Biodiversity: China’s New NBSAP to Implement the Post-2020 GBF


China’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2023-2030) 《中国生物多样性保护战略与行动计划(2023-2030年)》, which was approved on September 25th, 2023, and subsequently released on January 18th, 2024, supersedes the 2011 version, and represents the country’s latest strategic framework for biodiversity conservation. China’s NBSAP carves out four key priority areas that encapsulate biodiversity mainstreaming, addressing threats to biodiversity loss, sustainable utilization and benefit-sharing of biodiversity, and modernization of biodiversity governance. Moreover, it delineates twenty-seven prioritized actions advancing the governance systems overseeing biodiversity management[1]. Compared with the twenty-three targets set in the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, China’s NBSAP (1) delineates more focused priority actions for capacity building and data accessibility. It specifically highlights the importance of strengthening technology and science support. For instance, several strategic national science and technology projects will be implemented to support research in fields including biodiversity protection, restoration, and sustainable utilization. China also aims to strengthen the construction of technological infrastructure by optimizing the allocation of large-scale research instruments and equipment and improving the relevant research platforms. (2) the NBSAP omits specific targets related to gender equality and related to abolishing harmful subsidies (which is surprising and might be related to concerns about food security); and (3) it introduces a dedicated section for traditional knowledge protection but does not emphasize the rights and culture of indigenous people and local community. Notably, the benefit sharing of DSI is introduced in its 2030 strategic goal but is not elaborated in any prioritized actions[2].

30 by 30 Target

With regards to the 30 by 30 target, China’s NBSAP suggests effectively protecting and managing at least 30% of terrestrial, inland water, coastal, and marine areas by 2030. Specifically, it stipulates that the terrestrial ecological protection redline areas should account for not less than 30% of the total land areas, and the marine ecological protection redline areas not less than 150,000 square kilometers, approximately 3% of China’s territorial waters.

The strategy identifies the Nature Reserve system and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures (OECMs) as critical tools to realize the “30 by 30” Target. Furthermore, it highlights that protected areas will account for more than 18% of China’s land territory. It suggests that China will develop a domestically appropriate system for OECMs. However, the NBSAP doesn’t specify the relations between OECMs and Ecological Redlines.

Financial Mechanism and Resource Mobilization

China’s NBSAP suggests “by 2030, a diversified investment and financing mechanism for biodiversity will be established, and the level of investment, efficiency, and transparency of funds will be significantly improved.” China will deepen its payment mechanism for ecosystem services and develop market- oriented compensation mechanism for biodiversity conservation and restoration. Although specifics are not provided, China is planning to develop a biodiversity offsetting scheme.

China will “give full play” to the role of government-guided funds to go towards nature funding, while it will also actively seek international financial support, though it didn’t specify in which way.

Plans to integrate biodiversity considerations within the green financial system are underway, with proposals to include biodiversity projects in the catalogue eligible for green bond financing. Additionally, there are initiatives to draw more societal investments into biodiversity protection efforts. It also proposes to explore a “green credit” scheme through which people and organizations can be credited for participating in projects or arrangements that benefit biodiversity[3].

The NBSAP sets an explicit participation target for corporate entities in biodiversity conservation for the first time. It contained a number of planned initiatives to involve business, industries, and financials in the work to meet the GBF targets. Strengthening biodiversity impact assessments is planned for significant infrastructure and resource development projects, where companies will also be encouraged to disclose their impacts on the interdependences with nature. China will design its own reporting framework and select representative enterprises in the most relevant sectors to start reporting.

Regarding the Kunming Biodiversity Fund (KBF)  announced by Xi Jinping at COP15 part one in October 2021 with an initial funding of 1.5 billion CNY, the new NBSAP further proposes to improve the governance structure and operation mode of the KBF. The fund is expected to provide financial help for developing countries to implement the KMGBF, including formulating and revising their NBSAPs, facilitating their capacities, and developing research in relevant technologies. However, not more details are provided.

Climate Change

China’s NBSAP suggests that, by 2030 it will, (1) basically establish a support system that facilitates biodiversity adaptation to climate change, reinforces ecosystem functions for carbon stabilization and sink enhancement and integrates the management of climate action with biodiversity conservation; (2) comprehensively incorporate national key ecological functional zones into the regular monitoring of the impacts of climate change and the risk early warning system; (3) continuously improve the climate resilience of ecosystems and the capacity of carbon sinks; and (4) steadily promote the coordinated efforts in managing climate change and biodiversity conservation.

Compared with the previous NBSAP, the updated NBSAP has introduced clearer and more detailed provisions on (1) identifying climate risks in ecologically important areas and adopting science-based responses to them, (2) strengthening synergies between biodiversity and climate change, and in particular, and emphasizing the adoption of Nature-based Solutions (NbS) and Ecosystem-based Approach (EBA), (3) enhancing the carbon sink potential of ecosystems, and (4) diversifying investment and financing mechanisms.


[1] MEE. (2024, January 18). 生态环境部发布《中国生物多样性保护战略与行动计划(2023-2030年)》。[The MEE issued China’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (2023-2030).]

[2] 2030 Targets.

[3] Reklev, S. (2024, January 18). China sets course for corporate involvement, expansive investment mechanisms in 2030 biodiversity action plan. Carbon Pulse.