Ministry of Ecology and Environment

Ministry of Ecology and Environment the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Shengtai-Huánjìng Bù
Agency overview
Formed March, 2008
Preceding agency
  • State Environmental Protection Administration
Jurisdiction  People's Republic of China
Headquarters Beijing
Minister responsible
Parent agency State Council

The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, formerly the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China (MEP), and prior to 2008 known as the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), is a department of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It superseded the MEP in 2018.[1]

The Ministry is the nation's environmental protection department charged with the task of protecting China's air, water, and land from pollution and contamination. Directly under the State Council, it is empowered and required by law to implement environmental policies and enforce environmental laws and regulations. Complementing its regulatory role, it funds and organizes research and development. In addition, it also has jurisdiction over China's nuclear safety agency.[2]


In 1972, Chinese representatives attended the First United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Sweden. The next year, 1973, saw the establishment of the Environmental Protection Leadership Group. In 1983, the Chinese government announced that environmental protection would become a state policy. In 1998, China went through a disastrous year of serious flooding, and the Chinese government upgraded the Leading Group to a ministry-level agency, which then became the State Environmental Protection Administration.


There are 12 offices and departments under MEP, all at the si (司) level in the government ranking system. They carry out regulatory tasks in different areas and make sure that the agency is functioning accordingly:

Department structure

Department Chinese Name
General Administrative Office (办公厅)
Department of Human Resources & Institutional Affairs (行政体制与人事司)
Department of Planning and Finance (规划与财务司)
Department of Policies, Laws and Regulations (政策法规司)
Department of Science & Technology and Standards (科技标准司)
Pollution Control Office (污染控制司)
Natural Ecosystem Protection Office (自然生态保护司)
Department of Environmental Impact Assessment (环境影响评价管理司)
International Cooperation Office (国际合作司)
Department of Nuclear Safety (核安全管理司)
Environmental Inspection Office (环境监察局)
Office of Agency & Party Affairs (机关党委)


Position Name
Administrator/ Minister: Li Ganjie
Vice Minister: Huang Runqiu, others
Head of Discipline: Wu Haiying

Regional centers

In 2006, SEPA opened five regional centers to help with local inspections and enforcement. Today, the five centers are direct affiliates of MEE:

Region Head Office Enforcement Area
Eastern Center Nanjing Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, and Shandong.
Southern Center Guangzhou Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, Guangxi, and Hainan.
Northwestern Center Xi'an Shaanxi, Gansu, Qinghai, Xinjiang, and Ningxia.
Southwestern Center Chengdu Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, and Tibet.
Northeastern Center Shenyang Liaoning, Jining, and Heilongjiang.
MEE headquarters Beijing Beijing, Tianjing, Hebei, Henan, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia.

Areas of activities

MEP regulates water quality, ambient air quality, solid waste, soil, noise, radioactivity. In the area of R&D activities, MEP has funded a series of "Key Laboratories" in different parts of the country, including: Laboratory for Urban Air Particles Pollution Prevention and Control for Environmental Protection, Laboratory on Environment and Health, Laboratory on Industrial Ecology, Laboratory on Wetland Ecology and Vegetation Recovery, and Laboratory on Biosafety.[3]

In addition, MEP also administers engineering and technical research centers related to environmental protection, including: Center for Non-ferrous Metal Industrial Pollution Control, Center for Clean Coal and Ecological Recovery of Mines, Center for Industrial Waste Water Pollution Control, Center for Industrial Flue Gas Control, Center for Hazardous Waste Treatment, and Center for Solid Waste Treatment and Disposal of Mines.[3]

China is experiencing an increase in environmental complaints: In 2005, there were 51,000 disputes over environmental pollution, according to SEPA minister Zhou Shengxian. From 2001 to 2005, Chinese environmental authorities received more than 2.53 million letters and 430,000 visits by 597,000 petitioners seeking environmental redress.[4]

List of ministers

NameTook officeLeft office
Director of State Environmental Protection Agency
1Qu Geping1987June 1993
2Xie ZhenhuaJune 1993March 1998
Director of State Environmental Protection Administration
(2)Xie ZhenhuaMarch 1998December 2005
3Zhou ShengxianDecember 2005March 2008
Minister of Environmental Protection
(3)Zhou ShengxianMarch 2008February 2015
4Chen JiningFebruary 2015June 2017
5Li GanjieJune 2017March 2018
Minister of Environment and Ecology
(5)Li GanjieMarch 2018-

See also


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