Local officials in eight regions and heads of forestry in three provinces were called for environment watchdog talks Wednesday regarding misuse and damage of natural reserves.
The Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) commanded local authorities to strictly manage natural reserves, prohibiting them from pursuing temporary economic benefit at the price of worsening the environment.
Recent inspections have found illegal activities on natural reserves, including industry and mining, travel, breeding and real estate.
"Local authorities failed to supervise and constrain illegal exploration and construction, and some even approved projects violating regulations," said Liu Changgen, deputy director of the national environmental inspection office.
More than 466 hectares of land were occupied for illegal crop cultivation and fish breeding in Jiangsu Zhenjiang Yangtze Dolphin Nature Reserve, severely destroying the ecological environment.
In Chongqing Jinyun Shan National Nature Reserve, over 500 areas were found with mining and travel businesses. In the core preserve area, a number of farmers encroached on forestry land to expand their homes.
Rectification plans were ordered to be reported to MEE in 20 working days, which will also carry out spot checks to ensure all violations are rectified.