By He Yin
May 22 marked this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity. Themed “We’re part of the solution,” it called on the international society to work in solidarity and contribute wisdom and efforts to biodiversity conservation.
Biodiversity provides the very basis for the human race to survive and thrive, and serves as the root and lifeblood for building a shared future for all life on earth.
As the extinction of species quickens, the declining of biodiversity and ecosystem degradation are posing major threats on humankind’s existence and development. As a result, human beings must protect biodiversity with even fiercer determination and actions and build a community of life for man and nature.
China has always made biodiversity protection an important part of ecological progress as well as a focal point for advancing high-quality growth. Biodiversity conservation has been gradually incorporated into various kinds of plans and programs in the country.
China has formulated and implemented the China National Biodiversity Conservation Strategy and Action Plan (2011-2030) and rolled out more than 10 laws and regulations related to biodiversity.
By the end of 2018, China had identified 11,800 protected areas, which accounted for more than 18 percent of China’s land mass, achieving ahead of schedule one of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which calls for at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water areas to be conserved through well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures by 2020.
The increasing numbers of snow leopards in Sanjiangyuan on the Tibetan Plateau that contains the headwaters of the Yellow, Yangtze, and Mekong Rivers, the multiplication of giant pandas in Qinling Mountains, as well as the Taishan willows springing up in Taishan Mountain, all indicate the outstanding performance of China in biodiversity protection.
China has steadily advanced major projects for ecological protection and restoration. From 2009 to 2019, the country planted 70.39 million hectares of forests, the largest increase in forest resources among all countries during the period.
Through unremitting efforts, China has put into effective protection 90 percent of terrestrial ecosystem types and 85 percent of key wildlife populations.
Building a beautiful China has increasingly become a consensus among the Chinese people, and will also contribute to building a beautiful world of harmony among all beings on the planet.
As a major participant in, contributor to, and champion of world biodiversity conservation, China has involved itself deeply in international exchanges and cooperation in this field.
In September 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at the UN Summit on Biodiversity, in which he made four proposals for turning the earth into a beautiful homeland for all creatures to live in harmony out of a sense of responsibility for the entire human civilization.
The Chinese leader stressed the concept of respecting nature, following its laws, and protecting it, and offered Chinese solutions and wisdom for man and nature living in harmony.
China has taken seriously its obligations under environment-related international treaties, established the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition with international partners, carried out exchanges and cooperation in environmental protection with over 100 countries, and implemented an array of cooperation projects for biodiversity conservation.
China’s efforts and contributions have been acknowledged by the international community. Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, believes that China’s stewardship in climate action and efforts to restore biodiversity will inject vitality into the global green agenda.
The 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is scheduled to be held in Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan province, under the theme of “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth” in October this year.
The meeting will review and take a final decision on the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, thus pointing the way to global biodiversity conservation.
As the host country of COP15, China is happy to share with all parties its experience of advancing biodiversity conservation and governance, jointly mapping out a blueprint for restoring biodiversity.
As an ancient Chinese philosopher said, “Heaven and earth were born at the same time I was, and the ten thousand things are one with me.”
Global biodiversity conservation still has a long way to go, and countries share the same boat along the way. As long as they work in solidarity and foster a synergy in protecting biodiversity, they can build and enjoy a beautiful homeland for all creatures to live in harmony.