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Speech at the Closing Ceremony by Song Jian


  Respected Members and Guests,

  The second Meeting of the China Council gore International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) ha accomplished all the items on its agenda, and will be concluding this afternoon.

  Over the past three days, we have listened to the interim reports of the6 Working Groups, presentations from various ministries and agencies on the outlines of plans of the Chinese Government to follow up UNCED and speeches by number of participants on specific issues. The members of the Council enthusiastically and responsibly made a lot of counteractive suggestions and recommendations, out of which emerged the recommendations submitted to the Chinese Government. We owe this achievement to the efforts of all present. Would like to take this opportunity, first of all, express my sincere thanks to the members of the Council, to the specially invited guests and to the co-chairmen of the Working Groups for your participate ion in the meeting and your contributions. My sincere thanks also go to my colleagues and dear friends Dr. Masse, Prof. Qu Geping and Mr., Gu Ming for your cooperation, I very much appreciated the research report given by UNDP on China's sustainable e development, The resident representative of UNDP, who has lived in China, has acquired a deep under-standing of the situation in the country and, therefore, is able to put forward well-targeted analysis and suggestions. UNEP and WHO of the United Nations, non-governmental organizations and especially international organizations such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, IUCN, WWF, ICSU, etc. have all given essential support to sustainable development in China and helped to make the meeting a success. We will fly back to Beijing tomorrow to see the top; evaders of the Chinese Government to report the recommendations made by the Council for the Chinese Government's reference in their decision-making. I firmly believe that this will further help the Chinese Government in their decision-making concerning the environment and development to be more scientific and democratic. It will also greatly advance China's environment and development undertakings. For this reason, I would like, once again, to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the Council members, specially invited guests, observers, the people's governments of Zhejiang Province and the city of Hangzhou plus all the staff members for your contributions to the great success of this meeting.

  Next, I would like to make a few comments on the achievements of the meeting and on the future work of the Council.

  1.Inital Results Have Been Obtained in the Council's Work

  The constructive work of the past year pleasance the founding of CCICED show that the Council has been able to function as and will continue to function as a key link in the solution of environmental problem in China and in establishing ex tensile and intensive cooperation between China and the international community. By unswervingly carrying out the policy of reform and opening to the outside and by making use of the present favorable opportunities, China can learn from and absorb all the achievements of civilization in the world, make them suitable for the Chinese situation and try to avoid the mistake of "first pollute, then clean it up". In the midst of our rapid, large-scale development, we will work to find the best way handle the relationship between the economy and the environment. The Council has gathered a great many outstanding people and everyone present has shown enthusiasm and devotion as well as a hard working spirit in their work on the environment and development both in China and rest of the world. This is what we c all "the right time, the right conditions, and the right people", As Prof. Salem said last night, "there is harmony between south and north, east and wet, and heaven and earth." This philosophy forms a solid foundation for the work of the Council.

  Since 1990,we have spent over two years going over the three stages of work for the Council-conceptualizing; founding and starting up. This year, the Expert Working Groups have presented interim reports. Members of the Council, both Chinese and international, have held detailed discussions on matters of substance, on the basis of which policy recommendations and suggestions have been put forward to various departments of the Chinese Government. This indicates that real progress and initial results have been achieved in the work of the Council. The Council is working to create a new pattern in building international cooperation on environment al protection and achieving coordinated development of the environment and economy in China .I believe that the results of the Council's work is of far-reaching significance.

  2.The Success of the Export Working Groups is the Key to Making the Most of the Council in the near Future.

  One important part of our working procedures is for the Council to hold a meeting g every year, at which interim reports by the Working Groups are presented for detailed discussion.

  Studies made by the Expert Working Groups on substantial issues in various fields of the environment and development have a direct bearing on the quality of policy recommendations. The Expert Working Groups are composed of first-class scientists and scholars from both China and other countries who are leading figures in their own fields or disciplines. With their rich store of knowledge and experience, they preside over the entire process of research from macro to micro and from qualitative to quantitative study, doing all they can to assist decision-makers. With the financial support already obtained, we have set up five Expert Working Groups on energy strategies and technologies, pollution control, monitoring and data collection, scientific research, technological development and training, resource accounting, environmental economics and pricing policies, and protection of biodiversity. Later, because the scope of work for the working group on pollution control, monitoring and data collection covered too much, the group was divided into two groups with permission from, both the Chairman and Chinese and international Vice-chairmen. Now there are six Expert Working Groups. The research subjects for these six groups represent the most urgent issues for China and are well targeted to the problems.

  Each of the six groups has approved its own subject matter, decided on a series of secondary subjects, held substantial discussions and held at least one plenary meeting, at which the Chinese and international cochairmen exchanged timely information and data. The Chinese members have carried out extensive field studies. Fool lowing consultation between the two sides, interim reports by all groups were presented to the meeting .I must say that they have worked very hard. I understand that their research orientation and key research projects have been basically approved at the meeting .I hope that the co-chairmen of the various groups will consider amendments proposed by members of the Council during the meeting and take note of their opinions in order to further clarify the objectives of their research I would like to reiterate the suggestion of Mr. Masse, Vice-Chairman of the Council, who said that the most urgent task for us is to study policy recommendations that may be considered by the Chinese Government now or in the near future, instead of scientific research for long-term purposes, although the latter is also very important.

  The energy structure and distribution pattern in China are restricted by the ids tribulation of resources. Although coal is the main source of energy, different resources can supplement or supplant it according to local conditions. The proportion of clean energy used should be raised in the southwestern and southeastern coastal areas. In the north, the transportation of coal should be replaced by transmission of electricity to increase energy efficiency by raising the proportion of non-renewable energy and pollutants must be reduced in order to improve environmental quality. The development and utilization of wind power, solar power and thermal power should be strengthened in the northwestern areas.

  The Pollution Control Group proposed adopting advanced production processes so that pollution could be controlled upstream instead of downstream, i.e., pollution would be eliminated in the production process. In view of the fact that China h as many old enterprises using outdated production processes and equipment, we must pay special attention to technical upgrading and increase investment in it to do away with pollution through updated production processes and equipment.

  Since monitoring and data collection form the basis for environmental management, the Monitoring Group proposed establishing a continuous monitoring network in order to better meet administrative means. Static monitoring will be changed to dynamic monitoring, so that the laws of migration and movement of environmental factors can be observed and a reliable supply of information can be ensured for decision-making.

  The Scientific Research Group put forward their program for looking at key areas of environmental science, making clear that it is necessary to set up a mechanism for prompt transformation of scientific advances in to capabilities for pollution control and prevention and that scientific research is it the forefront in developing new technologies and in the training of technical and managerial person l in order to raise the technical and managerial skills of the entire environmental protection industry in order to predate for the promotion of the environment al green label.

  Proceeding from the basic theories of environmental economies, the Resource Accounting Group proposed a new national economic accounting system, and changing the irrational current pricing system, which prices finished products high, prices raw materials and natural resources low and does not consider environmental costs. Any damage to environmental function a certain economic activity should find be reflected in the price of the commodity. Environmental economic policies should be formulated to correspond to the law of price. For example, we could collect environmental compensation fees and levy environmental taxes in order to push for a rational distribution of resources in society and to healthy and sustainable development of the national economy.

  Using a systems theory approach, the Biodiversity Group made an important assessment of the values and functions of species and their genes in the natural world. The group proposed abandoning the traditional idea that "man dominates the universe and is the most important among all species" and pointed out that everything in the universe should have its own position and role to play. In carrying out pr adductive or daily activities, people should work to protect the other species and their populations .A series of measures and suggestions for protecting biodiversity have been put forward, and I have already given them very high marks. The protection of biodiversity, a major social issuing China, urgently needs attention for the country's sustained development. I would like to repeat my suggestion that the IUCN, Dr. Holdgate and his colleagues initiate a regional agreement to be signed by the East Asian countries for the protection of biodiversity in the region. This would greatly support social progress in China.

  In a word, the work of the six Expert Working Groups is of major significance to China's implementation of the international conventions and carrying out of follow-up actions after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It is also an indication of the level of work of the Council. We should energy tidally create the conditions which will enable the working groups to carry out further studies. The Chinese Government will continue to provide personnel, material and financial support to the working groups working to meet their planned tar gets. Once again, I would like to thank the Canadian Government for their tremendous support for the work of the Council. My thanks Lao go to the governments of U. K., Japan and Holland for their current and future support. We will announce this to the people throughout the country. We also welcome and hope to receive material and moral support from other countries and international organizations for the work of the Council.

  3.We Should Earnestly Study and Absurd Suggestions Put Forward at the Present Meeting

  The delegates at this meeting have made many good suggestions and they can be summarized as follows:

  —While establishing a market economy, we should modify development strategies and patterns, do away with careless operating and production methods which waste energy and resources, and try to find tighter methods of production through up grading of technology, cleaner production methods and energy saving.

  —Environmental protection should be closely integrated with all areas of development in the national economy, major regional development projects, development programs for each industry and relevant government decisions must be comprehensively evaluated taking into consideration the overall picture in the environment and development to ensure prudent decisions and prevent now major sources of pollution.

  —Environmental management in a socialist market economy should be perfected through use of the law of value, plus economic and legal levers. Strict supervision must be exercised over the illegal discharge of pollutant by any organization discharging pollution. Compensation must be made for pollution of environmental damage e to the environment, including collection of environmental damage compensation fees, increased fees for pollution discharge and levy of environmental taxes. Natural resources and the environment should be integrated into the national accounting system so that environmental costs incurred through economic activities can be reflected in market prices. At the same time, we should give full play to the regulating role of the bank systems and offer preferential interest rates, tax rates and exchange rates to support an encourage the development of environmental undertaking.

  —We should develop the environmental protection industry, promote scientific and technological progress and stimulate economic development by formulating standards and rules to make new products, production processes and technologies energy saving and environmentally friendly. Reporting of outdated production processes and equipment which are worn out, consume a lot of energy, produce serious pollution or have low efficiency should be made compulsory, market demands which will contribute to sustainable development should be promoted.

  —Guide township enterprises toward healthy development. In their distribution pattern, the principle of "scatter the large ones and concentrate the small ones" should be followed for better efficiency of scale and more centralized control of pollution. In development orientation, local agricultural and sideline products and other resources should refined and further processed as local conditions permit, and labour-intensive enterprises which produce little pollution and run efficiently should be developed. Attention should be paid to integration high and new technologies with the traditional wisdom of the laboring people.

  —The public must be mobilized to work for environmental protection. Representatives of the public in each locality should participate in project establishment, choice of the site and discussion on environmental impact assessment for major construction projects and the results should be announced to the community. Opinion and preferences of the public should be considered and respected in all decisions. We should encourage the public to supervise actions which cause damage or pollution to the environment. A system of reporting should formulated and put in operation. Prosecutions should be made in court when necessary.

  In addition, a number of comments and suggestions were also made concerning the reports of the Expert Working Groups and certain substantive issues. The various departments of the Chinese Government concerned should earnestly study these comments and suggestions. Related departments of the Chinese Government have already considered some of the suggestions and are ready to put them into action. New proposals made by the Council during the present meeting will give a great boost to our confidence and accelerate process towards scientific decision-making. Although conditions may not permit putting into practice some suggestions, the general ideas have been taken into consideration. All departments and local governments must continue to work to attain correct direction.

  4.International Cooperation Should Be Further Strengthened and the Work of the Council Should Be Promoted

  Now that China has been opening up, it has been playing a more active in world affairs. Following the theories of natural science, a country or a society can achieve relatively rapid progress only in an open environment. Only under conditions of openness can exchange of knowledge, information and material resources with the outside world be smoothly carried out. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a closed system inevitably becomes more disorderly and chaotic. Enough evidence has already been given for this in modern history. The world is moving towards stronger international cooperation in all matters concerning the environment and development to protect our common homeland the earth. The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development can be a swimmer on this wave of the times. Though extensive international cooperation we can successfully protect our own environment while contributing to the protection of the global environment! China is a developing country with one fifth of the world population. Although it has achieved relatively rapid development in recent years, its economy, culture, and science and technology are still backward compared to the developed countries. Per capita GNP, tertiary industry output value, non-agricultural population, educational expenses and other indexes are below the world's average. All this indicates that the overall strength of the country is not yet what it should be. Not only is environmental support for the economy weak but also the other way round. This requires that China speed up development through structural readjustment and improve efficiency on one hand, and protect the environment to meet the demands of speedy development for environmental resources on the other. China must absorb all theorist of human civilization and be modest in learning the advanced managerial skills and technical means from developed countries of the West for environmental protection. In addition, China also has its own scientific managerial skills. Anything which would suit the conditions of other third world countries we are willing to share with them without reservation. Strengthening global coop aeration, particularly in the areas of the environment an development, is the proper way to handle global environmental issues and the environmental issues of each individual country. The Council could be a beginning of such a global cooperation. We hope that members of the Council and members of the Expert Working Groups will further expand their contacts, exchange information and closely cooperate s o that the work of the Council can continue to make progress after our first year of the Council, although we achieved some initial results, we are still faced with many difficulties due to lack of experience. I hope members of the Council and experts in the groups will contribute their wisdom and utilize their knowledge and influence to carry out fruitful and high level research work.

  I have seen the spirit of dedication respected by the peoples of the world in man y of the members of the Council and members of the Expert Working Groups. As scientist loyal to the people, I know many of the common people are still ignorant and have backward habits and old concepts which are inconsistent with modern civilization. For example, to this day, there are still people who believe that eating a bear's paw gives one the courage to fight, drinking tiger-bone wine keeps on e as powerful as a tiger and eating rhino's horn makes one immune to diseases. This often upsets us a great deal. However, I hope you realize they are all good working people. In any case we should love them and help them to make great contributions to the world and the whole of mankind .In the final analysis, the essential force which determines social progress is the people. The people are our god!

  The presidium has decided that the Third Meeting of the Council will be held in September 1994 in Beijing. Exact times will be sent to you by the Secretariat after they have been decided on. I hope the members of the council will do their best to take time for the meeting.

  Finally, I would once again like to give my thanks to the members of the Council and the guests and co-chairmen of the Expert Working Groups for your presence at the meeting! I now declare that the Second Meeting of CCICED is adjourned. I hope you have smooth journeys home.

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