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Environmental Protection Supervision: The First Move for Ecological Civilization Construction



By Zhou Hongchun, Deputy Inspector and Research Fellow of Research Department of Social Development, DRC

The Provisional Plan of Environmental Protection Supervision (hereinafter referred to as the Plan) approved at the 14th conference of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms stipulated that the supervision would first be carried out on the Party committees and governments of various provinces, regions and municipalities by the Central Environmental Protection Supervision Group, and then on some Party committees and governments of prefecture-level cities. The implementation of the Plan manifests that environmental protection supervision has become part of the national strategy.

1. Environmental protection supervision is an inevitable choice to improve the environmental quality of China.

Environmental protection is one of the basic national polices of China, with local Party committees and governments shouldering major responsibilities. However, local Party committees and governments have not given adequate concern to environmental protection for quite a long time; and the evaluation by senior-level governments is mainly focused on local governments performance while neglecting the fulfillment of relevant responsibilities by local Party committees.

Environmental protection supervision is the core system to supervise and urge local Party committees and governments to fulfill their responsibilities relating to environmental protection and ecological civilization construction, which will be conducive to the implementation of central environmental protection principles and the transformation of the values and governing concepts of local Part committees and governments. In addition, supervision could change the behavior of some officials since they do not match their deeds to their words.

2. Central environmental protection supervision is an institutional design in line with China’s national conditions

Institutional design is the prerequisite of doing a good job in any case. Only by adhering to institutional arrangement could the central environmental protection supervision better conform to the times, follow the law of development and display great creativity. The Plan is the legal basis of central environmental protection supervision, and has made clear stipulations on the object, organization, content and procedure of supervision. In light of institutional design, the Plan has referred to the supervision systems of other sectors such as disciplinary inspection, land and police affairs. Besides, the Ministry of Environmental Protection has made much exploration into the institutional design of supervision.

With practical experience of environmental protection supervision in hand, the ecological civilization institutional construction will accomplish twice the result with half the effort; the new era of ecological civilization is bound to come as long as the ecological civilization system can be truly implemented.


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