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Sustainable Development Plan Revealed

China's portion of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development plan was announced at the 2005 China Sustainable Development Forum held at Shanghai's Tongji University over the weekend.

Initiated by the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), the worldwide plan calls for participating countries to carry out a series of educational events related to global sustainable development from 2005 to 2014.

Key topics for China, as well as other countries in the Asia Pacific Region, include environment and natural resource protection, diversity of species, urbanization, and public health problems such as AIDS.

Participating countries are required to implement the plan by establishing an information platform or website, conducting academic research on environment problems, and holding public education activities in schools, companies and communities.

For China's part, the plan aims to educate all Chinese on the importance of sustainable development within a 10-year period. People will be introduced to what it means to live in a society that values sustainable development.

UNESCO will work out a monitoring and evaluation system to check each country's implementation of the plan on a regular basis over the next decade.

"It is a long-term strategy that requires the joint efforts of all parts of society," Surendra Shrestha, Asia Pacific office director of the UN environment program, said at the forum.

Tongji University said that it would launch the country's first master's program on sustainable development this year.

Twenty students, half from China and half from other parts of the region, will be recruited to conduct research and studies on environmental protection before starting work appointments with regional UN offices.

(eastday.com September 12, 2005)

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