Government officials from 13 provinces and municipalities, environmental experts and representatives from business circles proclaimed on Tuesday to highlight their commitment to eco-province construction by designating March 25 as the Ecological Day of China.
This is the day when the White Book on Chinese Population, Environment and Development in the 21st Century (China 21st Century Agenda) was first published in 1994.
This suggestion is the keynote of the "Zhejiang Declaration," which was adopted by the forum on eco-province construction held in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province on Tuesday.
Sponsored by the State Environmental Protection Administration and the provincial government, the forum was designed to promote the implementation of the State strategy of sustainable development in the wake of environmental deterioration and ecological destruction resulting from the excessive exploitation of natural resources.
The declaration said China has been enjoying rapid economic growth, albeit at the cost of a high consumption of resources and ecological degradation.
The country's resources and environment will not keep up with expansion if this conventional development model continues to be adopted. Therefore the declaration said China should adopt a circulatory economy model and focus on sustainable development.
The declaration also requires efforts from governments, enterprises and communities to build a society with a circulatory economy. This can make better use of resources and energy, minimize waste discharge, and finally achieve harmony between society, the economy and the environment.
Government officials at the forum vowed to develop close-to-life and close-to-public education and raise general awareness of the necessity of building an eco-homeland.
China started to experiment with developing eco-provinces in 1999 and to date seven provinces - south China's Hainan Province, northeast China's Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces, and east China's Fujian, Zhejiang, Shandong and Anhui provinces - have been making efforts to become "eco-provinces."
Environmental experts said all the eco-provinces were concentrated in coastal areas and hoped more provinces in middle and western China could join this catalog, making contributions to the sustainable development in the country.
(China Daily October 15, 2004)