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Toward an improved legislative framework for China's land degradation control

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The Chinese government has recently been attaching increasing importance to the application of effective legal tools to tackle land degradation (LD) issues. Based on the concept of sustainable development, China began developing and reaping the benefits of environmental and natural resources legislation including LD control regulations in the 1990s. In the past three years, some central-western provinces in China have been implementing a “ People's Republic of China/Global Environment Facility (PRC/GEF ) Partnership on LD Control of Dryland Ecosystems”, which is based on an integrated ecosystem management (IEM) approach. IEM is designed to achieve a balanced, scientific and participatory approach to natural resources management, which creates the potential to improve the quality of Chinese environmental law and policy procedures. The paper studies the existing Chinese national laws and regulations pertinent to LD control within 9 areas covering land, desertification, soil erosion, grassland, forest, water, agriculture, wild animals and plants, and environment protection in detail, against IEM principles and basic legal elements. The main objective is to identify problems and provide feasible solutions and recommendations for the improvement of the existing laws and regulations. The authors conclude that the development of an improved national legislative framework is essential if LD control is to be successfully achieved. The paper is partly based on Component 1 — Improving Policies, Laws and Regulations for Land Degradation Control under PRC/GEF Partnership on Land Degradation in Dryland Ecosystems (TA 4357).

Keywords: China; Integrated ecosystem management; Land degradation control; Legislative framework

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: School of Law, Renmin University of China, Beijing, PR China. 2: Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan, Shanxi, PR China. 3: Section of Legal Studies, the College of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing, PR China.

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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