Keeping in mind “the top priorities of the country”, Hainan courts guarantee the construction of the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest with judicial services.
The National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest is among the first-batch of five national parks in China. In April this year, when President Xi Jinping visited Hainan, he pointed out that the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest was a national treasure, a reservoir, a granary, a bank, and a carbon pool as well. Hainan must take ecological conservation as a foundation for the province, attach greatest importance to ecological civilization construction, rigorously protect tropical rainforest, realize unification between ecological protection, green development and welfare improvement, and present to the world fruitful achievements about China’s national park construction and biodiversity protection.
In recent years, Hainan courts are resolutely implementing Xi Jinping Thought on the Ecological Civilization and Rule-of-law, focusing on the overall construction of the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest, and serving and guaranteeing the construction of the national park with the most restrictive law and enforcement of law.
The first is to implement the whole-basin and cross-regional high-level jurisdiction system, which stipulates that environment and resources cases occurring in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest should be submitted to the environment and resources division of an Intermediate People’s Court for trial so that the trial quality can be guaranteed. Therefore, a pattern of specialized trial of specialized cases has been formed.
The second is to give full play to the advantages of Mt. Diaoluo, Mt. Yingge, Mt. Bawang and Mt. Jianfeng Environment & Natural Resources Circuit Courts, submerge judicial strength, and stick to local acceptance, local court session, local law popularization and local publicity. At Mt. Diaoluo Circuit Court, the First Intermediate People's Court of Hainan Province held a public hearing on a case of environmental crime and rendered the judgement in court. The defendants, including Zeng X, were convicted of timber theft and concealing proceeds of crime. Ever since then, no other cases concerning forest crime in this area have been recorded.
The third is to issue sentencing instructions for two categories concerning forest crime, which are the most common in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest, adopted the minimal threshold for criminal penalty, and specify 5 circumstances that should be given a heavier penalty and 4 circumstances that suspension is generally not applied to.
The fourth is to implement the green judicial principle and pay attention to the ecological restoration effect. We will investigate and affix the civil responsibility for ecological damage according to the law, support administrative agency to punish the behavior of destroying environment, consider ecological restoration behaviors like replanting as a condition for sentencing.
The fifth is to extend judicial function and form a resultant force for protection. Zheng Lanqing, President of the Second Intermediate People's Court of Hainan Province, acted as chief judge of Fu X’s case of illegal hunting with gun. After holding a hearing on this case in the hinterland of Mt. Yingge, he held a forum on the spot to guide local villagers to change traditional production and living modes and get rich through green development. Later, he raised judicial suggestions to relevant units about strengthening publicity about environment protection. In 2021, the number of accepted criminal cases on environment and resources in the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest decreased by 58.88% as compared with that in 2018.
Next, Hainan courts will keep in mind the instructions of President Xi Jinping, always remember “the top priorities of the country”. We will give full play to judicial function, and fully serve and guarantee the construction of the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest.
The first is to improve the mechanism building, actively fulfill the responsibilities of the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest as a forest-head-system member unit, and constitute a resultant force for ecological protection.
The second is to improve the trial quality, strengthen specialized knowledge training about ecology and environmental protection, and further improve trial quality and efficiency.
The third is to strengthen case-handling effect, fully apply civil, administrative and criminal judicature practice, so to stop illegal acts of destroying environment in time, and investigate and affix the responsibility for damaging environment according to the law.
The fourth is to explore new modes of execution oriented by effective remediation of environment, and guarantee the execution effect of environmental cases.
The fifth is to take an active part in the informatization development of the National Park of Hainan Tropical Rainforest, and strive to do a better job on information sharing and interconnectivity.