilot parks launched covering a total of 147,000 hectares of grassland in 11 provinces and autonomous regions.
Thanks to these resolute efforts on environmental protection, some endangered wild species in China have witnessed stable population growth in the past five years.
By the end of last year, the number of the giant pandas had reached 1,864 after decades of steadfast conservation efforts to protect their habitat. The crested ibis, an endangered bird known as "the oriental gem" that was once thought to be extinct, has also witnessed stable population growth, rebounding from less than 10 to more than 4,000.
"In the past five years, we've spared no efforts to perfect the country's wildlife protection regulations and management rules and maintained a firm resolve in cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade. All those efforts will be further strengthened in the future," said Zhang Zhizhong, head of the administration's wildlife protection department.
The resolution noted that China will continue to advance law-based governance in all respects, uphold the core socialist values, ensure and enhance people's well-being in the course of development, and promote harmony between humanity and nature.
The statement has been echoed by the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), in which multiple measures will be taken to improve the environment with some specific goals set for the next five years.
Under the plan, the vegetation coverage of grassland in China is expected to reach 57 percent by 2025. Moreover, more than half of the country's wetland will be protected and 60 percent of the sandy land will be under control.
Also, some vigorous measures and policies will be taken by China's forestry authorities, such as the expansion of areas of grassland and forests to fulfill its commitment to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
"China has promoted its own approach to climate governance that highlights green recovery. The forestry authorities at all levels will strengthen our green industries, further contributing to our commitment to climate change," said Li Chunliang, deputy director of the administration.
The resolution also emphasized that China must act with greater resolve to promote green, circular and low-carbon development, and adhere to a model of sustainable development featuring increased production, higher living standards and a healthy ecosystem.
Currently, the Ministry of Natural Resources is also speeding up the establishment of a national territory spatial planning system－a 15-year plan on the use and protection of the country's natural resources, which prioritizes environmental protection.
Wang Hong, vice-minister of natural resources, said related regulations and management guidance will be made. "We will stick to the principles of prioritized environmental protection and green development to promote sustainable development."