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Speech by Liu Jiang


  Distinguished Chair, Honorable Council Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  This conference is of great significance to the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) for its connecting role in the development of the Council. I, assigned to lead a mission for another important inter-governmental conference, am unable to present myself on the opening ceremony and the succedent discussion. So I would like to extend my sincerest greeting to you all, honorable Council Members.

  Established in 1992, the China Council has undertaken tremendous hard works and played an important advisory role. Particularly, since the foundation of the second Council, under the auspice of Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao and with joint efforts of every Council member and WGs/TFs,the Council has been working more closely with practical works of the environment and development in China. In 1999, the theme entitled to the conference was how to carry out the sustainable development strategy in the 10th Five-Year Plan. In 2000, it turned to how to protect environment in the Western Development strategy. The Council has provided a bundle of valuable suggestions generated through discussions among all members and cooperative researches by workshops. Sorted out by the Secretariat and transmitted to concerning departments for reference, some proposals had been studied and adopted in time. In the process of drafting guidelines for the 10th Five-Year Plan and other specific plans, the government departments attached great importance to the proposals raised by the Council. As we can see, the 10th Five-Year Plan pays greater emphasis on coordination of the environment and development. The Plan not only sets forth specific works regarding population, resources and environment in the Forth Chapter, but also attaches the principle of sustainable development in chapters concerning. Restructuring of agriculture and industry, poverty-alleviation, urbanization, infrastructure construction, Western Development, people's life, as well as science, technology and education. For instance, the Plan stresses that poverty-alleviation works should integrate with family planning, infrastructure construction and ecological protection, and that resettlement strategies should be adopted in some poverty-stricken areas with extremely unfriendly environment. Moreover, ecology-functional protection zone has been embodied into regional economic strategy as one of the main policies. Besides, the Plan emphasizes the practical implementation and constitutes ten key special plans focusing on tasks that need the government to take a lead, which cover important special plans on ecological construction and environmental protection. These changes reflect our leap in understanding originated from intelligence of people world wide, among which contributions made by the Council is indispensable.

  International cooperation on environment and development constitutes a crucial part of sustainable development in China. With further progression of the development in China, the Council will play a more significant role in the cause.

  Presently, the awareness of sustainable development has been increasingly accepted in China, and the Chinese government attaches great importance to the cause. Approved by the State Council and led by the State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology, a leading group on advancing sustainable development strategy has been set up in a bid to reinforce coordination across departments and to further define the overall principle on sustainable development and the recent working emphasis. In China, we are organizing all efforts to draft the China Agenda 21st - China-Action Guideline for Sustainable Development. The action-oriented strategic paper, which is to be approved by the Chinese government, will expand and specify the China Agenda 21st - White paper on Population, Environment and Development in China released in 1994.

  Meanwhile, in accordance with the Key Special Plan for Ecological Construction and Environmental Protection in the 10th Five-Year Plan, it is scheduled to strengthen implementation of measures with regard to resources, ecology and the environment. These measures fall into two categories. To ensure steady increase in capitals injected, appropriate financing mechanism for ecological construction and environmental protection should be established which serves the premise of realization of the 10th Five-Year Plan. On the other hand, execution of laws should be reinforced so as to improve management by government at different levels on resources, ecology and the environment, which would guarantee the utmost realization.

  Internationally, China has been actively participated in global environment and development affairs. In September 2002, the United Nation will convene the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Accordingly, China has set up a preparation committee in order to participate in and propel the overall preparations. The Preparation Committee is organizing resources nationwide into various preparation works such as composing state report on sustainable development, reviewing and summarizing performance of international conventions and participation in international cooperation. In the foresaid aspects, the Council can provide many supports.

  On the basis of review and summary on achievements of the previous tow phases, the Council intends to avail of the opportunity to discuss on dimension, key tasks and working mechanism of the third phase. According to my experience of co-presiding the Task Force on Economic Planning and Environmental Protection with Mr. Martin Lees, the Programme, despite the efforts made by international and national experts, influenced by the old cooperation pattern, had engaged in many meetings and researches, which consequently led to loose connection between research and practice, especially lack of practical guidance on sustainable development actions enforced by departments and local governments. Therefore, I called for concerning departments to learn lessons, and focus on local activities at Beijing, Zhangjiakou and Chengde when they are designing the Sino-Swedish cooperation on the Ecology Circle around Capital City in a bid to implement cooperative projects in-depth. Here, I would like to request every council member to review whether similar problems occur in any other Task Forces. In all, I believe that our implementation on sustainable development is currently in the process of transformation. During the previous stage, enormous efforts have been putting into theory publicity, policy consultancy argumentation, awareness raising and capacity building. A series of actions shall be enforced in the aftertime, which calls for changes and adjustments of our Council's practical works. As for how to improve our performance, I adjure all honorable members to broaden perspectives and generate wisdom comprehensively.

  To conclude, I hope the conference will achieve great success, forwarding the international cooperation on the environment and development in China to a brand new stage.

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