May 31, 2010
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No.10 of Second Group of Model Cases regarding Guaranteeing People's Livelihood Issued by the Supreme People's Court: All-China Environment Federation v. Wuxi Lihu Huishan Scenic Spots Management Committee for Ecological Environment Tort
  • Type of Dispute: Civil-->Tort
  • Legal document: Judgment
No.10 of Second Group of Model Cases regarding Guaranteeing People's Livelihood Issued by the Supreme People's Court: All-China Environment Federation v. Wuxi Lihu Huishan Scenic Spots Management Committee for Ecological Environment Tort 


1. Basic Facts 基本案情
The Wuxi Zoo and Taihu Wonder Garden (hereinafter referred to as the “Wonder Garden”) were key ecological environment projects and projects of “doing practical deeds for the people” that were undertaken by the Wuxi Lihu Huishan Scenic Spots Management Committee (hereinafter referred to as the “Scenic Spots Management Committee”). In the construction of such projects, without approval, the Scenic Spots Management Committee changed the use of some woodland, 3,677 m2 of which were built into sightseeing elevator and fire pool. 无锡动物园、太湖欢乐园(下称欢乐园)系由无锡市蠡湖惠山景区管理委员会(下称景区管委会)承建的市重点生态环境工程和“为民办实事”项目。在该项目建设过程中,景区管委会未经批准改变部分林地用途,其中3677平方米被建设成为观光电梯和消防水池。
2. Judgment 裁判结果
After a hearing, the People's Court of Binhu District, Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province held that when developing and building the projects, the Scenic Spots Management Committee has not gone through approval formalities for changing the use of woodland, which constituted woodland occupation. The change in the use of woodland would cause damages to the ecological environment and therefore the Scenic Spots Management Committee should assume corresponding civil liabilities for tort. In accordance with legal provisions, the Scenic Spots Management Committee should be ordered to make restoration within the prescribed time limit for its act of changing the use of woodland; however, considering that both the fire pool and the sightseeing elevator had functions of evacuation and first-aid channels, were indispensable in the Wonder Garden, and involved great social and public interests, if they were directly restored to the original state, it may cause wastes of social resources. If it was truly difficult to make restoration at the original place, restoration may be made at another place and the original ecological capacity level should be achieved or exceeded to the greatest extent. The selection of a place for restoration at another place should be subject to the principle of the closest association with the original place under tort and the economical and reliable restoration scheme. On the basis of such comprehensive factors as the feasibility of the replanting scheme, the rationality of seedling selection, and the convenience of woodland maintenance, the court finally determined that the replanting scheme for the Yangwan plot in Binhu District, Wuxi City was the final scheme for woodland restoration in this case, and confirmed and approved the scheme for replanting and restoration at another place submitted by the Defendant. In March and April 2013, the Scenic Spots Management Committee invested nearly 800,000 yuan to the Yangwan plot, and reclaimed and planted the green land of 7,000 m2. In the entire course, the court participated in supervision and acceptance, and conducted supervision over the Scenic Spots Management Committee's tree maintenance during the defect period (of one year). 江苏省无锡市滨湖区人民法院经审理认为,景区管委会在开发建设项目时尚未取得改变林地用途的审批手续,构成了占用林地的事实。改变林地用途对生态环境造成损害,应当承担相应的民事侵权责任。景区改变林地用途的行为,根据法律规定,应当责令限期恢复原状。但考虑到消防水池和观光电梯同时具有逃生、急救通道的功能,是欢乐园的必要组成部分,涉及较大的社会公共利益,如直接恢复原状,可能造成对社会资源的浪费。如就地恢复确有困难,可以异地恢复,以尽量达到或超过原有的生态容量水平。对异地恢复的地点的选择,按照与原被侵权地最相密切联系、恢复方案经济可靠的原则确定。最终法院结合补植方案的可行性和苗木选择的合理性、林木养护的便利性等综合因素,判决无锡市滨湖区杨湾地块补植方案为本案恢复林地的最终方案,对被告提交的该处异地补植恢复方案予以确认与准许。景区管委会于2013年3、4月在杨湾地块,投入近八十万元,开垦种植七千平米的城市绿地,法院全程参与监督和验收,并监督景区管委会进行树木的缺陷期养护(一年)。
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