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Summary Speech at the Closing Ceremony of the Third Meeting of the Third Phase of CCICED(Xie Zhenhua)


  Distinguished Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan, each Vice Chairman, all Members, experts and guests,

  The Third Annual General Meeting of the Third Phase CCICED (hereinafter refers to as the Meeting) is going to close today after three days intensive and fruitful work. Now I would like to present a brief summary of the Meeting. At the same time, it also services as my briefing of the development of the Meeting to the Chairman of CCICED.

  Centered on the theme of "Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development", participants of the Meeting have carried out in-depth and fruitful discussions. They listened to the working reports of the five Task Forces, namely the Task Force on Agriculture and Sustainable Rural Development, the Task Force on Non-point Agricultural Pollution Prevention, the Task Force on Integrated River Basin Management, the Task Force on Protected Areas and the Task Force on WTO and Environment. The Meeting invited Mr. Smil, the professor of Manitoba University of Canada, and Mr. Zhang Baowen, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, to give keynote speeches. It also invited Mr. Good of Global Environment Facility, Mr. Hu Zhenpeng, Vice Governor of Jiangxi Province, Mr. Malik, permanent representative of UN system for China and Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, Deputy Secretary General of OCED to give special guest speeches. Mr. Wang Yi presented the Issue Paper on behalf of the Lead Experts.

  All participants speak highly of the Human Centered Policy and the concern on the "Agriculture, Farmers and Rural Areas" by the Chinese Government. They believe that a new framework is required to face the complicated situations under fast economic growth. When handling the rural environment and development, we need to consider a series of issues such as eco-system service, environmental impacts, lack of resources and the protection of biodiversity. After discussion, participants have put forth the following valuable comments and suggestions.

  (1) Develop a new framework for rural development.

  We will change the functions of the government, enhance the management on the investment in infrastructure and public affairs, grant rural financial institutions wider range of operation, establish new partnership with farmers and encourage the active role of voluntary farmer's production organizations and technical service institutes. Moreover, we will increase the input in rural education and science and technology. We also need to popularize the nine-year compulsory education in rural areas. The investment in science and technology in rural areas should increase from currently less than 0.3% of agricultural GDP to 1% of agricultural GDP. In addition, we will strengthen environmental management in rural areas and financial budget should ensure the funds for working staff engaged in rural environmental protection.

  (2) Establish a new framework for grain security

  We will put more emphasis on food security and strengthen agricultural production capacity of the poverty hit population. We will continue our "Grain for Green" policy so as to realize harmony among environment security, grain security and food safety. Meanwhile, we will encourage and guide farmers to employ pesticides and fertilizers in an appropriate way in order to control non-point agricultural pollution.

  (3) Develop a new strategy for the management of water environment

  We will carry out effective river basin management in line with eco-system approach; coordinate the legislations on water resources and environment of river basins; develop unified planning; establish a management system with the participation of all stake holders; encourage public participation so as to protect the eco-system functions of rivers.

  (4) Realize modernization of the management of protected areas

  We will increase the investment in protected areas, enhance the capacity of the managing staff and build up the income and benefits of local residents. We also will develop laws on the protection of protected areas and establish migration corridors between adjacent protested areas or nature reserves.

  (5) Integrate the idea of sustainable development into international trade

  We will develop and implement green trade action plan and promote the import of resource and energy intensive products and the export of labor and technology intensive products.

  There are also other important comments and suggestions that I will not mention them one by one due to time limits. These comments and suggestions will be refined after the Meeting in order to develop more comprehensive and accurate written recommendations for submission to the State Council. It can be seen from those valuable recommendations that the activities of CCICED are more targeted, practical and fruitful. Each CCICED Member, the co-chair and experts of each Task Force has utilized his/her wisdom and intelligence and made great efforts.

  It is recommended that communications and exchanges should be enhanced between Members and experts, between Members, experts and the departments of the Chinese Government as well as local government. Some Members took part in such great activities as the Chinese Festival for Environment Culture and the Green China Forum this year. Some other Members have visited Gansu Province. In the future, we will create more opportunities for all Members or experts and bring their roles into full play.

  In the first day of the Meeting, Premier Wen Jiabao met the Members and co-chairs of CCICED. Our two Vice Chairmen, Mr. Paul Thibault and Mr. Mans Lönnroth, introduced to Premier Wen Jiabao the preliminary findings of the Task Forces that reported to the AGM. Premier Wen spoke highly of the important role of CCICED over the past 13 years since its establishment, affirmed its vigor and vitality and placed high hope to the future of CCICED. In addition, he introduced existing problems and future work in terms of rural area reform and sustainable agriculture. Premier Wen Jiabao hoped that CCICED carries out in-depth studies on such fields as the future development mode of China, especially the mode that can beef up the quality and benefits of economic growth, establish an energy-saving society, facilitate circular economy, promote the coordinated and sustainable development of both the economy and society, raise the living conditions and realize social equity and justice. Based on those studies, CCICED members could put more valuable recommendations. The meeting was also a dialogue process with questions and answers. The atmosphere of the meeting was warm and relaxed. It is just the continuous study of CCICED on China's specific conditions and their constructive recommendations to major issues that result in a platform on which CCICED has frank communication platform with high level leaders of the Chinese Government. At the sane time, this also demonstrates that the Chinese Government hopes CCICED play a more important role in sustainable development.

  Members and experts,

  China has made remarkable achievements with an average annual growth at over 9% since its adoption of reform and open-up policy. However, China has also suffered from the environmental and resource cost. The environmental problems occurred over 100 years in developed countries have mushroomed over the past 20 odd years, some of which have been resolved and some are under the settlement. They are quite intensified and complicated. It is expected that China's economy will be quadrupled by the year 2020 on the basis of 2000. If we do not quickly shift the development mode, the resources cannot last long and the environment cannot be sustained. The development at this stage will not only have far-reaching influences on China, but also have worldwide influence. The better our work, the more favourable influence and the less unfavourable influence. In the spirit of high responsibility, the Chinese Government has put forward the concept of scientific development that is people centered and in pursuit of comprehensive, coordinated and sustained development. It requires a new development road for industrialization. It is our top priority to study practical ways to implement this strategy and explore appropriate approaches to realize win-win situation in environment, society and economy in each sector. CCICED has the pool of high-level experts and scholars and established an open and frank dialogue and exchange mechanism. So it will surely make important contributions to sustainable development of China.

  The last two years of the Third Phase of CCICED is the critical transition period of the two five-year plans of China. That is to say, 2005 is the last year of the "Tenth Five Year Plan", when China will summarize the experience and lessons of the first five years of the new century in an all round way. The year 2006 will be the first year of the "Eleventh Five Year Plan", when the economy and society of China will enter a new era. I hope we can make full use of the future two years in order to enable the Third Phase CCICED to make great achievements and result in wider influence.

  The theme of 2005 Annual General Meeting (AGM) is "Sustainable Urbanization" which is an essential theme. Urbanization process will accelerate in the future 10 to 20 years in China. Whether we can handle well the environmental problems during urbanization will have important influence on sustainable development of China. Therefore, the Bureau suggests that The Fourth Meeting of The Third Phase CCICED be held on 18—20 November, 2005, in Beijing.

  The Bureau has also decided that the theme for 2006 AGM is "Scientific Approach and Xiaokang". Scientific Approach includes people centered principle and the five coordination; i.e. coordination of the urban development and rural development; coordination of regional development; coordination of economic and social development; coordination of human and natural development, and coordination of national development and opening up to the outside world. The goal of overall Xiaokang includes four aspects, i.e. economic growth, social progress, democracy, and resource and environmental protection. This theme involves many sectors or fields. Although the proposals on new Task Forces have a wide coverage, all the basic contents are covered by their proposals. The implementation of the scientific approach can not only avoid the old practice of "Pollution first and control second, destruction followed by restoration" to realize sustainable development, but also dispel the concerns of many foreign friends on the impacts of China's development on world resources and environment. In doing so, China can contribute to global sustainable development.

  All Task Forces should center on the theme to carry out their research or study activities. In particular, they should put great efforts on policy studies through in-depth investigations and put forward practical, feasible and projecting recommendations. Both the Chinese Secretariat and the Canadian Secretariat should enhance their communications and coordination between Members and each Task Force, raise their work capacity and competence so as to provide high quality services for all Members and experts.

  The Third CCICED has made some reform on its internal mechanism. That is the establishment of the Lead Expert system. Mr. Sun Honglie and Mr. Arthur Hanson have been appointed as the Chinese Lead Expert and the International Lead Expert. They have seriously fulfilled their duties and made great contributions to the development of both CCICED and the Lead Expert Group. Here I extend our wholehearted thanks and respect to them. Professor Sun Honglie also holds many other important posts including the group leader of the Environment and Resource Task Force of the Study on National Mid-and-long Term Development Strategy, so he is very busy. In view of this situation, he requested to resign from the post as the Lead Expert. The Bureau respects and agrees on his request. Professor Sun Honglie said he would continuously pay close attention to and support CCICED work as before. We express our wholehearted thanks to the great contributions of Professor Sun! The Bureau has unanimously agreed that Prof. Shen Guofang, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Engineering to take over the post of Chinese Lead Expert. Prof. Shen is a famous ecologist. We firmly believe that Mr. Shen, in close cooperation with Mr. Hanson, will play an important role in CCICED activities.

  Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan has committed to the cause of environmental protection and sustainable development of China. He has taken charge of a series of key programs and activities on environmental protection and sustainable development. Today, as the Chairman of CCICED, he will chair the closing ceremony of the current AGM and present an important speech.

  Here is the end of my briefing. Thank you!

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