Beijing opened its first tribunals dedicated to handling lawsuits related to the environment on Monday, in the capital's latest step in advancing the concept of ecological civilization using the rule of law.
Ecological civilization is one of five national development goals and centers around sustainable development.
One tribunal is located at the Beijing No 4 Intermediate People's Court, while the other seven are at district-level courts, including Fangshan, Mentougou, Yanqing and Pinggu.
In December 2019, the Beijing High People's Court named its first civil division to focus on hearings concerning the environment and ecology.
"So far, courts at the high, intermediate and grassroots levels all have tribunals for dealing with environmental lawsuits, which signals that a professional adjudication team has been formed in the city," An Fengde, vice-president of the high court told a news conference on Monday.
He said that establishing these tribunals ahead of China's first National Ecology Day, which falls on Tuesday, will help the country in its efforts to promote environmental conservation for the construction of an ecological civilization.
He added that the tribunals will also make hearings involving the environment and ecology more professional, and that the fight against polluters and to repair the environment will be more effective.
Song Yi, chief judge of the high court's first civil division, said that a major job of the environmental tribunals will be to advance the coordinated green development in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region by reducing pollution and carbon emissions.
"The tribunals will focus on responding to hot environmental and ecological issues by solving disputes regarding noise and electromagnetic pollution, and provide greater efforts to remove illegally constructed villas," he added.
Data released by the high court on Monday showed that courts across Beijing have heard roughly 900 environmental cases every year since 2021, mainly covering noise pollution, waste dumping, illegal fishing, illegal occupation of farmland and illegal hunting.
On June 28, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the country's top legislature, designated Aug 15 as National Ecology Day.