Chinese vice premier Zeng Peiyan stressed on Monday the importance of national ecological safety, vowing to take further measures to reverse the grave situation of environmental deterioration.
At a high-level forum on ecological safety on World Environment Day, Zeng said that to maintain ecological safety was to safeguard the Chinese people's homeland and consolidate the foundation for the development of Chinese society.
"Therefore," he said, "we should mobilize the society to take effective measures to reverse the grave situation of ecological decline, enhance pollution control, prevent accidents and develop the national economy in an environmentally-friendly way."
He noted that the environment in some cities and regions had been improved in recent years with enhanced efforts in ecological and environmental protection. However, national ecological safety was still facing severe challenges from loss of water and soil erosion as well as desertification.
"The frequent sandstorms in the northern part of the country have rung an alarm bell for us," Zeng stressed.
He noted that more education on ecological safety should be given to the public, and public opinion should matter.
China would actively conduct international cooperation in environmental protection, strictly observe the international conventions, and contribute to the world's ecological safety, Zeng said.
(Xinhua News Agency June 6, 2006)