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《The Second Annual Conference》

Yu Zhengsheng: Strengthening International Cooperation to Build Ecological Civilization

 

--Speech at the Second Annual Conference of Taihu Cultural Forum

 

Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

 

Abstract: Green development distinguishes no boundaries and building of ecological civilization is not confined to a uniform model. We should not only take the common responsibility to protect the Earth, but also, with the objective reality that countries are at different stages and levels of development in mind, carry forward the spirit of partnership and adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

 

Distinguished President Guebuza, Governor-General Lake-Tack, Prime Minister Samaras, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

 

Today, we gather by the beautiful West Lake to attend the Second Annual Conference of Taihu Cultural Forum. First, on behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend my warm congratulations on the convening of the Conference! I would like to express my sincere welcome to all guests and friends who have come from afar!

 

Taihu Cultural Forum is a high-level non-governmental forum on international culture established by China. Aiming at strengthening cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, the Forum invites world-renowned figures to elaborate on dialogue and cooperation among civilizations for a harmonious culture and world. The theme of the Conference this year is "Strengthening International Cooperation to Build Ecological Civilization", which is of great significance. Hangzhou, as a famous historical and cultural city bestowed with beautiful lake scenery and a long history, enjoys the reputation of "paradise on Earth. It is a vivid reflection of generations of Chinese people respecting nature and advocating harmony. Taihu Cultural Forum held is good for us to experience the charm of a good ecological environment and more actively participate in the construction of ecological civilization.   

 

Ladies and Gentlemen!

 

Since the industrial revolution, the traditional industrial civilization has brought mankind great material wealth and scientific and cultural achievements, but also led to the rapid exploitation of natural resources and deterioration of the ecological environment, heralding the limits of human social growth. In 1972, the United Nations held the first conference on the human environment, in which it published the epoch-making historic document Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, advocating to the world that "there is only one Earth". Since then, protecting the environment and building ecology have become the common action of mankind. Vigorously building ecological civilization represents not only the progress of civilization, but also the improvement of social system; it demonstrates not only the improvement of values, but also the change of production and lifestyle, which is in line with the development direction of human civilization.

 

 

In today's world, the challenges caused by climate change, energy and resource security, biodiversity conservation and other global resource and environmental issues are becoming increasingly serious, and green development and recycling economy are becoming important trends in the world's development. What kind of Earth should we leave to our children and grandchildren? This is a major issue of common concern to people all over the world. Building an ecological civilization is an essential event that will benefit the world in a thousand years ahead, requiring concerted efforts and fruitful cooperation among all countries and regions in the world.

 

First, we should establish the concept of ecological civilization that respects nature and protects nature. Humans and nature are equal. When developing and exploring nature, humans must not override nature, and human behavior should be in line with the laws of nature. We should deepen our understanding of the relationship between economy and environment, advocate the use and protection of nature under the premise of respecting nature, pay attention to discovering and carrying forward the excellent ideas in traditional cultures of various countries, strengthen education on ecological values and research on ecological culture, and provide theoretical support, spiritual motivation, cultural conditions and intellectual support for building ecological civilization.

 

Second, we should boost the efforts of environmental protection and ecological construction. For construction of ecological civilization, emphasis should be attached to action and effectiveness. For resource conservation, we should strengthen environmental protection, emission reduction and pollution control with more investment in science and technology and policy support to achieve green, recycling, and low-carbon development and build key technologies for all. We should pay attention to the institutional construction of ecological civilization, study and establish a target system and reward and punishment mechanisms that reflect the requirements of ecological civilization, incorporate resource consumption, environmental damage and ecological benefits into the evaluation system of economic and social development, and establish a resource usage system that is responsive to market supply and demand, resource scarcity, ecological values, and inter-generational compensation.

 

Third, we should create a pattern of joint participation of the whole society in the construction of ecological civilization. The construction of ecological civilization emphasizes the whole and focuses on the future, with a pursuit of harmony, which requires the participation of the whole society. We must integrate the construction of ecological civilization into all aspects of society process, rallying government, individuals, enterprises, and other social organizations to take initiative to participate in the construction of ecological civilization. We should strengthen the publicity and education of ecological civilization, enhance the awareness of saving, environmental protection, and ecological consciousness of all people, and create a good atmosphere of ecological protection. Youth represent the future, and young people should be especially encouraged to be the pioneers of ecological civilization construction.

 

Fourth, we need a global partnership for the construction of ecological civilization. Green development distinguishes no boundaries and building of ecological civilization is not confined to a uniform model. We should not only take the common responsibility to protect the Earth, but also, with the objective reality that countries are at different stages and levels of development in mind, carry forward the spirit of partnership and adhere to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. Developing countries should implement sustainable development strategies according to their national conditions and get involved in the international movement of ecological civilization construction. Developed countries should fulfill their commitments, rid unsustainable production, and consumption patterns, reduce excessive consumption of global resources, and come up with practical and effective measures to help developing countries enhance their capacity for sustainable development. Countries should, with a more open-minded and inclusive spirit, actively exchange experiences and cooperate in global environmental governance to seek a win-win situation.

 

Ladies and gentlemen!

 

Traditional Chinese culture is rich in the ideas of harmonious coexistence between humanity and nature. Confucius said that "a benevolent person loves all things", Laozi advocates "original state" and Zhuangzi highlights "the unity of heaven and humanity"; these wisdoms about ecological protection have guided the Chinese people in protecting nature and harnessing it to prosper. The Chinese government has always attached great importance to the conservation of resources and protection of the environment and has actively explored the development path of ecological civilization with its own characteristics with remarkable achievements. However, we are also aware that there are still many problems in China's economic development and environmental protection, some of which are quite serious, such as the aggravation of water pollution, air pollution, and other environmental pollutions. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China included the construction of ecological civilization in the overall layout of building socialism with Chinese characteristics for the first time and put forward the general requirements of vigorously promoting the construction of ecological civilization, building a beautiful China, and achieving the sustainable development of the Chinese nation. We will adhere to the basic state policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment, with great efforts to promote green, recycling, and low-carbon development and create a sound production and living environment for the people, thus contributing to global ecological security.

 

China's ecological civilization construction is open and inclusive under win-win cooperation. The Chinese government, with an attitude supporting international ecological and environmental cooperation, actively participated in relevant global climate negotiations and global conferences on international environmental development and institutionalized cooperation mechanisms with developed countries in environmental protection, climate change, energy resources and other fields while promoting North-South cooperation. We will earnestly fulfill commitments in environmental conventions and assume our due international obligations in accordance with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and fairness, and respective capabilities. We welcome governments, international institutions, and entrepreneurs from all over the world to better ecological environment of China. We are willing to work hand in hand with the international community for better ecological environment of Earth, our homeland.

 

I wish the Second Annual Conference of Taihu Cultural Forum a great success!

 

Thank you.


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