China News Agency, Yunnan Pu’er, August 12th: In the hometown of Asian elephants in China, justice guards biodiversity
China News Agency reporter Miao Chao
“Elephants eat our corn and trample on our rice… But if they hurt them, it’s illegal and they will go to jail…” Tuo Wenbing told reporters.
Tuo Wenbing, a villager in Paozhangshan Village, Pu’er City, Yunnan Province, is about to harvest 10 mu of cornfield. He knows that a group of “uninvited guests” are coming soon. Wild Asian elephants have been visiting his cornfield for several years. But he knew that wild elephants were legally protected animals.
August 12 is World Elephant Day. Yunnan is the habitat of wild Asian elephants in China. In China, the Asian elephant is a national first-class protected animal. These endangered “big guys” are loved and feared by people living in Pu’er, Xishuangbanna and other places in Yunnan. They spoil crops and damage houses.
In order to alleviate the contradiction between human and elephant, in recent years, wildlife accident insurance has been applied more and more in Yunnan. Mi Sizhe, president of the Simao District Court in Pu’er City, said, “Problems such as difficulty in producing evidence for wildlife accident insurance, insufficient manpower for damage determination, and long claims settlement time have plagued the development of relevant work.”
In March this year, Simao District, Pu’er City established the “Human-Elephant Harmony Legal Service Point” to build a mediation platform for resolving human-image conflicts. Mi Sizhe told reporters that after the establishment of the service point, the Simao District Court will coordinate with the relevant insurance institutions, judicial offices, forestry stations and the village mediation committee to jointly participate in the settlement of public liability insurance claims for wild animal accidents involving 86 farmers in Paozhangshan Village. Judicial confirmation.
By April 8, all 86 farmers had received compensation. Tuo Wenbing told reporters, “My family lost 5 mu of corn field and received insurance compensation of 3,600 yuan (RMB, the same below).”
Judicial services for biodiversity protection in Pu’er City started with the protection of Asian elephants. Now, Zhenyuan County has established a “legal service point for the protection of wild ancient tea tree communities”, a “legal service point for the protection of broad-leaf magnolia fossils” in Jinggu County, and a “Western China” in Jingdong County. Black Crested Gibbon Conservation Legal Service Point”. Each site will promote the concept of ecological justice to take root in the village through various forms such as circuit trials, legal publicity, and joint law enforcement.
Yunnan is known as the “Kingdom of Animals and Plants” and “Gene Bank of Species”. On this land, there are numerous cases of judicial escort of biodiversity: In October 2017, two men used electric fish to fish in Dianchi Lake, Kunming, violating the regulations on the protection of aquatic resources. 4,000 yuan for high-back crucian carp, silver carp and bighead carp fry; in June 2017, a man hunted two Qing chickens, and the court sentenced him to one year in prison, suspended for one year and six months; in May 2019, the man He was sentenced to two years and six months in prison by the court for illegally mining 16 horseshoes in the Dawei Mountain National Nature Reserve in Yunnan…
The most famous one is China’s first preventive public interest lawsuit for the protection of endangered wild animals – the green peacock habitat protection case. The green peacock is a peacock native to China, as rare as the giant panda. In December 2020, the Yunnan court ruled that the construction of the hydropower station project under construction that may pose risks to the green peacock habitat was suspended, which effectively prevented the occurrence and expansion of ecological environment damage by judicial means.
“In recent years, environmental public interest litigation in Yunnan has shown a good trend of rapid development in number, gradual expansion of geographical scope, more and more prosecuting subjects, and increasing public participation.” Li Nianle, president of the Environmental Resources Tribunal of Yunnan Higher People’s Court, said that guarding the The diversity of life on this land is the duty and mission of the Yunnan Court. (Finish)