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Speech at the Closing Ceremony by Song Jian


  Respected Members, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  The Fifth Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development comes to a close today. During the meeting, we have reviewed and thoroughly discussed the annual Work Report and Financial Report by the Secretary General and Reports by various Expert Working Groups. We have unanimously approved our recommendations to the Chinese government. The State Planning Commission, State Science and Technology Commission, State Economic and Trade Commission, Ministry of Forestry, State Meteorological Administration and National Environmental Protection Agency have respectively offered presentations on the implementation of China's Agenda 21 and other relevant international conventions. Prior to the meeting, some members visited Zhangjiagang City in Jiangsu Province, and this afternoon, participants will also make a tour of the Pudong Area. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all people concerned, our meeting has finished all the set items on the program and has been a complete success.

  Tomorrow, a State leader will meet some of the participants in Beijing, and listen to the recommendations of the Council. I am confident that the recommendations made at the meeting will play an important role in helping China realize the two basic shifts of economic system and mode of economic growth and implement the strategies of revitalizing the country by relying on science and education and of sustainable development stipulated in the Ninth Five-Year Plan for National Economy and Social Development and the Long Term Development Program to 2010. The recommendations will also help to eliminate or reduce environmental pollution and to realize the integration of the economy and the environment.

  As a matter of fact, the recommendations put forward by the Council in the past few years and the research results of Working Groups are reflected on such documents as Decisions on a Number of Issues Concerning Environmental Protection recently promulgated by State Council, the Total Amount Control Program for Pollutant Discharge and China's Cross-century Green Engineering Program ratified by the State Council.

  We are very grateful for the recommendations and the strenuous effort by the Council. We highly appreciate the fact that the Canadian government has agreed to continue its financial support for the Council. I believe that with the powerful support of two governments, the Council will surely be able to work more effectively.

  It is gratifying progress that the Working Groups have extended their research work into practical issues at a deeper level which is demonstrated by their work reports.

  The Pollution Control Group has carried out case studies and analysis with emphasis on cities and regions. It has come up with recommendations on comprehensive pollution control measures for city and regional environment, with special reference to overall planning for protection of water resources, energy supply and urban transportation.

  The Trade and Environment Group has mainly analyzed and studied issues concerning green food, trade of environmental technologies, environmental labeling and protection of ozone layer, and so forth, with noticeable results.

  The Monitoring and Data Collection Group has studied issues concerning the development of an environmental monitoring network, an environmental index system, as well as the design, development and use of supportive systems for environmental policy making for city and provincial levels. They have made vigorous suggestions.

  The Energy Group has designed energy development programs, providing us with a new perspective on research and development of natural gas, wind power and thermal power, as well as on Green Action Plans.

  The Biodiversity Group took the initiative in contacting related government organizations and organized a seminar with them on issues of common concern. They have established a biodiversity data base system and conducted a case study on the value of biodiversity in the water conservancy area of Hubei Province.

  The Resource Accounting and Pricing Policy Group has carried out case studies on pricing of coal, water and forest resources, and pointed out that it is feasible to integrate economic and resource accounting.

  This is what has been achieved by the Working Groups in their research and which has become the basis for the recommendations to the Chinese government.

  The Council war born at a time when China was carrying out reform and open-door policies. The effective cooperation demonstrated by the Council in its work with the government has opened up a new way for China to cooperate with the international community in the field of environment.

  China is a member of the international community and has a population of 1.2 billion. It will be a contribution the world if China follows the path of sustainable development. Sustainable development has become a common objective for countries all over the world since UNCED. However, to realize this objective, we have a long way to go, and this is even more so for a developing country like China. As a result of its huge population, limited resources and level of economic, science and technology development, China is faced with a long and arduous task in terms of environmental protection and development. The Chinese government has recognized that only by protecting the environment can the development of economy and society be healthy, long-lasting and sustainable. To protect the environment is to protect productivity. Sustainable development is in the long-term interest of the Chinese nation. As a bridge of cooperation between China and the international community, the Council has played an outstanding role in helping China learn the successful theories and experiences of the world. Once again, I'd like to express my thanks to Mme. Labelle, Mr. Qu Geping and Gu Ming for their close collaboration, and my heartfelt gratitude and best wishes to all members.

  Ladies and Gentlemen,

  By the year 2000, China will have realized its objectives set in the Ninth Five-Year Plan; poverty will have been eliminated and all people will live a decent life. We are determined to accomplish that. We attribute our progress to the wisdom and efforts made of everyone. This is a noble cause.

  To commend the work and effort of the past five years, we have decided to issue an award to our members and hope that it will become a significant witness and a milestone in our lives. Years later when the living standard of the Chinese people has reached the middle development level, and the eco-environment has become more beautiful, this award will remind you that you have made contributions to it.

  Now, I declare the successful conclusion of the Fifth Meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development.

  Thank you all!

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