Russia-China agreements on environmental protection and natural resources





Agreement on development of Amur transboundary water management scheme

Russia and China agreed to establish a special task force to develop a “Comprehensive water development scheme for transboundary waters of the Argun and Amur Rivers. ”. final scheme has been never provuced due to disagreements. Agreement expired in 2000.


Agreement on Cooperation in Fisheries

Cooperation on research, protection and management of fish stocks, development of aquaculture, and improvement of technology.


Agreement on protection, regulation and breeding of bio-resources in transboundary Amur-Heilong and Ussuri-Wusuli Rivers

Protects 25 fishes, two crustaceans, one turtle, one mollusk, three aquatic plants. Regulates size limits for fish, net mesh sizes and lengths, seasonal fishing bans, closure of waters to fishing, and permitted fishing gear.


Agreement on Dauria International Protected Area

Trilateral agreement was signed by China , Mongolia , and Russia to establish Dauria International Protected Area (DIPA) to protect globally important grasslands in the headwaters of the Amur-Heilong basin.


Russia-China Cooperation in Protection of the Natural Environment

Task Force on Environmental Protection should have met annually.


Agreement on joint measures to combat forest fires

Agreement between forestry agencies, that has never resulted in actual cooperation.


Agreement on Khanka/Xingkai Lake International Nature Reserve

The agreement envisioned a broad range of cooperative activities and established a “Mixed Chinese-Russian Commission on Lake Khanka/Xingkai International Nature Reserve”. Commission is yet to be formed, but active cooperation between nature reserves started from 2003.


Memorandum on Tiger Protection

In 1997 a “Memorandum on Tiger Protection” was signed to prevent poaching, smuggling, and trade in tigers and tiger parts but no work program was implemented.


Agreement on Joint Use and Regeneration of Forest Resources

Was intended to regulate Chinese investment in Russia’s forestry industry. The task force created under this agreement should have overseen cooperation on a variety of issues, such as joint logging ventures, investment in Russia’s forestry sector, processing of wood products, forest regeneration, fire control, and pest control. In 2003-2005 many forest resource processing and export agreements were developed under the broad framework of the 2000 agreement, mostly involving provinces, rather than Russian Federal Authorities.


Agreement on cooperative monitoring of water pollution

Trans-boundary agreement between Yevreiskaya Autonomous Region, Khabarovsk and Heilongjiang Provinces to monitor water pollution in the Amur-Heilong River .


Russia-China Treaty on good neighbor relations, friendship and cooperation

Focuses on cooperative development of the border region with protection and improvement of the natural environment and just and equitable management of transboundary rivers.



Task Force on Water Quality in the Argun River
Agreement on nature protection of Argun river basin

Chitinskaya Province of Russia agreed with Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to address monitoring and protection of water quality. Later evolved into wider agreement including landscape/biodiversity conservation issues.


Action plan for implementation of the Treaty on good neighbor relations, friendship and cooperation for 2005-2008

Includes all priority cooperation issues.

During the 2005 visit by the Russian Minister of Natural Resources to China , joint efforts were proposed to control illegal logging and timber trade (ENA-FLEGT process) under this plan. Development of agreement on transboundary waters also a priority, as well as transboundary nature reserves.


Environmental Sub-commission under the Commission on Regular Meetings of Heads of State

Highest level commission coordinated by MNR in Russia and SEPA in China . Effectively replaced mechanisms set under 1994 environmental agreement. Meets annually.Has three task forces on:

• “green issues” – biodiversity, protected areas, ecosystem conservation, etc.;

• “pollution prevention and cooperation in case of environmental emergencies;”

• “protection of transboundary waters and monitoring of water quality”


Protocol on common approaches to monitoring of transboundary waters

In early 2006 following Songhua spill of 2005 a special protocol on "common approaches to monitoring of transboundary waters" was signed between SEPA and MNR. It calls for the establishment of two working groups for planning and coordinating water quality monitoring in transboundary rivers: Amur-Heilong, Ussuri-Wusuli, Argun and Razdolnaya (Suifen). Coordinates joint monitoring of water quality.


Liaison group on water management issues

Consultation mechanism between MWR of China and Federal Water Resources Agency of Russia. Group formation agreed in principle as a follow-up to Amur water management scheme, but the first meeting held only in August 2007.


Agreement on use and protection of transboundary waters

Proposed by Russia in the 1990s. Actively prepared in 2006-2007. Signed in January 2008.

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