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Shandong to turn green from 'ocean economy' to 'blue economy'
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By Wang Wei

Achieving a balance between marine development and conservation is the key issue being discussed at the 2009 Qingdao International Blue Economy Summit Forum that opened in Qingdao, the main port of east China's Shandong Province Monday.

[By Zhang Lin/China.org.cn]

[By Zhang Lin/China.org.cn]

"The blue economy works not only as an economic operational mode but is also a new model for economic development in Shandong. It is transparent, healthy and wide ranging," declared Long Yongtu, Secretary General of Bo'ao Forum for Asia who is acting as moderator for the forum.

In following the international trend towards scientific exploitation of the oceans, Shandong is striving to go green during its transformation from an "ocean economy" to a "blue economy", Shandong Province Governor Jiang Daming said in his opening remarks.

"Compared with the traditional ocean economy, the blue economy is more scientific and profound and covers a wider range of subjects. It attaches more importance to development of high-level marine industries, balanced utilization of ocean and land resources and scientific innovation as well as protection of the marine ecology."

A proposal was put forward to establish a blue economic zone on the Shandong peninsula with Qingdao at its head following in an instruction issued by President Hu Jintao during his visit to the region in April.

"Qingdao boasts a long tradition and expertise in marine science and technology," said Li Jianguo, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. "We have to promote the transfer of scientific achievements to industry practice as soon as possible, thus promoting the development of the areas around us."

At the end of his speech, Li also emphasized the importance of international collaboration in fighting climate change under conditions of an economic downturn as well as developing a wide-ranging ocean economy for the benefit of all.

Javier Valladares, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission under UNESCO, echoed this idea based on its own approach to achieving sustainable marine development. On the one hand, policies are formed in a more interdisciplinary way to promote international cooperation on protection of the marine environment; on the other hand, more scientific research and educational activities are encouraged to prevent and reduce disasters including tsunamis.

The two-day Qingdao International Blue Economy Summit Forum, the first ever in China, provides a high-level platform for international exchanges. Domestic and overseas experts have been invited to give speeches on ocean economy, ocean management and policy-making, ocean ecology and environmental protection, ocean resource exploration and sustainable development, and ocean high-tech industry.

The forum is aimed to intensify communications and cooperation, share wisdom and practices, and jointly discuss problem solutions and strategies, thus contributing to the exploration and protection of the ocean on behalf of all mankind and the development of a global ocean economy.

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