Reuters reports that this ‘ecological protection red line’ scheme was initially developed in 2011, prompted by fears that ‘irrational development’ had affected the country’s environment. It has reportedly been developed to either ban or limit industrial development in wetlands, forests, national parks or protected nature areas.
According to Reuters, in 2017, the Chinese government stated that all provinces and regions must implement such schemes by the end of 2020. The 15 schemes that have been approved so far include Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin and Ningxia, as well as 11 other provinces located along the Yangtze river.
610 000 km2 have now been covered by the scheme. This is approximately one-quarter of the 15 regions’ total combined territory.