Forum highlights China's green efforts on World Earth Day

By Li Huiru
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 22, 2016
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To celebrate the 46th World Earth Day, which falls on April 22, a group of Chinese experts, officials and environmentalists held a forum in Beijing. The theme of the forum is the promotion of ecology-oriented transformation of development and the green economy.

The participants examined a number of case studies, seeking to understand the policy challenges and dilemmas encountered by different actors involved in environment protection in China, and worked to identify concrete measures for restructuring the regional economy.

"China is on its way to transforming the economic growth model and advancing structural reform," Han Meng, the convener of the forum, said in his opening speech at the forum. "We are witnessing the renaissance of a large scale ecology-oriented transformation of development and the green economy. During this process, we need to abandon our reliance on sectors with high energy consumption and high pollution." Han is also a researcher from Institute of Economics, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Xing Dongtian from the Food Safety Project, CASS, proposed "an ecological construction-based poverty relief model" to solve the bottleneck problem currently restricting the environment quality improvement. He said: "The world we are living in is now at a critical point. We must reestablish trust between urban and rural areas and improve the environment. Only then can we really improve the health of the people and boost demand in an environmentally friendly way. "

A report on the result of a nationwide survey on public views of China's ecological environment was released in conjunction with the forum. The survey was carried out from April 5 to 19 among more than 200 volunteers, and the result was analyzed by ISOCS Group from China Earth Day Research Center. This is the fourteenth consecutive year the survey has been carried out.

The result of this year's survey is generally in line with that of the previous years'. Much work still needs to be done to address issues such as ecological imbalances and environmental degradation, according to Wang Xuhui, founder and director of the survey project.

Wang also talked about the uniqueness of this survey. "What makes this survey special is its unique perspective," he explained. "Being Chinese people, we have been told so many times about what we've done wrong to the environment. This survey takes the view of the people to evaluate the work of service providers. "

The forum is co-hosted by the CASS, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), the Development Research Center of the State Council and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Earth Day was launched by non-governmental societies in the 1970s to raise the public awareness of environmental protection. The Chinese government has organized publicity activities since the 1990s. Since then, a number of major environmental laws protecting air, water, land and wildlife have been enacted.

In order to slow down or reverse the deterioration of China's ecological system, a series of crucial ideas have been identified to guide development throughout the 13th Five-Year Plan period and growing momentum has been witnessed in China in protecting the environment in recent years.

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