Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Governance of Biodiversity Conservation in China and Taiwan

Environmental Governance in Asia series

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

China and Taiwan have roughly one-eighth of the world’s known species. Their approaches to biodiversity issues thus have global as well as national repercussions. Gerald McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng explore the ongoing conflicts between economic development, typically pursued by businesses and governments, and communities seeking to preserve and protect local human and ecosystem values.

Chapter 4: Legal and Institutional Framework for Biodiversity Conservation

Gerald A. McBeath and Tse-Kang Leng

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, development studies, asian development, environment, asian environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy


In this chapter we consider the biodiversity protection regimes of China and Taiwan. By regime we mean the complex of laws, regulations, and policy statements (as well as the implementing agencies of government) designed for the purpose of protecting endangered and threatened species and their critical habitats. In the first section of the chapter we examine the legal framework, including constitutional statements, national laws, and regulations. In the case of China, we review the conventions and international treaties that China has agreed to. In the case of Taiwan we examine the impact of international conventions when they can have no binding effect (as Taiwan is not a signatory nation). The overall question is the extent to which the legal framework provides comprehensive and systematic protection of species and ecosystems. The second section reviews the institutional framework responsible for the implementation of law and regulations. This includes central ministries and a host of sub-national governments (in the case of China, provinces and special administrative regions) as well as local governments. Our overall questions in this section concern the degree of centralization in the implementation of law and policy, and the amount of policy integration, for example, as provided for by linkage agencies and behaviors. THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK IN CHINA National Law It was only in the reform era, beginning with the leadership of Deng Hsiaoping in 1978, that environmental issues including biodiversity conservation began to be addressed. An early acknowledgment was revision to the constitution in 1982. Article 26 reads: ‘The...

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