Climate Cooperation China
On behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI)

China’s Central Committee and State Council issued “The Opinions on Strengthening Ecological Environment Zoning and Control”

The General Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued “The Opinions on Strengthening Ecological Environment Zoning and Control” (hereinafter referred to as the Opinions) on 17 March 2024.  It states that ecological environment zoning and control is an important measure to enhance the modernization of ecological environment governance,  to ensure ecological functions and to improve environmental quality. The Opinions advocate for the integrated advancement of carbon reduction, pollution reduction, green space coverage, and economic growth, fully respecting natural laws and regional differences. It emphasizes the comprehensive implementation of the functional zoning strategy and the seamless connection with national spatial planning and usage control, to drive high-quality development.


The Opinions suggest the formulation of ecological environment zoning and control plans, with coordinated efforts for regular adjustments and updates. It emphasizes the full implementation of “the National Spatial Planning Outline (2021-2035)”, adhering to the principles of national guidance, provincial coordination, and implementation at municipal and city levels. Plans for ecological environment zoning and control within each administrative region should be prepared and released at different levels, ensuring full integration with the “One Map” system of national spatial planning. Adjustments should be made every five years, in conjunction with the evaluation of national economic and social development plans and national spatial planning.


Furthermore, the Opinions call for enhanced inter-departmental collaboration. The department in charge of ecology and environment under the State Council should work with relevant departments to develop and improve policies related to ecological and environmental zoning management and control. The departments of natural resources should rely on the “One Map” system of national spatial planning, share data such as ecological protection red lines, strengthen the integration of ecological environment zoning management and control plans with spatial planning, and jointly conduct related research and pilot projects.


The Opinions clarify that by 2025, the ecological environment zoning and control should be established, under a full coverage and scientific system. By 2035, a well-structured, smoothly functioning, and efficient ecological environment zoning and control system should be fully established.


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(Author: Cai Handuo)


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