To promote the sustainable development of economy and environment

Fu Bojie,Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Over the past 20 years, the annual carbon sequestration has reached 600 million tons,which he suggests incorporating ecosystem management into national strategies

2023-05-16 22:05Source: 中文

"In the past two decades, China has managed to sequester 600 million tons of carbon each year through ecosystem management." At the International Conference on carbon neutrality and High Quality Development hosted by Beijing International Ecological Economy Promotion Association, Fu Bojie, academician of the CAS Member and a researcher of the Ecological Environment Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said when talking about the important role of ecosystem management in carbon sequestration.

The so-called ecosystem management refers to the management based on the characteristics and internal mechanisms of the ecosystem, in order to increase carbon sink function and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and is called a natural based solution. Fu Bojie explained the connotation, development process, and effectiveness of ecosystem management through Chinese practice, and pointed out the direction for future ecosystem management.

Ecological restoration should balance the relationship between production, carbon sequestration, and soil and water conservation

Before carrying out ecosystem management, China placed greater emphasis on ecosystem restoration. The ecological restoration work in China originated in the 1980s, mainly targeting the ecological and environmental problems faced by ecological land spaces, and using human measures to "cure" damaged or degraded ecosystems.

Entering the 21st century, China's ecological protection and restoration concept has become more systematic, ensuring ecological security and promoting harmonious coexistence between humans and nature have become the goals of ecological restoration. Especially since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the integrated protection and restoration of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, grass, and sand have become a focus, and it has become a consensus to prioritize protection and prioritize natural restoration. At the same time, the value of ecosystems and ecological assets is also included in the protection and restoration of ecosystems, ensuring ecological security has become a top priority.

“The integrated governance of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, grasslands, and sand emphasizes multi-level coordination, rather than the optimization of a single level.” In Fu Berger's view, integrated governance emphasizes system protection in the later stage, and emphasizes the contribution of ecological nature on the basis of emphasizing ecosystem reconstruction and remediation in the early stage. “More importantly, this concept of integrated protection integrates people and can enhance the service function of the ecosystem through protection and utilization, enhance the service capacity of the ecosystem and contribute to human well-being, and promote harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.”

However, Fu Bojie also pointed out that the integrated management of mountains, rivers, forests, fields, lakes, grasslands, and sand requires finding the optimal solution for spatial allocation based on the spatiotemporal relationship between the ebb and flow of ecosystem services. We should consider the layout of different ecosystems, adjust measures to local conditions, and utilize the functions of different ecosystems through artificial protection, restoration, and optimization. This will enable the entire ecosystem to have the ability to produce food, maintain water and soil, and conserve water and carbon - all of which are inherent in ecosystem management.

The four provinces and four systems have enormous potential for increasing foreign exchange

Ecosystem management plays an important role in carbon sequestration. In Fu Berger's view, achieving the dual carbon goal requires two major aspects. One is emission reduction, which involves reducing carbon dioxide emissions by developing a low-carbon economy, adjusting energy structure, and industrial structure. On the other hand, it is to increase carbon sequestration, that is, to use the ecosystem to fix carbon, and to increase carbon sequestration through the protection and restoration of the ecosystem, which requires the role of ecosystem management.

Fu Bojie pointed out that ecosystem management includes three categories, namely protection, improvement management, and restoration. China has already implemented a large number of practices and achieved significant results. “From 2000 to 2020, China's annual carbon sequestration through ecosystem management reached 600 million tons, offsetting 8% of industrial carbon emissions during the same period. It is estimated that from 2020 to 2030, the annual carbon sequestration can reach 1.2 billion tons. By 2060, this number will become 1.6 billion.”

Fu Berger pointed out that at present, China has a great potential for increasing sinks. We can further tap the potential of forests, agriculture, grasslands and wetlands through ecosystem management, attach importance to forest restoration and natural forest management, pay attention to farmland nutrient management and paddy field management, strengthen the management of grassland grazing, avoid grassland degradation, and avoid peatland transformation. At the same time, there are four provinces with significant potential, namely Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Sichuan, and Yunnan, which can further unleash their potential for foreign exchange through ecosystem management. In places like Xinjiang and Qinghai, grazing management should be shifted to grassland and peatland management, and Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian provinces can improve artificial forest land.

Overall, Fu Bojie suggests incorporating ecosystem management into national strategies and upgrading it to a national ecological management strategy in order to further leverage the role of ecosystems in carbon sequestration.

First, strengthen the top-level design of ecosystem management at the national level, and carry out systematic layout of land restoration and land replacement; Secondly, expand the ecosystem, shifting from "expanding the scope of production" to "increasing the revenue per unit land area", and setting regional carbon sequestration and sink enhancement goals according to local conditions to improve the efficiency of ecosystem management; Thirdly, set regional ecosystem management goals, emphasizing the coordination between regional restoration and protection, and conducting diversified management and technological innovation; Fourthly, maintain the overall effectiveness of investment, enhance local sustainable livelihoods and well-being, and contribute to achieving "dual carbon".