On 15 May, Dr. Guan Zhi’Ou was appointed as the new secretary of the Party Committee of NFGA and National Park Bureau, as well as the Party Committee member of the Ministry of Natural Resources of China (MNR). Dr. Guan replaced Zhang Jianlong as the administrator of NFGA on 8 June.
The last institutional restructuring of China’s State Council in March 2018 saw the creation of the NFGA alongside the abolishment of the former State Forestry Administration (SFA). As a vice-ministerial level authority, the NFGA is under supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The NFGA received a mandate for the supervision of the protection and restoration of forests, grassland and ecology, which facilitates overarching governance and management of all nature-based resources including forests, grassland, desert and wetland.
Born in 1969, the new administrator has extensive work experience in local and provincial governments as part of the Municipal Planning Committee of Shenyang, Liaoning and the deputy mayor of Shenyang, Liaoning, and in party committees as a member of the Standing Party Committee of Liaoning and Shandong. Moreover, with a doctorate in ecology, Dr Guan has strong professional background in natural resource and ecology management. Having achieved the world’s greatest increase in afforestation and reforestation through decades-long efforts, China’s forestry development now needs to improve its ecological quality. This would also show that China wants to integrate natural resources into a more holistic system of ecology, this being an essential step in realizing the implementation of Xi Jinping’s Thought of Ecological Civilization.