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Harbin Declaration Signed

Participants of the Seventh Northern Forum on Sunday signed the Harbin Declaration to promote the sustainable development of the world's northern regions. The forum was held in Harbin, capital city of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

The declaration gave a positive appraisal of the participants' substantial efforts to improve international cooperation in fields such as long-distance medical consultation and treatment techniques, promoting healthy lifestyles, developing rescue projects for brown bears, mid-air surveys of water fowl, and protecting the unique features of northern cultures. The declaration also highlighted key areas for future cooperation.

Pokka Hannele, governor of the Finnish province of Lapland and chairperson of the forum, said the northern region is confronted with grave issues such as floods, abnormal weather, environmental protection and sustainable development.

The forum will continue to promote sustainable development, trade and business exchanges as well as cultural cooperation in the region, Hannele added.

The forum has elected the members of the board of directors for its next session and decided that the Eighth Northern Forum will be held in 2007 in Khanty-Mansi in Russia's far east. 

Established in November 1991, the Northern Forum, a non-governmental and non-profit organization, currently comprises a total of 17 provinces, states or regions from nine countries, including China's northernmost Heilongjiang Province, Canada's Alberta Province and Finland's Lapland Province. 

The forum is aimed at promoting the sustainable development of northern cities by providing leaders with opportunities to compare notes, and share their knowledge and expertise.

(Xinhua News Agency June 20, 2005)

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