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Summary of the Second Phase of CCICED

2001-10-15author:Xie Zhenhuasource:

  Dear Members, Experts, Friends,

  While the Second Phase of CCICED is approaching its conclusion, I would like to, as entrusted by Mr. Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier, briefly summarize the work accomplished under the Second Phase of CCICED. First I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to members and experts from China and abroad for taking precious time, in particular under such an international circumstance for the time being, to participate in this meeting. Your participation itself is the best support to us.

  The Second Phase of CCICED inherited the fundamental framework and operational modality of the First Phase. Mr. Wen Jiabao, Vice Premier of the State Council, chaired the CCICED Phase II. Mr. Good, President of CIDA (after Mme. Labelle, his predecessor) served as international co-chairperson. Mr. Qu Geping, Chairman of the Environment and Resources Protection Committee of National People's Congress, Mr. Liu Jiang, Vice Chairman of the State Development and Planning Committee, and I also co-chaired the China Council. China Council consists of 55 members from home and abroad, under which there are Headquarter Secretariat and Canadian Secretariat, as well as 8 Working Groups and 2 Task Forces. The annual meeting of the China Council reviewed research report and recommendations provided by Working Groups and Task Forces, and submit to the Chinese government policy recommendations, many of which have been adopted in our policy and measures.

  The Second Phase of CCICED further improved the operation modality of the First Phase. (a) Based on key issues in the field of environment and development, the China Council identified a theme for each year and invited recommendations from all members and Working Groups/ Task Forces. Keynote speeches were also invited. These efforts improved consultation and researches with a better focus. (b) Priority was shifted from general policy study to demonstration of policies and technologies, which led to in-depth development of policy consultation and recommendation. (c) Task Forces were established according to urgent issues to provide consultative support to significant decision- making in China.

  The work of Working Groups and Task Forces was an important corner stone for the China Council. Their research and study not only emphasized the development and recommendation of macro policies, but also considered the implementation of micro policies. The Working Groups and Task Forces make high-quality policy recommendations to the China Council every year. This phase of China Council also strengthened the work of the Secretariat, which provided strong support for the annual meeting and activities by members, Working Groups and Task Forces. We are satisfied with the performance of the Secretariats.

  Reviewing the development and influence of the China Council, we could identify the following characteristics.

  (a) It built a good image of opening up for China. With further reform and opening up of China, the Chinese Government is ready to learn from experience on sustainable development from other countries. The China Council gathered distinguished experts, scholars to jointly study the strategy of environment and development in China. In the last decade, the major leaders of China directly listened to the recommendations from the China Council, including President Jiang Zemin, Mr. Li Peng, Chairman of NPC, Premier Zhu Rongii, Mr. Li Ruihuan, Chairman of CPPCC, etc. As known to some members, this means of consultation is unique in the world and have positive impacts on the reform and opening up of China.

  (b)The China Council functions as a bridge. The decade for the China Council is right between the UNCED in Rio de Janeiro and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. In the last decade, all nations had made tireless efforts for sustainable development. The China Council became a successful story on international cooperation in this field. It organizes China with the rest of the world, the government with society and various governmental agencies, to join their efforts for the cause of environment and development. The China Council introduced advanced experience to China, and out come, experience and story of itself to other countries, and strengthened the communication and understanding between China and international community.

  (c) It played a role of "Think Tank". The China Council made series of policy recommendations to the Chinese Government, some of which were directly adopted or used for reference. More importantly, it has spread the ideology of sustainable development to decision-making and policy-makers at various levels. The changes in awareness have impacts on many aspects in the Chinese society and are playing a significant role in promoting the implementation of the sustainable development strategy in China.

  (d) It set up a forum for frank dialogue. With the China Council being like a big family, its members and experts come from varied countries and regions. They shared their opinions for the environment and development in China. A great number of significant issues have been discussed in a friendly atmosphere. Friendship and trust were strengthened while the solutions were being found.In the recent five years, the China Council has made policy recommendations in more than ten fields, such as integrated decision making on environment and development, strengthening pollution control, promoting cleaner production, optimizing energy structure, establishing environment-friendly transportation system, strengthening restoration of forest and grassland ecosystems and bio-diversity conservation, developing sustainable agriculture, developing feasible and practical economic policies, emphasizing the relationship between trade and the environment, etc., and particularly provide special recommendations focusing on the development of the Tenth Five-Year Plan and Western Development Plan.

  According to the feedback from related ministries and commissions and local government, the recommendations by China Council are closely associated with the following progress in the field of the environment and development in China.

  (a) Environmental protection is further harmonized with economic development. The Tenth Five-Year Plan on National Economic and Social Development, while reducing many practical indicators on economic development, incorporates a bulk of significant indicators on sustainable development. It also regards environmental protection as an important component for strategic adjustment of economic structure, pollution reduction as significant element for energy structure optimization, and environmental industry as an emerging industry for expending internal demand. Related governmental agencies developed the special programme for sustainable development in the Tenth Five-Year Plan Period, and high priority has been given to sustainable development in the national Five-Year Plan as unprecedented. Pollution control technologies were for the first time covered by the National Plan for High and New Technology Research and Development (863 Plan).

  (b) The legislative system for environment and development was further perfected. Ever since l997, i.e. in the duration of this phase of China Council, China developed and promulgated Noise Pollution Control Law, Law of Desertification Prevention and Treatment, Amendment to the Air Pollution Prevention and Treatment Law and Marine Environmental Protection Law. The State Council formulated Regulations on Environment Management over Construction Projects, Detailed Rules for the Implementation of Water Pollution Prevention and Treatment Law, Regulations on Agriculture GMO Safety etc. Preferable legislative system was initially established on environmental protection and resource conservation. These laws and regulations have clear provision on strengthening pollution control, ecological conservation, and saving and using resources. The Environmental Impact Assessment Law, Cleaner Production Law and Regulations on Pollution Discharge Levy are being developed, and will provide detailed regulations on integrated decision-making on environment and development, source and full-cycle pollution control, levying on the basis of total amount of pollutants discharge, etc.

  (c) The role of market mechanism was further strengthened in the field of the environment and development. Regarding resources, the price reform on water and energy have, step by step, illustrated the real cost of scarce resources, and improved the utilization rate of resources. Regarding environmental protection, piloting activities were actively promoted on levying based on total amount of pollutant discharge. On the basis that some cities have launched levy on urban sewage treatment, China will promote full-scale levy systems on sewage and wastes treatment. Regarding financial policies, China has promulgated some preferential taxation policies for environmental protection. Policies such as tax reduction and exemption were made to promote integrated utilization of resources and clean automobiles. The adoption of market principle, socialization and specialization were actively promoted. EMS of ISO l4000, environment labeling, certification of organic food, etc. were also implemented. The green consumption market was established to promote the environment performances of enterprises and public environmental awareness.

  (d) The effort on environmental protection was further expanded and deepened. It is being converted from pollution control to ecological conservation, from industrial pollution control to agricultural and domestic pollution control, from urban environmental protection to rural and marine environmental protection. In the recent years, China has undertaken large-scale integrated pollution treatment over river basins and regions and promoted cleaner production as well. Efforts were made to solve structural pollution issues with structural re-adjustment. Restoration and re-building of ecosystems were implemented, so was the natural forest conservation, restoration of cultivated land for forest and grassland, and bio-diversity conservation. The construction of ecological agricultural counties and ecological demonstration zones was strengthened. The efforts such as bio-safety management and the issue of environment and trade also started to draw attention.

  The above-mentioned progress and changes are still at the initial stage with geographic unbalance. There are many problems in the field of environment and development. Nevertheless, these changes have far reaching impacts on the environment and development in China. China Council has some direct effects, and more indirect ones in the progress, even exerts a subtle influence.

  The success of China Council can not be separated from the importance attached by the Chinese Government, the hardworking of all members and Working Groups, and the active participation by many countries, international organizations and friends. In addition, we could not forget former leaders, members, and experts, who left their posts. It was their tireless efforts and outstanding contribution that help with development and strengthening of the China Council. I would also like to extend my appreciation for countries like Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Norway, UK, etc, and international organizations such as EU, international financial institutions, such as the World Bank and ADB, and NGO or enterprises, such as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, IUCN, International Committee on Sustainable Development Commerce, International Centre for Agriculture Research in Australia, Shell, etc. for their financial support. My gratitude also goes to much more national institutions and personage for their moral support. We sincerely appreciate and always remember all those countries, organizations, and individuals who made contributions to the China Council and the cause of environment and development in China.

  Dear Members, Experts and Friends,

  At the opening ceremony, Mr. Premier Wen Jiabao declared that the Chinese Government had approved the establishment of the Third Phase of CCICED. This is a full recognition on China Council's ten-year's effort by the Chinese Government. The Governments of China and Canada will continue strengthening their support to the China Council. We are glad to learn that many other countries also clearly expressed their willingness to continue their support to the China Council. In order to sustain the vitality of the China Council, and to carry forward the outcome of years of efforts by members and experts, the Third Phase of CCICED will undertake necessary reform, and further perfect its institution.

  Though the Second Phase of CCICED only covered a short range of 5 years, we developed deep friendship. The Second Phase of CCICED is approaching its conclusion. Nevertheless, our shared belief and friendship will ever last. Looking into the future, we could find ourselves shouldering heavy responsibilities. Let's join our efforts as always, for the cause of environment and development of China and the world.

  Thank you.

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