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Meteorology, Environmental Protection and Economic Develoment

1998-11-16author:Wen Kegangsource:

  Mr.Chairman,Members of the Committee and friends.

  I am very pleased to attend the 2nd Meeting of the 2nd Phase of CCICED.Now I wou ld like to outline my views on the issues of meteorology,environmental protectio n and economic development.

  China is a country with vast territory which is rich in climatic resources.Its c limatetypes vary from tropical.subtropical and extratropical climate to plateau and mountaincal ones such as torrential rains,floods,drought,typhoons,and hailst oums as well as low temperatures,In addition,.China is increasingly influenced b y global environmental issues like global wartming and ozong layer depletion ,Fo r a developing country,how to benefit from the climatic advantages.while avoidin g the disadvantages,is of extraordinary significance for China's social and econ omic development.

  The China Meteorological Administration (CMA)is responsible for providing scient ific and decisive advice for long-term social and economic development strategie s,for providing services and securities on the reduction of weather-related econ omic losses,and for providing scientific evidence on global climate protection.I n China,meteorological activities are closely related with environmental protect ion and economic development,and are indispensable and important in the implemen tation of sustainable development strategies.





  China is a country greatly affected by meteorological disasters,which are charac terized by their large variety,high frequency,strong intensity,and wide area cov erage and which resuly in significant losses, Since the 1990's ,arable lands aff ected every year have reached 600 million mu,of which 400 million mu are affecte d by drought and the remaining 200 million mu by floods ,Each year,hundreds of m illions of people are affected by significant weather disastes like drought ,flo ods,torrential rains and tropical cyclones ,and the economic losses thus caused have reached Rmb 200 billion yuan,which is 3%to 6%of GNP.

  1998 is another year with extraordinary weather-related disasters.Weather and cl imate abnormalities.and the long and heavy rainfall in the flood season ,have ca used the biggest flood in the main streams of the Yangtze River and its branches since 1954 ,and have caused historically high floods in the Nenjiang and Song Huajiang river regions,Because of their fierceness.their extemely high water-le vels,their long duration,and their numerous crests,these have been rare in our h istory,Although the arduous fight against the floods by the Chinese peoples has lowered economic losses to the minimum.the losses and damages are still signific ant.

  Presicent Jiang Zemin has pointed out that the more developed the national econo my becomes.the greater ate the losses that might be caused by meteorological dis asters,and so meteorological work is very important.Accurate weather forecasting is directly related to national economic construction and social stability,Mete orological disasters hae become an improtant factor affecting the sustainable de velopment in China,Therefore,weather-relater disaster prevention and weather-rel ated mitigation activities are a great responsibility with far-reaching signific ance.

  The Chinese government pays great importance to the work of meteorology,includin g the work of disaster prevention and reduction.The ability for climate monitori ng and weather predicting,and associated endeavors to reduce the impact on peopl e's lives and property by meteorological disasters,has been constantly increased and reinforced.It would be a magnitude contribution to China's economic develop ment even if we could mitigate losses by a mall 10% through the improvement of C hina's meteorological services and the upgrading of disaster prevention and mitg ation capabilities of the whole wociety.

  Facing the challenges of the complicated synopeic and climatic situations and th e disastrous fooding in 1998,China's meteorologists have fulfilled their tasks a nd made great contribution to the security of property and people's lives by the monitoring of synoptic changes and by providing timely and accurate meteorologi cal imformation for flood prevention and anti-flood activities.

  In order to realize the targets of disaster preparedness and mitigation,it is ne cessary to reinforce the awareness of the society,to define their fundamental po sitions in national sustainable development,and to integrate them in the overall planning for socal and economic development.It is also necessary to build and p erfect the meteorological disaster preparedness system ,to intensify the automat ion of atmospheric monitoring,to improve the meso-scale and small-scale disastro us weather prediction and warning systems,to improve short-term climatic predict ions and weather modifications,and to provide accurate and timely weather and cl imate information.In particular,it is necessary to upgrade the monitoring and fo recasting levels avout significant weather-related disasters like torrential rai ns,floods and drought with a focus on decision-making services and public servic es related to the national economy and the people's livelihood,in order to signi ficantly contribute to the social and economic aspects of sustainable developmen t.






  As an important component of nateral resources,the climatic resource refersto li ght,heat,gas,water and wind energy in the atmosphere which might be used or barn essed and thus contribute to the wealth of people ,The climatic redsource provid es indispensable energy and material for life and production in human beings.

  China's agriculture is currently catalogued as climatic agriculture,and at this stage of agricultural development still mainly relies on what might be provided by nature,In other words,agriculture depends heavily on climatic resources and m eteorological concitions.So far, ,China's arable land resource is very limited a nd its quality is deteriorating.According to the decisions made in the Third Ple nary of the Fifteenth Session of the Chinese Communist Party on some major issue s relation to agricultural and rural activities,and in order for the further dev elopment of agriculture and rural economy.some vry important activities are:

  ·to seek and reveal the order of climate based on scientific and technological advancement.

  ·to utilize agriculture and climatic resources rationally and thoroughly,

  ·to obtain the optimized agricultural distribution,highest crop yields and best qualities by making full use of advantages and avoiding disadvantages,

  ·to realize high-productivity,high-quality and high-efficiency,and

  ·to turn some potential resource predominance into realistic economic advantage s.

  On one hand ,climatic resources are of great potential for further development a nd application; on the other hand,irrational development and application might d estrcy it and induce disasters,It is crucial to protect egetation and maintain l ocal ecological balance in some arid and semi-arid climate-sensitive regions and at the origins and in the upper reaches of big rivers,Grassland deterioration i n some areas has provided favorable conditions for wind erosion and drought,enla rged the areas of desertification and induced more sand storms.These are all pro fornd lessons paid for in our history.

  In order to provde better scientific findings for the planning of national econo mic and social development strategy,the China Meteorological Administration has strengthened the work of climatic resource monitoring and evaluation,and schedul ed a program on climatic resource utilization and protection,Project experiments and pilot studies have been organized and practical climatic resource utilizati on and protection technologies have been developed,utilized and promoted.At pres ent,the major concersns of climatic resource related activities are how to imcre ase the utilization of agricultural and climatic resources,how to build new agri cultural and climatic zoning pilots on the basis of agricultural and tural ecoom ic cdeelopment,how to promote the utilization of the ooutcome of agricultural an d climatic zoning so as to play its role in the asjustments of the planting syst em and crop distribution,and the introduction of adaptive crop varieties,How to define the best utilizing models of local agricultural and climatic resources an d how to promote the transformation of climatic reource into agricultural produc tivity are also items of major consideration,In addition,activities on precipita tion enhancement,hail and fog mitigation are also organized and carried out ,Qua lified services are provided for water resource management and water and soil co nservation,particularly on the monitoring .prediction and services concerning th e impaces of droughts and floods on water resources.In the meantime with regard to climatc utilization programs and technologies.





  As the most active component in the natural environmental system,the atmosphere has a direct impact on the quality of the environment,When dealing with environm ental problems.inter-related weather and climate issues must be considered and s tudied as a whole .This is an important research subject of environmental meteor ology,Meteorologists are required to bring to light the rules in environmental m eteorology,and actively particpate in environmental protection.Their proposals o n how to seek more profits lution of environmental issues and the promotion of s ocial and economic sustainable development.

  Global climate changes might have important impacts on China's natural rsources and ecological environment.When climate changes,there are both advantages and di sadvantages,But in general,the unfavorable impacts are direct.whild the favorabl e ones are indirect.This is because long-existion human production and livlihood have adapted to usual and stable climatic conditions,and will need time and eff ort for the exploration and adaptation to new climate conditions.

  When dealing with issues of global climate change,we must adopt sustainable deve lopment wtrategies and speed up the funamental transformation of extensive econo mic growth modes toward intensive ones.The goal of sustainable development will be realized it we adopt measures.wuch as energy-saving,clean enevgy,afforestatio n,and family planning.to mitigate global climate changes,In the mean time,scient ific research on climate change will be reinforced.So far,there are still many d isputes on the tendencies of global climate change and their impacts,and these s cientific uncertaintes need to be answered,Only by undertaking multi-layer and c omprehensive observational data and information,and with more scientific racts a nd rgulations,can we obtain a positive position in the mitigation of unfavorable impacts of climate change and the exploitation of favorable impacts.To meet thi s end ,the Committee of Global Climate Observational System in China was set up in 1997 by CMA together with twelve other ministries and commissions,Effective a ctivities have been organized by its expert panel on the optimization of the cli matic observation system and climate information sharing.Obviously,meteorologica l activities have a greater potential when combined with international co-operat ion on environment and development.

  Thank you .Mr.Chairman and thand you all.

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