According to the department of forestry and landscaping, the Regulations on Forest Chief Scheme of Anhui Province (hereinafter referred to as "Regulations") has been considered and adopted at the 27th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the 13th Anhui Provincial People's Congress, and will come into force on July 1, 2021, making it the first provincial-level forest chief scheme regulations issued in China.Anhui took the lead in experimenting the forest chief scheme in March 2017, and officially implemented and enhanced the mechanism in the entire province in 2018. The 5-level forest chief scheme hired a total of 52,000 forest chiefs based on the accountability of Party and government leaders. In 2019, with the first national pilot demonstration area of the forest chief reform established in Anhui, this system was listed as one of the "Ten Reform Cases" selected by the Office of China's Central Commission for Comprehensively Deepening Reform and was included in the newly revised Forest Law. In 2020, the scheme was introduced nationwide.
The Regulations consist of a total of 21 articles which summarize the lessons learned from Anhui's forest chief reform and legally guarantee the standardization and deepening of the reform. According to the Regulations, Anhui designates forest chiefs at provincial, city, county, township, and village levels, and sets provincial, city, and county level responsibility areas of forest chiefs in key ecological functional zones such as natural reserves and state-owned forest farms.
The major tasks of implementing the forest chief scheme, according to the Regulations, include applying gridding and information technologies to the management of forest resources, coordinating afforestation in urban and rural areas, promoting the construction of forest cities, towns, villages and forest ecological corridors, encouraging citizens to participate in afforestation, strengthening the supervision on forest management, cultivating new types of forestry business entities, establishing eco-compensation system for forests, advancing forest carbon sink trading,building a market-oriented and diversified forestry investment mechanism, and supporting financial institutions to develop green financial products.
Aside from that, the Regulations also define the responsibilities of forest chiefs and a series of policies. For example, forest chief conferences at provincial, city, and county levels shall be organized at least once a year to solve the major problems in the work of forest chiefs.
In addition, Anhui will establish an assessment index system under the forest chief scheme, of which the results can directly influence the evaluation and promotion of Party and government leaders. According to sources, Hefei has already developed thorough plans to raise public awareness of the Regulation and has launch relevant publicity campaigns.