China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) is an independent non-profitable organization dedicated to environmental protection and biodiversity conservation. It was founded in 1985 with an effort to breed and popularize Milu Deer, which was once an endemic animal in China but became endangered in the 1900s. However, the Duke of Bedford succeeded in raising Milu deer in the UK. As an acknowledgment to the friendly relationship between China and the United Kingdom, the Duke of Bedford gave away 38 Milu successively to their homeland in 1985. In the same year, China Milu Foundation was formed to support the breeding and popularizing of Milu or Pere David deer in the country. It is in 2010 that the organization was officially renamed as China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.
Since China’s new environmental law took effect in 2015, the CBCGDF has filed a total of 44 Environmental Public Interests Lawsuits (EPIL) covering issues such as environmental pollution, proactive conservation for endangered species, historic and cultural heritage protection, and etc., among which 26 cases have been accepted by the court. For example, the Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of the plant called Acer pentaphyllum against a hydroelectric power company, which is the first EPIL for an endangered plant. Most of the cases are against domestic polluters; though, defendants also include international brands such as Volkswagen and ConocoPhillips. EPIL has proved to be very effective on environmental protection, public environmental remedies and sustainable social development.
Based in Beijing, the CBCGDF has more than 30 staff working full-timely. The Foundation has set up an Expert Committee for biodiversity conservation made up of over ten academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and about 60 experts in environmental ecology, and a Law Commission made up of lawyers and hundreds of scholars. Its flat organizational structure empowers decision-making process.