Crackdown on illegal trade of wild animals and plants
The second inter-ministry joint conference convened on March 29 to coordinate moves to crack down on the illegal trade of wild animals and plants.
The conference cited 24 key tasks for the 25 member departments, three more than the number during the first such event. This year, the lists for key wild animals and plants will be revised while a campaign will be conducted nationwide to crack down on illegal hunting and sales of wild animals and plants, and products made from them. In the meantime, the campaign entitled “Blue Sky 2019” will be carried out to hit the smuggling of ivory and other wild animal products.
In November 2016, the inter-ministry joint conference on cracking down on the illegal trade of wild animals and plants was approved by the State Council to strengthen coordination between different departments and improve efficiency of such crackdowns.
In the past year, the Ministry of Public Security and several departments made concerted efforts to crack down on the illegal manufacturing, transporting and smuggling of ivory products while extensively promoting public education on the matter.
Zhang Jianlong, head of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration and also coordinator of the conference, called for crackdowns on the whole chain process. Publicity should be enhanced to increase public awareness of caring for animals and plants, and standing firm against the illegal trade, he said.
More State-owned tourism sites for ticket price drop
A number of government-owned tourism sites that did not reduce ticket prices last year should undertake monitoring of their costs and lower prices this year, said the National Development and Reform Commission in a notice released on March 29.
This year, price monitoring authorities nationwide should complete the cost assessment and review for 5A and 4A-rated tourism sites whose ticket prices are determined by the government, the notice said. Information disclosure of costs and ticket prices should be promoted to curb increasing costs by such sites.
The notice stressed that management of tourism sites should substantially reduce ticket prices for off-season and peak season. Price reduction for all tickets cannot be replaced with lower prices for tickets bought through certain channels and for certain groups or schedules.
In the meantime, supervision should be strengthened for the price of transportation vehicles, cable cars, cruise ships, parking and other services.
Weaving and preferential policies of tickets for designated groups, including soldiers, juveniles, old people and those with disabilities, should be fully carried out, the document added.
Farmers to be trained in using pesticides
China will train about a million farmers this year to use pesticides in a more environmentally-friendly way and promote green development of the agricultural sector, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The training will be conducted by the ministry’s national agricultural technology promotion center, with assistance from the China Crop Protection Industry Association, the nongovernmental organization Crop Life China, and the China Association of Pesticide Development and Application.
The training will focus on laws and regulations related to pesticide management, prevention and control of crop pests and diseases, safe usage of pesticides, safety protection for supportive chemicals, and recycling of pesticide packaging waste.
China has been working to achieve greener development of the agricultural sector in recent years. Last year saw decrease in pesticide use nationwide and the ministry said this year will see further reduction in using such chemicals while improving the efficiency. In the meantime, the ministry said packages for pesticides will be recycled this year.
Zhou Puguo, director of the ministry’s Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals, said scientific and safe usage of pesticides concerns the quality and safety of agricultural products as an important part of the Rural Vitalization campaign and poverty relief.