A new Nature Reserve Law is currently under development by the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee (EPRCC) of the National People’s Congress in China.
A consultative draft law has already been completed, and EPRCC has organized a series of meetings with relevant government agencies in order to revise the draft law. By October 2007, the final draft law will be completed and distributed to the members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for review.
After participating in an International Symposium on China’s Protected Areas Law held in Beijing last year, the IUCN Environmental Law Centre (ELC) hosted a Chinese delegation between 22 – 28 April in order to further support the drafting process. During a kick-off workshop as well as several meetings and fieldtrips, a fruitful information exchange was facilitated between members of the Legislative Department of EPRCC
and the Economic Law Department of the Legislative Affairs Commission, ELC staff members and German protected areas experts.
In a one-day workshop at the ELC, the Chinese guests were first able to discuss legal regimes for protected areas, conservation finance, as well as marine protected areas with ELC staff members. Furthermore, the Chinese guests were introduced to the Federal Nature Conservation Act (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz) which builds the framework law for regulating protected areas in Germany. These discussions were the basis for further meetings in the course of the week with representatives from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Ministry for Agriculture, Environment and Consumer Protection of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, as well as several administrative agencies at the district and local levels. Apart from holding
formal meetings with German protected areas experts, the ELC also organized fieldtrips to the Mueritz and Eifel National Parks, and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Rhoen.
These fieldtrips helped the Chinese delegation to better understand the difficulties of German protected areas sites and provided an insight into the German approach to solving its nature conservation problems.