Dr JIAO Yong, Vice Minister of Water Resources
May 16, 2013 Jinan
Excellencies Vice Governor Zhao Runtian, Ambassador Irene Giner Reichl, Vice Mayor Li Kuanduan, ladies and gentlemen, Good morning!
As the lovely May is upon us, the gentle breeze brings us a closer friendship, and the beautiful flowers enchant us with fragrance. In this merry season of spring blossoms, we are here together, in the charming city of springs-Jinan, opening the International Conference on Research Cooperation within the China Europe Water Platform. Hereby, on behalf of the Ministry of Water Resources of China and Minister Chen Lei, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to each and every of you present here today, and express my sincere thanks to colleagues and guests from European countries for your long support and concern for China Water!
Water is the source of life, essence of production, and basis of ecology. Throughout the thousands of years of human civilization, water, and the ecological environment it supports, have provided irreplaceable conditions for human’s survival and development. It is worth noticing that since the modern times, despite the unprecedented progress human society has made, mankind is also making unprecedented influence and damage to the environment. Serious ecological problems such as breaks of river flow, drying up of lakes, shrinkage of wetlands, diminishing of oasis, descending of groundwater level are seen in many regions. With the growth of population, and the accelerating of industrialization and urbanization, our water resources and water environment are encountered with increasing pressure. Such conditions, if not changed as soon as possible, will result in overload of water resources and unbearableness of water environment, therefore makes it hard to realize the harmony between man and nature, and will cast a serious impact on the sustainable development of our next generations.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the construction of ecological civilization. Ecological progress is placed in a prioritized position, and integrated into the whole process of economic construction, cultural development, and social progress. It also paints the picture of “a beautiful China” as a magnificent blueprint for future ecological construction, which manifests the Chinese nation’s highly responsible attitude for our descendants and the whole world.
Water ecological civilization is a major component and a solid guarantee for the ecological progress, especially today when global urbanization is speeding up, city size expanding, urban population still growing, the significance of water ecological city construction is becoming more prominent. The construction of water ecological city will bring in a better environment for production and livelihood of urban residents, help build a resource-saving and environmentally friendly society, guarantee the sustainable development of the city, and lead the whole society onto a path of prosperous production, well-off livelihood, and healthy ecology.
The construction of water ecological city covers a broad range of topics. In the current period of time, China’s construction of water ecological city includes key areas such as sustainable use of urban water resources, a complete urban water ecology system, and a healthy water ecological environment. Last October, Jinan was confirmed as the first national demonstration for water ecological civilization, which is an official embarkment of China’s construction of water ecological city.
Ladies and gentlemen, China and Europe has enjoyed a long and productive cooperation in the water sector. European countries in general have closely combined the practice in water resources management with the reform agenda, and gained rich experience and advanced technological products in water ecological city construction, water security, water-related disaster mitigation, harmony between human and water resources, which are well worth learning from. At the same time, we are also very willing to share the Chinese experience and scientific achievements with our European colleagues. By such mutual exchange, we can joint our hands to address the water crisis we are both faced with. In this regard, China and Europe share a broad future of science and technology cooperation in the water sector.
In March, 2012, Minister Chen Lei, and Ms Ida Auken, Danish Minister for Environment and representative for EU, signed the Joint Statement upon the Establishment of the China Europe Water Platform. Since then, both sides have put endeavor into the Platform for its benign and sustainable operation. CEWP has gained great attention from high-level leaders from both sides, and many European countries have shown active interest in participation. Within CEWP, China and Europe has regulated the Work Programme for 2012-2015, and launched a series of meetings like the first High-Level Water Leader Summit, Business Roundtable, etc. We have also kicked off the comparative research of China-Europe water permit regulations. The technology exchange and field trip to Europe have been put on the agenda. Besides, some research cooperation projects are in the process. The Chinese secretariat has collected many cooperation interests from the Chinese side, which will be introduced to our European partners this afternoon. Meanwhile, eight European countries have submitted proposals on co-lead, which will be discussed for approval on the second Joint Steering Committee Meeting to be held this afternoon.
It is my belief that with the progress of these activities and work done, we will be attracting even more research institutes into the China Europe research cooperation in the water sector for more exchange, and will also promote the healthy development of management and business pillar of CEWP. Let us all wish the China Europe research cooperation more productive, and a good model for the research cooperation within the comprehensive strategic partnership of China-Europe.
Wish this meeting a great success! Thank you all.责编：魏永静