Opinions on Fully Implementing the Forest Chief System
The State Council of China released the “Opinions on Fully Implementing the Forest Chief System” on January 15, 2021. The guideline describes policies to promote the new system, in which top party or government officials at provincial, city, district or commune level take on the role of “Forest Chief” in their administrative area. Forest chiefs at all levels will be charged with the protection and development of forest and grassland resources and must come up with targets in aspects such as forest coverage, forest stock volume and treatment of land desertification.
The guideline mapped out key tasks in six aspects, including steps to boost the protection of forest and grassland resources and to ramp up ecological restoration. Forests and grasslands are important natural ecosystems, which play a fundamental and strategic role in maintaining national ecological security and promoting the ecological civilization. China’s decision to enable the nationwide implementation of a forest chief mechanism will support the long-term protection of forest and grassland resources and ensure that the nation’s boundaries of environmental security will not be violated.
China started implementing the forest chief system on a trial basis in 2017 and aims for full implementation by June 2022. So far, 23 provincial regions have already carried out the trial program, providing the foundation for nationwide implementation. The system is similar to the already proven River Chief System.