The Nanping Intermediate People’s Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on October 29 in the first ever environmental litigation since China’s revised Environmental Protection Law took effect on January 1st, 2015. The lawsuit, brought by Friends of Nature and Green Home of Fujian (福建绿家园) earlier this year, was against four men for environmental damages in Nanping, Fujian Province. The defendants,charged with damaging forestry land, were ordered to pay 1.27 million yuan to restore the land within a limited time. They will face another fine of 1.1 million yuan if they fail to carry out the restoration work in time, according to the sentence.
This case has played an exemplary role in getting compensation from defendants for ecological damage and supporting the experts’ opinions during investigation, according to Liu Xiang, the attorney representing Friends of Nature.The court also ordered the defendants to pay the legal expenses and other necessary fees in the lawsuit for the plaintiff, which could reduce the financial burden of the plaintiffs and encourage more environmental NGOs to bring such lawsuits in the future.