Regulations of China on Nature Reserves (2017 Version)

 2018-05-18  42


Regulations of China on Nature Reserves


· Area of Law: Environmental Protection

· Level of Authority: Administrative Regulations

· Date issued:10-07-2017

· Effective Date:10-07-2017

· Status: Effective

· Issuing Authority: State Council

 

Regulations of China on Nature Reserves
(Issued by Order No. 167 of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on October 9, 1994; amended for the first time in accordance with the Decision of the State Council on Abolishing and Amending Some Administrative Regulations by the Order No. 588 of the State Council on January 8, 2011; and amended for the second time in accordance with the Decision of the State Council to Amend Certain Administrative Regulations by the Order No. 687 of the State Council on October 7, 2017)
Chapter I: General Provisions
Article 1 These Regulations are formulated with a view to strengthening the construction and management of nature reserves and protecting the natural environment and resources.
Article 2 The nature reserves as referred to in these Regulations mean the areas delimited according to relevant laws for special protection and administration in the areas where typical natural ecological systems, and precious, rare and vanishing wildlife species are naturally concentrated, or in the dry land, water area on the land and sea area where protected objects such as natural traces with special significance are situated.
Article 3 All establishment and management of nature reserves within the territory of the People's Republic of China or the other sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China must be conducted in conformity with these Regulations.
Article 4 The State shall incorporate the development plan of nature reserves into the national economic and social development plans by means of adopting economic and technological policies and measures favorable to the development of nature reserves.
Article 5 The local economic construction, the production activities and everyday life of local residents shall be properly taken into consideration in the establishment and management of a nature reserve.
Article 6 Nature reserves administrative agencies and their competent administrative departments may accept grants from both domestic and foreign organizations and individuals for the establishment and management of nature reserves.
Article 7 The people's governments at or above the county level shall strengthen leadership in the work of nature reserves.
All units and individuals shall have the obligation to protect the natural environment and resources within nature reserves and have the right to inform against or lodge complaints with the units or individuals who damage or encroach the nature reserves.
Article 8 The State shall institute a system which combines integrated management with separate departmental management for the management of nature reserves.
The competent department of environment protection under the State Council is responsible for the integrated management of the nature reserves throughout the country.
The competent departments of forestry, agriculture, geology and mineral resources, water conservancy, and marine affairs and other departments concerned are respectively responsible for relevant nature reserves under their jurisdiction.
The people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall, according to the specific condition of the locality, decide on the establishment and the responsibilities of the administrative departments of nature reserves in the people's governments at or above the county level.
Article 9 The people's governments at various levels shall give awards to the units or the individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment and management of nature reserves or the related scientific research.
Chapter II: Establishment of Nature Reserves
Article 10 In the areas which meet one of the following requirements, a nature reserve shall be established:
(1) typical physiographic areas, typical natural ecosystem areas, and those areas where the natural ecosystems have been damaged , but can be restored to the same category of natural ecosystems by proper protection;
(2) where precious, rare and vanishing wildlife species are naturally concentrated;
(3) having marine and coastal areas, islands, wetland, inland water bodies, forests, grassland and deserts which are of special protection value;
(4) natural remains which are of significant scientific or cultural value, such as geological structures, famous karst caves, fossil distribution areas, glaciers, volcanoes, and hot springs;
(5) other natural areas need to be specially protected upon the approval of the State Council or the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government.
Article 11 The nature reserves consist of national and local nature reserves.
National nature reserves include those of typical significance in or out of the country, and those of significant international influence in science, or of special value in scientific research.
Local nature reserves include those, other than the national ones, which are of typical significance or with special value in scientific research. Local nature reserves may be managed by local governments at different levels. The specific measures shall be formulated by the competent department of nature reserves under the State Council or by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions or municipalities directly under the Central Government according to their specific conditions, and shall be submitted to the competent department of environment protection under the State Council for the record.
Article 12 The establishment of a national nature reserve requires an application from the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government where the proposed nature reserve is located or from the competent department of nature reserves under the State Council. After the appraisal by the national nature reserves appraisal committee, the competent department of environment protection under the State Council shall coordinate with relevant department to provide appraisal comments on the application and then submit it to the State Council for its approval.
The establishment of a local nature reserve requires an application from the people's government of the county, autonomous county, municipality or autonomous prefecture where the proposed nature reserve is located, or the competent department of nature reserves in the people's government of the relevant province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government. After the appraisal by local nature reserves appraisal committee, the competent department of environment protection administration in the people's government of the province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall coordinate with relevant departments to provide appraisal comments on the application and then submit it to the people's government of the province, autonomous region or the municipality directly under the Central Government for its approval, and meanwhile submit it to the competent department of environment protection under the State Council and the relevant competent department of nature reserves under the State Council for the record.
The establishment of a nature reserve involving more than two administrative regions, requires an application from the people's governments of relevant regions after their consultations. Then the application shall go through the same procedures as described in the preceding two paragraphs.
The establishment of a maritime nature reserve must be approved by the State Council.
Article 13 To apply for the establishment of nature reserves, an application form for a nature reserve establishment shall be filled out and submitted for approval according to the relevant provisions of the State.
Article 14 The ranges and boundaries of nature reserves shall be determined by the people's governments responsible for the approval of the establishment. The boundaries of nature reserves shall be marked and announced.
Proper consideration shall be given to the integrity and suitability of the protected objects and to the needs of local economic construction, and production activities and the daily life of local residents while determining the ranges and boundaries of nature reserves.
Article 15 The cancellation of a nature reserve or any change or adjustment made in its nature, range or boundaries shall be subject to the approval of the people's government which approved the establishment of the nature reserve.
No units or individuals may be allowed to move the landmarks of nature reserves without authorization.
Article 16 Nature reserves shall be named in the following ways:
National nature reserves: the name of the location where the nature reserve is situated is added before the "National Nature Reserve".
Local nature reserves: the name of the location where the nature reserve is situated is added before the "Local Nature Reserve".
If a nature reserve has any special protected object, the name of the object may be added following the name of the location where the nature reserve is situated.
Article 17 The competent department of environment protection administration under the State Council shall, together with the competent administrative department of nature reserves under the State Council, draw up a plan for the development of national nature reserves based upon the investigation and evaluation of the natural environment and resources of the whole country. After the overall balance by the competent planning department under the State Council, the plan shall be submitted to the State Council for its approval and implementation.
The nature reserves administrative organ or competent administrative department of a particular nature reserve shall work out construction plans for nature reserves, which shall be included in the national, local or departmental investment plans according to stipulated procedures, and put the plan into effect.
Article 18 Nature reserves may be divided into three parts: the core zone, buffer zone and experimental zone.
The intact natural ecological systems and the areas where precious rare and vanishing wildlife species are concentrated within nature reserves shall be delimited as the core zone into which no units or individuals are allowed to enter. No scientific research activities are allowed in this zone except for those approved according to Article 27 of these Regulations.
Certain amount of area surrounding the core zone may be designated as the buffer zone, where only scientific research and observation are allowed.
The area surrounding the buffer zone may be designated as the experimental zone, where activities such as scientific experiment, educational practice, visit, tourism and the domestication and breeding of precious, rare and vanishing wildlife species may be carried out.
A certain amount of area surrounding the nature reserve may be designated as the outer protection area, when the people's government which approved the establishment of the nature reserve considers necessary.
Chapter III: Management of Nature Reserves
Article 19 The competent department of environment protection administration under the State Council shall organize the relevant administrative departments of nature reserves under the State Council to formulate the technical regulations and criteria for the management of nature reserves all over the country.
The relevant competent administrative departments of nature reserves under the State Council shall formulate the technical regulations for the management of various types of nature reserves according to their division of duties and submit them to the competent department of environment protection administration under the State Council for the record.
Article 20 The competent departments of environment protection administration in the people's governments at or above the county level shall have the right to conduct supervision and inspection on the management of all the nature reserves within their administrative areas. The relevant competent administrative departments of nature reserves in the people's government at or above the county level shall have the right to conduct supervision and inspection on the management of the nature reserves which are under their charge. The units subject to the inspection shall report the situation accurately to them and provide them with necessary information. The inspectors shall keep technological and professional secrets confidential for the units inspected.
Article 21 The competent administrative departments of the nature reserves of the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government or the competent administrative department of the nature reserves under the State Council shall be responsible for the management of the national nature reserves. The competent administrative department of nature reserves in the people's governments at or above the county level shall be responsible for the management of the local nature reserves within their administrative areas.
The relevant competent administrative departments of nature reserves shall set up a special management institution in each nature reserve and provide specialized technical staff for the management of the nature reserves.
Article 22 The major functions of management institutions of nature reserves shall be as follows:
(1) to implement relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and policies formulated by the State on nature conservation;
(2) to formulate various management regulations so as to exert unified management of the nature reserves;
(3) to investigate natural resources and place them on file, and organize environmental monitoring to protect the natural environment and resources in the nature reserves;
(4) to organize or assist relevant departments to make scientific researches on the nature reserves;
(5) to conduct the publicity and education work on nature conservation;
(6) to organize activities such as visiting and sightseeing tour in the nature reserves on the presupposition that the natural environment and resources of the nature reserve are not affected by such activities.
Article 23 The expenses needed for the management of the nature reserves shall be handled by the people's governments at or above the county level where the nature reserves are located. The State shall subsidize the management of national nature reserves appropriately.
Article 24 The public security organ of the region where the nature reserves are located may set up its dispatched agency within the nature reserves to maintain public security if necessary.
Article 25 The units, residents in the nature reserves and the personnel allowed to enter into the nature reserves shall comply with various regulations of administration, and subject themselves to the management institutions of the nature reserves.
Article 26 In nature reserves, such activities as felling, grazing, hunting, fishing, gathering medicinal herbs, reclaiming, burning, mining, stone quarrying and sand dredging, shall be prohibited unless otherwise stipulated by relevant laws and regulations.
Article 27 No one is permitted to enter the core area of a nature reserve. Whoever, as needed for scientific research, must enter the core area to conduct scientific research observation and investigation activities shall submit an application and an activity plan to the management body of the nature reserve in advance to obtain an approval from it; and in the case of entry into the core area of a national nature reserve, the approval shall be obtained from the administrative department in charge of relevant nature reserves of the people's government of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government.
If it is necessary for the residents living in the core zone of a nature reserve to move out, the local people's government shall make proper arrangement to have them settled down elsewhere.
Article 28 Tourism, production and commercial activities are prohibited in the buffer zone of nature reserves. In the buffer zone of nature reserves, if it is necessary to engage in the nondestructive activities such as scientific research, educational practice and specimen collection for the purpose of teaching or scientific research, an application and activity plan shall be submitted to the management institution of the nature reserves in advance for approval.
Units and individuals who engage in such activities described in the preceding paragraph shall submit a copy of the report of the activity result to the management institution of the nature reserves.
Article 29 For visits and tourist activities conducted in the experimental zone of a nature reserve, the management body of the nature reserve shall prepare a scheme, which shall be consistent with the objectives of management of the nature reserve.
Visits and tourist activities organized in a nature reserve shall be conducted in strict accordance with the scheme as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, and the management of such activities shall be enhanced; and all entities and individuals entering a nature reserve for visits or tourist activities shall obey the management by the management body of the nature reserve.
The visiting and tourist projects that are not in conformity with the protection guidelines of nature reserves shall be prohibited.
Article 30 Where there is no division of zones within the nature reserves, they shall be managed in accordance with the provisions concerning the core zone or buffer zone in these Regulations.
Article 31 To enter a nature reserve, a foreign national shall submit an activity plan in advance to the management body of the nature reserve to obtain an approval from it; and in the case of entry into a national nature reserve, the approval shall be obtained from the environmental protection, oceanic, fishery, or any other administrative department in charge of relevant nature reserves of the province, autonomous region, or municipality directly under the Central Government according to their respective functions.
All foreign nationals entering a nature reserve shall abide by the laws, regulations, and rules on nature reserves, and shall not collect specimen and conduct other activities in the nature reserve without approval.
Article 32 No production facilities may be built in the core and buffer zones of nature reserves. In the experimental zone, no production facilities that cause environmental pollution or damage to the natural resources or landscape may be built. For other projects to be built in this zone the discharge of pollutants may not exceed the national or local discharge standards. For those facilities already built in the experimental zone of the nature reserves, if the discharge of pollutants exceeds the national or local discharge standards, rectification shall be made within a time limit. Remedial measures shall be adopted to those that the damage has been caused.
The projects constructed in the outer protection zone of nature reserves may not affect the environmental quality inside the nature reserves. If the damage has already been done, rectification shall be made within a time limit.
The decision to make a rectification within the specified time shall be made by the organs specified by relevant laws and regulations. Any enterprises or institutions required to do so shall complete it in time.
Article 33 If any accident or accidental event which causes or may cause pollution or damage in or to the nature reserves, for which the units or individuals who are responsible shall immediately take remedial measures, inform all units or residents that may be endangered and report to the management institutions of nature reserves, the competent departments of environment protection administration and the competent administrative departments of the nature reserves in the locality and wait for disposition. or the municipality directly under the Central Government for final approval.
Chapter IV: Legal Liability
Article 34 Any unit or individual, in violation of these Regulations in one of the following manners shall be ordered by the management institution of the nature reserves to make a correction and may be fined between 100 to 5, 000 yuan according to circumstances of the case:
(1) moving or doing damage to the landmarks of nature reserves without authorization;
(2) entering the nature reserves without approval, or failing to meet the requirements of the management institution while being in the nature reserves;
(3) engaging in scientific research, educational practice and specimen collection in the buffer zone of nature reserves with the approval of the relevant department but failing to submit a copy of the report of their activity results to the management institution of the nature reserves.
Article 35 Any unit or individual who, in violation of these Regulations, is engaged in such activities as felling, grazing, hunting, fishing, gathering medicinal herbs, reclaiming , burning the grass, mining, stone-quarrying and sand dredging, shall be punished according to relevant laws, administrative regulations. Besides, the competent administrative department of nature reserves in the people's government at or above the county level or its authorized management institution of the nature reserves may confiscate the violators' illegal gains, order the violators to stop illegal actions, or to restore to the original state or take other remedial measures within a specified time. Anyone who does damage to the nature reserves, may be fined between 300 to 10, 000 yuan.
Article 36 The management institution of the nature reserves, in violation of these Regulations, refuse the supervision and inspection of the competent department of environment protection administration or the competent administrative department of the nature reserves, or resort to deception during the inspection, shall be fined between 300 to 3, 000 yuan by the competent department of environment protection administration or the competent administrative department of the nature reserves in the people's government at or above the county level.
Article 37 Where the management body of a nature reserve commits any of the following violations of this Regulation, the administrative department in charge of relevant nature reserves of the people's government at or above the county level shall order it to take corrective action during a specified period; and administrative disciplinary action shall be taken against the directly liable persons by the employer of them or by the superior authority:
(1) It conducts visits or tourist activities without preparing a plan, or the prepared plan is inconsistent with the objectives of management of the nature reserve.  
(2) It offers any visit or tourist project inconsistent with the direction of protection of the nature reserve.
(3) It conducts visits or tourist activities in nonconformity with the prepared plan.
(4) It illegally approves any person's entry into the core area of the nature reserve, or illegally approves any foreign national's entry into the nature reserve.
(5) It otherwise abuses power, neglects duty, practices favoritism, or makes falsification.
Article 38 Anyone who violates these Regulations thus causing losses to the nature reserves shall be ordered to compensate the losses by the competent administrative department of the nature reserves in the people's government at or above the county level.
Article 39 Anyone who hinders the administrative staff of the nature reserves from performing their duties shall be punished by the public security organ in accordance with the Public Security Administration Punishments Law of the People's Republic of China. If the circumstances are serious enough to constitute a crime, he shall be prosecuted for criminal responsibility according to law.
Article 40 If the violation of these Regulations causes serious pollution or damage to the nature reserves, leading to heavy losses of public or private property or human injuries and deaths that constitutes a criminal offence, the person directly in charge and other persons who are directly responsible for the violation shall be prosecuted for criminal responsibility according to law.
Article 41 Administrative personnel of nature reserves who abuses his power, neglects his duty or engages in malpractices for personal gains to the extent that constitutes a criminal offence shall be prosecuted for criminal responsibility according to law, if the circumstances are not serious enough to constitute a criminal offence, he shall be subject to disciplinary sanctions by the department to which he belongs or the organ at the higher level.
Chapter V: Supplementary Provisions
Article 42 The competent administrative departments of nature reserves under the State Council may, in accordance with these Regulations, formulate the administrative rules for different types of nature reserves.
Article 43 People's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government may, in accordance with these Regulations, formulate measures for their implementation.
Article 44 These Regulations shall enter into force as of December 1, 1994.