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Opening Speech by UNDP Resident Representative Kerstin Leitner


It is an honor and a great pleasure for me to convey UNDP's sincere congratulations on the achievements of CCICED over the past decade. CCICED was established just in time to put into action the concept of sustainable development and to finally practice what we agreed in Agenda 21. CCICED was created and has turned out to function as a successful innovative mechanism for international development cooperation, which serves as a good example for other countries.

I. CCICED experience as a policy advisory body; UNDP's demonstration projects resulting from CCICED recommendations

CCICED has filled the gap by acting as a Government's forum and a non-government multilateral consultative body at a very senior level. The experiences of CCICED have been assessed, and I would like to highlight some issues, which may also serve as a demonstration for other developing countries.

1. Organizational structure

CCICED has also played an important role as a two-way bridge and communication channel between different parties, between China and the international community, among different Chinese ministries, between the government and academic institutions, between local government and civil society. This unique role is crucial for preparing policies and decisions for sustainable development, as the integrated decisions and policies and decision for sustainable development, as the integrated decisions and policies require full consideration of international experience and practice, development trends, results of relevant studies, as well as participation and coordination mechanisms among ministries, sectors, and geographical regions.

Another feature of CCICED is that it functions in a dynamic and flexible way. Good examples of these are general and macro-policy recommendations (in Phase I), demonstration and pilot projects for policy and technology (starting in Phase Ⅱ), targeted research, and consultancy for major themes. Its financing sources and methods have also become diversified and widened, promoting the sustainability of CCICED.

2. Modality of Study

CCICED Working Groups and Task Forces have conducted independent studies on hot topics of their own choice, and generated series of reports and policy recommendations that are forward-looking. Demonstration and pilot projects have given substance to the recommendations and facilitated the adoption of the recommendations.

In this regard, UNDP has adopted the recommendations, and has formulated and implemented projects such as a Biomass project in Jilin Province, a Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration project, and Wind Resource Concession Policy Study.

The proposal for Jilin Biomass project was put forward by CCICED Energy Working Group in 1997 in order to advocate the use of modernized biomass technology to produce heat, gas and electricity to support rural development. The project started in 1999 with United Nations Foundation funding. The project is being led by a strong leadership of the Jilin Government, and at present, in the pilot village, Hechengli the biomass gasifies are about to be installed.

UNDP is currently working together with the Ministry of Science and Technology to implement a five-year Fuel Cell Bus demonstration project with GEF funding. There will be twelve fuel cell buses running in the cities of Beijing and Shanghai as a demonstration. The pilot operation of fuel cell bus will aim to test new technologies and seek appropriate policies for the future mass production of fuel cell vehicles in China.

Further to CCICED's suggestion, UNDP has also conducted a policy study on Wind Resource Concession approach. UNDP considers Wind Resource Concession approach as one of the effective ways of drawing private sector investment in the renewable energy field.

3. Roles and Impact

CCICED recommendations have caught the attention of the top Chinese leadership, and Chinese leaders at all levels have been sensitized to environmental issues. The Government of China is increasingly effective in integrating environmental strategies and policies into wider development strategies. Good examples of this are CCICED's consulting services for such major themes as the Western Development Initiative and the formulation of the national 10th Five-Year Plan.

II.Future co-operation: CCFⅡ & CCICED recommendations

This September, UNDP's Executive Board approved our 2nd Country Cooperation Framework for China (2001-2005), also known as CCF Ⅱ. CCFⅡ is the programming instrument in which the Chinese Government and UNDP define their planned cooperation over the next 5 years. CCF Ⅱ was prepared in close consultation with the Chinese Government and other UN Agencies, and it outlines the areas where UNDP will concentrate its activities.

The leading themes in the recently approved CCF Ⅱ are governance and reform. Good governance and economic reform are the driving forces in all the thematic areas of CCF Ⅱ, such as poverty reduction and sustainable environment and energy development. In the areas of sustainable environment and energy development, UNDP's support to China will focus on two broad strategic areas: (a) environmental governance that emphasizes building national capacity in implementing policy, legal and regulatory measures; and (b) capacity development to negotiate and implement global environmental commitments.

Some of the expected results in this area will include:

l Wider application of the use of new and renewable energy sources and energy efficiency solutions that have been pilot-tested and shown to be effective.

l Assessment and use of market-based instruments for sustainable environmental management, especially in the western region.

l Strengthened national capacity and empowerment of local stakeholders in environmental management and in promoting the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.

l Increased national capacity to address issues related to climate change.

UNDP's planned activities in cooperation with the Chinese Government as stated in the CCF Ⅱ for the next five share many common themes and are well in line with the CCICED recommendations.

III. UNDP's role in supporting the achievement of China's development targets by promoting Good Environmental Governance

The link between poverty and environmental degradation is well known and widely acknowledged. Poor people are especially vulnerable to environmental degradation.

They are the landless ones depending on natural resources for their daily food, fuel and shelter. They are the ones suffering the most from environmental degradation and natural disasters. In cities, they are the first one to suffer from air pollution, inadequate sanitation, and overcrowded areas.

We cannot reduce poverty without addressing environmental problems. On the other hand, sustainable solutions to environmental problems cannot be reached without including the poor in the process. As we are aiming at our overall target of poverty reduction and attempting to follow the path towards sustainable development, UNDP China focuses its efforts in strengthening good environmental governance as a mean to ease reaching the set targets.

In short, environmental governance can be defined as the manner in which people exercise authority over nature. In concrete terms, promoting environmental governance means encouraging wide participation of civil society in deciding how the common resources are used. Good environmental governance supports decentralization in decision-making, empowering and building the capacity of the people and institutions at lower levels. It encourages local communities to take responsibility over the management of natural resources. It promotes the ownership of civil society of environmental laws and policies, allowing them to participate in the planning and implementation of the national priorities. Good environmental governance means that there are fair and effective mechanisms for settling disputes related to the use of natural resources.

By supporting good environmental governance we have better chances of reaching the development goals that have been set for China. In this task, UNDP wants to support wide participation at all levels and hopes to work together with all the stakeholders--the Chinese government, other UN agencies, bilateral and multilateral donors, private sector, NGOs and the civil society .For this purpose, CCICED provides a fruitful forum.

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