China is the world’s most populous country. Its vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountain ranges, lakes and rivers. As one of 17 mega diverse countries, China has over 34,687 known species of animals and plants, making it the third-most biodiverse country in the world.

Huangshan National Scenic Spot

China joined IUCN as a State Member in 1996 and the IUCN China country office was established in 2003.

Focusing on biodiversity, forest and wetland restoration and management, water resources management and environmental law, IUCN China implements its country programme by providing information, strengthening capacity and demonstrating innovative approaches on the ground. Drawing on its extensive regional and global networks, IUCN China also facilitates international exchange by bringing global technical expertise to China and taking Chinese expertise abroad. 

IUCN-China Partnership Highlights

IUCN strengthens cooperation with China on nature conservation and natural resource management

On 2 December 2020, IUCN signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the People’s Republic of China in Beijing through an online event with IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. The signing of the MoU marks a major milestone in the long, 40-year history of cooperation between IUCN and China.

Established in 2018, MNR plays a critically important role in the management and conservation of natural resources in China. Amongst other responsibilities, MNR oversees the state’s ownership of natural resource assets, undertakes spatial planning and land-use control, and takes the lead on ecological protection and restoration initiatives. As of December 2019, MNR represents China as the State Member of IUCN.

The MOU formalises the relationship between IUCN and MNR and provides a framework for both parties to collaborate towards the achievement of China’s vision of an ecological civilization. It enables joint actions in many different areas, including ecosystem conservation and restoration, natural resource management, natural capital accounting and financing, and marine and coastal conservation, as well as public education and communications on natural resources.

Dr. Bruno Oberle, Director General of IUCN, said, “The Memorandum of Understanding we are signing today will play a critical role in further strengthening and streamlining IUCN’s cooperation with China and with the Ministry of Natural Resources. IUCN will reinforce its commitment to working with China, the third-most biodiverse country in the world, to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and Eco-civilisation.”

Mr. LU Hao, Minister, MNR, said, “China will keep its commitment to Eco-civilization development, and will strengthen its cooperation with IUCN and contribute to global ecological governance. We are looking forward to sharing and exchanging ideas, experiences, and achievements regarding Eco-civilisation development, and carrying out practical cooperation with all countries taking advantage of IUCN’s global platform, in order to build a beautiful world where people live in harmony with nature.”

Mr. ZHANG Xinsheng, IUCN President also noted, “It is my expectation that the MOU signed today will lead to a comprehensive, strategic partnership, co-built and a shared platform for exchanging knowledge, standards and best practices. As the President of IUCN, I would also like to express our commitment to sincere cooperation, upholding mutual trust and benefits, and collaborating to achieve solid results and meaningful advancements in key areas under the MoU.”

Other participants at the signing ceremony, which took place both in Beijing and online, included, Mr. WANG Hong, Vice Minister of MNR, Mr. PENG Youdong, Deputy Administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), Mr. ZHANG Zhanhai, Chief Engineer of MNR, representatives from relevant MNR and NFGA departments and institutions, and senior representatives from IUCN Headquarters, the IUCN Asia Regional Office and the IUCN China Country Office.