The nationwide forest chief scheme aims to protect and develop forest and grassland resources, with government and local Communist Party Committee officials serving as forest chiefs. This new mechanism was adopted following the release of the guidelines Opinions on Fully Implementing the Forest Chief Scheme in early 2021.The National Forestry and Grassland Administration established a working group who issued an action plan to implement the guidelines.
The action plan includes tasks and activities to assess forest chief performance at provincial levels. Indicators such as forest coverage, forest stock volumes, grassland-integrated vegetation coverage, wetland protection rates, as well as ecological protection and restoration, forest safeguarding policies, supervision of law enforcement systems and basic infrastructure construction will be monitored.
The National Forestry and Grassland Administration will also develop more targeted indicators and tasks for specific areas, depending on available resources and local conditions. Assessments will be on an annual basis. To date, ten provincial-level regions, Anhui, Jiangxi, Shandong, Chongqing Municipality, Hainan, Shanxi, Guizhou, Fujian, Xinjiang and Beijing Municipality, have implemented the forest chief scheme.
Other provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities are also stepping up relevant work to establish the forest chief scheme at all levels by the end of 2021.