To speed up the building of an ecological civilization and better protect the ecological environment, the State Council decided to improve the compensation mechanism for ecological protection in China.
The new mechanism would charge those who benefit from ecological environment protection and give compensation to people who protect the environment, according to the document released on May 13.
The government will play a leading role in protecting the ecological environment, perfect related laws, innovate the systems and mechanisms, expand the compensation channels and increase the purchase of services through economic and legal means, said the document.
By 2020, key ecological areas such as forestry, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, oceans, water flows, arable lands and forbidden development zones should be covered by the compensation mechanism. And the compensation should consider local social and economic development conditions.
The document also said that for different kinds of key ecological areas, the compensation should be different.
The document called for multiple channels to raise the compensation funds. It also urged the central budget to increase the transfer payment for key ecological areas and raise investment in the infrastructure and public facilities in those areas.
It asked governments at provincial levels to perfect the transfer payment system and set up province-based compensation funds and increase support for provincial ecological areas.
The document called for improving related regulations on the non-gratuitous use of ecological resources such as forestry, grasslands, oceans and natural cultural relics, and expand the scope of resource taxes, which would be used for the ecological protection compensation.
Calling for continuous promotion of ecological compensation pilot areas, the document also asked to set a bottom line for ecological protection, and work out ecological compensation policies.
It also called for improvement of compensation policies for forbidden development zones such as national natural reserves, world cultural relics, national scenic spots, national forestry parks, and national geological parks.
The document urged working out a compensation mechanism that mainly depends on local compensation while receiving financial support from the central government.
It encouraged the protection areas and benefited areas, lower reaches and upper reaches of the same river to set up a horizontal compensation payment relationship through funds compensation, coordination, industry transfer, talent training and co-building of industrial parks.