China will do more to protect the country's deteriorating environment and contribute to the sustainable development of itself and the world, said Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan on Sunday at the closing of the annual meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on the Environment and Development (CCICED).
Zeng outlined four major tasks in combating environmental degradation: adjusting economic structures, curbing pollution in rivers and lakes, shutting down heavily polluting enterprises and enhancing international cooperation. The country will strengthen its legal framework, rely on scientific advancement and strongly promote a recycling economy, he pledged.
Established as a government advisory body 13 years ago, the CCICED consists of 50 senior government officials and experts from around the world and representatives of international organizations, including the United Nations Environment Program. European Commission Director-General for Environment Catherine Day was among those attending this year's meeting.
During the three-day meeting, members focused on sustainable agricultural and rural development in discussions and drafted their report to the government.
The council stated that it supports the policy of seeking a new, scientific and sustainable approach to development by putting people first, and recommended that China give close attention to the quality and efficiency of its economic growth.
The report contains six general recommendations, including implementing a broader vision linking ecological and food security; developing new ecologically and economically based national strategies to integrate water management and water quality; and modernizing the management of protected lands.
The vice premier said China will expand cooperation with the international community on environmental protection by adopting advanced technologies and management methods. It will continue to participate in international affairs on the environment and seriously implement the international conventions to which it has acceded.
Zeng called on developed countries to take on more responsibilities for environmental protection, increase financial aid to developing countries and promote the dissemination of environmentally friendly technologies and management experience.
He also urged developed countries to further open their markets to developing countries to ease resource and environmental pressure.
The next annual conference will be held in November 2005 and focus on sustainable development in the urban areas, according to the council's secretariat.
(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2004)