SCIO press conference on 'Biodiversity Conservation in China' white paper

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The white paper, titled "Biodiversity Conservation in China," is the first one issued by the country to focus on the field of biodiversity conservation. Given that the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity – known as COP15 – is set to kick off in Yunnan province soon, why did you choose to issue the white paper now and what is its significance? Thank you.

Zhao Yingmin:

I just explained that China is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and also one of the first countries to sign and approve the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. China attaches great importance to biodiversity conservation and preserves biodiversity with creative and up-to-date measures. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China has been prioritizing eco-environmental progress and pursuing green development under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization. A new pattern of biodiversity governance has largely taken shape, with improvements to the legal system, mechanisms for supervision as well as fundamental capabilities, marking the start of a new era for biodiversity conservation. China has achieved substantial progress on the path to biodiversity conservation with Chinese characteristics.

There is a practical significance to issuing the white paper ahead of the upcoming COP15. It presents China's visions, measures and achievements on biodiversity conservation to the world, and also provides China's solutions to global biodiversity conservation. These are reflected in the following four aspects.

First, it is the first time that China has issued a white paper comprehensively introducing its efforts in the field of biodiversity conservation. China regards biodiversity conservation as a vital part of promoting ecological progress and an important starting point for promoting high-quality development. The requirements of biodiversity conservation have been incorporated into all aspects and fields of economic and social development, and all sectors of society have been mobilized to protect biodiversity. The release of the first white paper is a concrete manifestation of China's comprehensive and in-depth efforts to promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity, therefore it is of great significance.

Second, the white paper showcases China's concept, action and achievements in biodiversity conservation, as well as China's contribution to global biodiversity conservation. By elaborating on China's commitment to the philosophy of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature, the country's efforts in holistically enhancing the efficiency of biodiversity conservation and in improving biodiversity governance, as well as its innovative measures and fruitful achievements in deepening global biodiversity exchanges and cooperation, the white paper shows that China shoulders its responsibility and makes its contribution to biodiversity conservation as a major country. Meanwhile, it also expresses China's confidence in standing in solidarity with the rest of the world as we meet global biodiversity challenges.

Third, it summarizes the practice and experience of China's biodiversity conservation efforts and provides solutions for building a shared future for all life on Earth. China always stands guard for our harmonious and beautiful planet for all life and has been contributing to its wellbeing with action. With proactive explorations and bold practices, China has embarked on a road to biodiversity conservation with Chinese characteristics. On the occasion of COP15, the white paper will enable us to share China's experience in biodiversity governance. This will help build confidence in the global response to the challenges and risks of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. It will play an important role in promoting the achievement of ambitious and pragmatic outcomes at the meeting and the formation of a more fair and equitable global biodiversity governance system where each country can make contribution to the best of its ability.

Fourth, the white paper will inspire enthusiasm across society for biodiversity conservation and accelerate biodiversity governance process, in which everyone is responsible to undertake his or her due obligations, while also enjoying all of the benefits. Biodiversity provides an important material basis for the survival and development of humanity, therefore protecting biodiversity is the responsibility and obligation of every country, organization and individual. China sees the release of the white paper as an opportunity to earnestly implement international conventions, continue to widely promote various biodiversity protection efforts, and mobilize and pool the strengths of the whole society to participate in biodiversity protection, providing a strong and enduring driving force for biodiversity conservation.

Thank you.

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