The Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee identified that bringing social organizations into full play enforces governance and social regulations through the positive interactions between residents and thus constitutes the foundation of grassroots social governance. China's social organizations have developed rapidly in recent years, in systems of national governance, and their status roles have been further enhanced and social organizations are now stepping into a new era of active participation in the modernization and development of social governance capabilities. Adhering to the leading role of party-building and promoting social organizations by actively and effectively participating in grassroots governance, to bring into full play the advantages of close bridges and ties between government and society, has already become important in guiding the development of communities.
In order to actively respond to the appeals of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the Beijing Municipal Government, bringing the power of the professional community into full play, participating in national governance systems and developing and modernizing governance capabilities, on the 4th January 2020, the International Ecological Economy Promotion Association (IEEPA hereafter) hosted the Expert Meeting on Ecological Governance and Released 2019-2020 Annual Report at the National People's Conference Center.
Li Junyang, Executive Vice-President of the IEEPA, Senior Research Fellow at Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering of Tsinghua University, Senior Research Fellow at Environment Science and Engineering Institute of Nankai University, Adjunct Professor at Hubei Academy of Governance chaired the meeting.
Attendees included Zhai Yong, head of the law chamber of the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee of the NPC; Yuan Jifu, Professor and Vice-President of the Beijing Administration Institute; Li Qingrui, Executive Vice-President of the China Ecological Civilization Research and Promotion Association, former Deputy Director of Policy and Regulation Department, Administrative System and Human Resources Department of Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection; Zhou Ke, Legal Consultant of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, IEEPA Standing Director, Professor at the Law School of Renmin University of China; Yang Hongshan, Professor and Deputy Dean of Public Administration School of the University of China; Li Wenzhao, Professor and Vice Dean at Beijing Academy of Development and Strategy of Renmin University of China; Jin Dongping, former Deputy Inspector of the National Development and Reform Commission Office, IEEPA Expert; Lin Jian, Researcher at the Center for Research on Social System Engineering, National Academy of Development and Strategy of Renmin University of China, Director of the Center for Research on Social System Engineering; Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the National Governance Weekly affiliated to the People's Daily.
Li Junyang, Executive Vice-President of IEEPA firstly discussed the six aspects of the community's work results in the report:
Firstly, IEEPA actively promoted national governance systems and progress in the modernization of governance capabilities, bringing into full play the role of communities working together in ecological governance, including going through the Hubei Academy of Governance to jointly carry out demonstrations projects that combine theory with practice, applying the “two mountains theory” to enhance the application of ecological poverty alleviation in Hubei Province, and adhering to party-building work for leadership. IEEPA, together with the Party Branch of the International Cooperation Center of National Development and Reform Commission, and the Party Branch of Urban Planning and Design Institute of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, jointly promoted the establishment of ecological and human governance demonstration sites at the grassroots level in Beijing, creating the featured party-building brand, combining party-building work with professionalism, building party groups with ecological economic features, taking the party-building brand with its “red empowerment” culture as the leader, building comprehensive systems, branding, professionalizing the party-building brand, strengthening the establishment of programs of action, action planning, taking the lead in the investigation on ecological and human governance issues of the grassroots community in Konggang Street Community and Commercial Port in Beijing's Shunyi District. In 2020, all of the city's 152 street offices will be surveyed and covered at all levels.
Secondly, by carrying on the strategy of "going out" and "bringing in", IEEPA developed a two-way international support system to support enterprise work platforms, an in-depth implementation of a “Beijing-based, internationally focused” development plan in order to actively bring the role of international exchange into full play. IEEPA acts as a bridge between the governmental and non-governmental organizations in every country, working together on ‘Belt and Road’, for Chinese enterprises overseas to provide membership services, relying on the resources of the IEEPA Group of Eminent Dignitaries the Committee of the World Economic and Environmental Conference to expand overseas markets. In order to bring in foreign enterprise, IEEPA provides two-way international platforms. Through the cooperation with China’s embassies in each country, foreign companies can actively enter the country to extend cooperative partnerships with the Chinese government and enterprise. IEEPA actively publicizes China's concept of ecological development and promotes the success of China's environmental governance and its ecological economic development on the international stage.
Thirdly, IEEPA played its role as a social organization in assisting enterprises and providing in-depth research work for individual experts. IEEPA provided platforms with strategic and planning value to assist enterprise development, social resource provision, path analysis and case references. Combined with examples of enterprise in industrial development, IEEPA refined methods of innovative development and built a top-level design. IEEPA called on the government to enhance support for enterprise development and to provide support to companies when they are treated unfairly. IEEPA supported individual experts in supporting industry by providing conditions for the investigation and research of industry and social development.
Fourthly, IEEPA linked theory with practices, actively contributed ideas to the top-level and became a professional high-end think tank for government social work, including the State Council and the China Academy of Engineering, Chinese Science Academicians and other relevant ministers and experts. For the Beijing Municipal Government, IEEPA made proposals for the foundation of grassroots party-building leadership and ecological and human governance demonstration points, built a new framework for ecological and human governance in Beijing, and provided suggestions on weak points in Beijing's ecological and human governance with the report entitled “how to build a livable and harmonious capital” IEEPA provided with Hubei Provincial People's Government the proposal titled "Practice of ‘Two Mountains’ Theory using Yidu city as an example". IEEPA also provided the Guangdong Provincial People's Government's proposal "On further optimizing the business environment in the ecological field, to enhance the ‘Double High’development of the ecological green mining environment and economic quality in Guangdong province".
Fifthly, IEEPA integrated advantageous resources, conducted in-depth research on green mining, green building, green consumption and other professional fields, and built a demonstration system. By jointly working with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Ecological Restoration Centre affiliated to University of Mining and Technology(Beijing), IEEPA created the "Committee of Green Mining and Environmental Protection". IEEPA, together with China Environmental Protection Foundation (CEPF hereafter), also initiated the "CEPF Green Mining Fund of Ecological Economy". With China Railways 23rd Bureau as the leading unit, membership including China Railways' 26th Bureau, China Building Materials Group, IEEPA founded the “Committee of Green Building Industry".
Sixthly, IEEPA brought into play the leading value and role of professional academic research results of the community and published our achievements. The Department of the Ecology and Environment and China Environmental Publishing Group published the "Book Series of National Green Mine's Eco-friendly and High-quality Development/Guidelines for Aggregate Industry Standard" by IEEPA. IEEPA simultaneously completed the "Structure and Operation Mechanism of Ecological Economy Management", "The Philosophical Thinking and Practice of the 'Two Mountains Theory'", "Extracts of Aggregate Industry Policy", "Energy Conservation Technology and Application of Aggregate Industry", "Extracts of Aggregate Industry Laws and Regulations", and "Practice of 'Two Mountains' Theory Using Yidu City as an Example". We will soon complete "Creating a New Pattern of the Ecological and Humanistic Governance of Beijing", "The Strategy of Social Organizations Serving the National Ecological and Environmental Governance", "Party-building Guideline and Standard of Chinese Social Organizations", and "Solutions on Organizational Capacity Building of Chinese Social Organizations".
Researcher Li Junyang also addressed “Building a New Framework for Ecological and Humanistic Governance of Beijing. He clearly indicated that under the demands of the modernization of national systems of governance and governance capacities, there firstly needs to be in-depth analysis of social governance in the city including its ecological connotations, structures, and especially ideas concerned with the introduction of system engineering to build new frameworks for ecological and human governance in grassroots society. It is obliged to actively encourage support for social organizations so that they have the power to take the lead, bringing the spirit of "do my bit in bettering the national capital" into full play, adhering to party-building leadership, keeping in line with the grassroots, beginning developing the grassroots governance in the capital and constructing ecological and human demonstration points. It is important to bring the combined party-building and professionalism activities into play. In the grassroots communities we should establish the good community template targeting ecological-friendliness, harmony and goodwill, in order to demonstrate the leading social effects, substantially promote the standard of ecological governance, build and perfect the modernization of the capital's systems of ecological governance, apply scientific ideas, new technologies, new platforms, and promote urban governance to fine governance and co-governance. By applying the rule of legalism as a basic feature of the transformation of urban governance, we can guarantee high-quality scientific development and gradually form good urban ecological governance, building the foundation for Beijing to become an internationally-renowned city.
Research Li Junyang focused on three proposals in the report:
Firstly, the importance of grassroots governance. The importance of grassroots governance, from the grassroots governance of township boards right down to villages, neighborhoods and communities, is the foundation of the network of grassroots governance, the main body of responsibility for social governance. This is the masses' personal beneficial relationship intersection, where the focus of social conflict lies, the cornerstone of development and stability, and most importantly the focus of social construction and governance. The more policy is extended to the grassroots, the more its contents must be implemented, and the forms are more diverse, and the situation is more complicated and miles above the grassroots 'needle'. All the time this 'needle' is a practical test for cadres, to grasp reforms and the quality of their implementation, their capacity and standard.
Secondly, party-building leadership provides a foundation for the grassroots, diligently supporting social forces so they can take the lead, bringing the spirit of 'do my bit in bettering the capital', adhering to party-building grassroots leadership, carrying out capital grassroots governance and building ecological and humanistic demonstration points, fully bringing the advantages of "party-building and professionalism" into full play, and construct a grassroots template and play a leading role in demonstration. All types of national governance policies, are frequently prone to change during this period, becoming the masses’ personal feeling of rapid policy transformation. The deformation of policy, not only substantially distorts the policy's original results, but increases the people's distrust in the government's work, but also damages the order of grassroots governance, and is also disadvantageous to the systems of grassroots governance and the modernization of theoretical capabilities, and is even more disadvantageous to the foundation of the frameworks for ecological and human governance, and also hinders the overall progress China's "ecological civilization".
Thirdly, building the framework for ecological and human governance firstly requires supporting demonstration points to fully bring "party-building and professionalism" modes into play. Next, actively explore, combing top-down top-level with bottom-up grassroots governance. Lastly, substantially improve the efficiency of the operating mechanisms for grassroots governance, while simultaneously improving the authorization for the grassroots, putting supervision and accountability mechanisms in place, establish a retrospective system for the evaluation and implementation of the policies at the grassroots level, becoming the new framework for ecological and human governance in Beijing to address problems promptly. Director of the Bill Room of the National People's Congress Environmental and Resources Protection Committee Zhai Yong, firstly highly praised IEEPA's announcement of the results of the “Building a Framework for Ecological and Human Governance in Beijing”. He believes that social organizations are definitely able to play a greater role in national systems of governance and in the modernization of governance capacities.
Zhai Yong also explained China's combined environmental governance and legal system construction. Environmental Governance and Legal System Construction, concerning pollution prevention in the legal system, legal systems for environmental systems, this part is more than less complete, but rarely pays attention to issues of resources efficiency and ecology and has no concept of strategic promotion. Besides, there is currently no specific law regarding ecosystems in China, and this area needs to be strengthened. In aspects of ecological governance, we are in the process of achieving our two one-hundred-year goals, and resource efficiency should be a priority, but the importance of this aspect has not received much attention in the past. Incorporating the comprehensive utilization of resources into network planning as a research project, changing our production methods, our lifestyle, to promote the quality of China's development and the important aspects of domestic standards.
Professor Yuan Yifu pointed out that the features of “Building a New Framework for Ecological and Human Governance in Beijing” show that, systematic thinking, engineering ideas, research methods, made the research report very operational. Solving conflict between the grassroots and the environment, as well as internal conflicts in urban grassroots requires public intervention. This type of intervention is the Party's strength; therefore the party-building leadership must play the lead in matters of ecological governance. But does not mean that the party-building leadership is monopolizing or replacing important functions, because there are multiple levels of party-building leadership. Some issues can be solved by lower-level party-building leadership, while others cannot and must be resolved at a higher-level of party-building leadership. IEEPA functions as a social organization, specializing in scientific party-building ecological governance and support for system programs and implementation methods. Most notably, the "red empowerment" party-building brand culture created by IEEPA for ecological governance and to offer all sectors of society encouragement and support.
Professor Yang Hongshan, Deputy Dean of the School of Public Management at the Renmin University of China believes that there needs to be an emphasis on building communities within grassroots social governance. The mechanisms for the building communities are a work in progress. In the Central Committee's opinion, this matter is being advanced under party-leadership, as well as at the grassroots level. The role of the community should be brought into full play, and the academic community should conduct in-depth research to make it not only a mobilization, but a sustainable operating mechanism.
Professor Li Wenzhao pointed out that the professional strength must be seized at the grassroots level. For example, IEEPA's "Ecological Economy" is at the core of professionalism and resources and thus IEEPA must simultaneously focus on international community and exchange, communicate the successful practical experience of cities in related countries in ecological government and Beijing's ecological communities, and truly implement the "bring in" and "going out".
Li Qingrui, believes that social organizations are the most important force in national systems of ecological governance and that IEEPA plays a both great and valuable role within ecological governance. Li looks forward to IEEPA continuing to play a leading role in the development of ecological and environmental protection as well as "ecological civilization".
Zhou Ke pointed out that in the report, China's must identify shortcomings in the construction of ecological governance systems, perfect the entire system of governance, quickly act to remedy the shortcomings, and make the role of social organizations more prominent than other things in systems of ecological governance. Ecological and environmental issues are societal issues Zhou contends, and that the more management is extended to the grassroots level, the lower are its costs and the higher its efficiency. Also, raising the level of public awareness and increasing public participation in governance is ideal when resolving social issues.
Jin Dongping believes that combining party-building work and social governance work is innovative work, but is difficult at the grassroots level; good ideas and policies change at the grassroots level, and also encounter unexpected barriers and obstacles, targeting the complexity of grassroots personnel, who think that solidified official thinking is 'not my business' and who are unwilling to actively accept social participation. That this attitude is still widespread indicates that further effort is required to coordinate the forces of all parties to ensure they work together. This may take a long time to resolve, so we must be mentally-prepared.
Lin Jian believes that grassroots self-governance must grasp its focus to construct a new framework of grassroots social governance using a systematic engineering approach. Strengthening the construction of systems of community governance, advance social governance, moving the center down to the base, bringing the role of social organizations into full play, achieve government governance, social mediation, resident autonomy and good interactions. Party committee leadership is the prerequisite, government responsibility is the key, democratic consultation is the mechanism, social collaboration is the means, public participation is the principal part, the rule of law is the strength, technology support is the condition, in every way participation and determination can form a new framework of social government that is both constructed together and governed together.