Biodiv Sci ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (4): 21464.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021464

• Special Feature: On the Ecological Conservation Redline • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Understanding the connotation of the ecological conservation redline from its delineation process and attribute characteristics

Kun Zhang1, Changxin Zou1, Yi Zhang2, Xiaoman Liu3, Jixi Gao3,*()   

  1. 1 Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Nanjing 210042
    2 Chinese Academy of Environmental Planning, Beijing 100012
    3 Center for Satellite Application on Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Beijing 100094
  • Received:2021-11-19 Accepted:2022-02-10 Online:2022-04-20 Published:2022-02-28
  • Contact: Jixi Gao


Background & Aim: The ecological conservation redline (ECR) acts as the bottom line of national ecological security, as well as a major measure of ecological civilization reform in China. Since the implementation, the ECR has received great attention from both domestic and international communities, considering its innovation in models and systems of ecological conservation. However, the current understanding of the ECR is not deep enough. Some researchers have the misunderstanding that all categories of human activity are prohibited in the ECR, which confuses the ECR with the uninhabited areas. The misunderstanding limits the application and effectiveness of the ECR to a certain extent.

Results: We provide a description on the evolution of the ECR. The ECR is transformed from theoretical assumption at local scale in 2000 to practical implementation at national scale in 2017. We demonstrate the scientific connotation and era interpretation of the ECR. We analyze the management standard of the ECR, and clearly proposes that the management should balance strictly controlling and appropriately utilization. The ECR should serve as the bottom line of ecological security and baseline for land use pattern optimization, rather than the uninhabited area. The ultimate goal of the ECR is the harmonious coexistence between human and nature and regional sustainable development.

Recommendations: The ECR could be further improved in the following aspects: (1) expanding the connotation of the ECR based on the development trend of ecological protection, in order to strengthen the conservation effects of the ECR; (2) developing the identification technology of ecological corridors and incorporating them into the ECR, so as to improve the integration and connectivity of the ECR; (3) optimizing the value realization mechanism of high-quality ecological products to strengthen the supporting ability of the ECR to the “environment‒economy‒society” system; (4) enhancing the sustainability of the ECR with various measures, including financial transfer payments, ecological compensation, ecological industry supporting and education and medical improvement; (5) sharing the experience of the ECR with the global society via international talks, academic forums and researcher exchanges, in order to provide a new model for international ecological protection and biodiversity conservation.

Key words: ecological conservation redline, ecological security, economic sociality, policy