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Chen Jining attends the 18th China Development Forum

Minister Chen Jining attends the 18th China Development Forum on Mar. 19 and delivers a statement on strengthening environmental regulation and governance. Source: MEP

Chinese report by Wang Kunting, CENEWS

BEIJING, Mar. 19- Minister Chen Jining attended the 18th China Development Forum today and delivered a statement on strengthening environmental regulation and governance.

Chen said China has attached great importance to promoting the ecological progress and protecting the environment. Chinese President Xi Jinping pointed it out that clean waters and green mountains are invaluable assets, that protecting the ecological environment equals to preserving the productive force, and improving the ecological environment is equivalent to developing productive force; and that it is imperative to establish green work and life styles and build a beautiful country where the sky is blue, the land is green, and the water runs clear. The series of important theories and strategies have remarkably advanced China’s ecological progress, and catalyzed the historic and fundamental changes in both the awareness and the practices of eco-environmental protection. A set of preliminary and basic institutions have been identified, key reform measures have been taken and proved effective, the industrial structures, energy mix, and geographical space have been bettered, the three action plans against air, water, and soil pollution have been fully implemented, and a framework of environmental governance collectively by the government, the industry, and the public has been gradually forged. China addresses pressing ongoing environmental problems with a firm will and by taking resolute actions under clear policy guidance. The public awareness on the relation between the economic development and the ecological conservation has gradually shifted from “coordinated and balanced” to “conflicted and contradictory”, and effective and orderly environmental management is facilitating the reforms on the development patterns.

Chen said that China is accelerating the transformation and innovation of environmental management, uplifting the modernization level of environmental governance, and provide policy and management support for further addressing the conflict between the development and the protection and for promoting ecological progress. This can be demonstrated by the following five respects:

First, systemic. Systematic environment management implies holistic protection, macro regulation, and integrated governance, based on the integrity, systematic nature, and inherent laws of the ecosystems. The cross-region air environment management institutions and basin-wide environment regulatory and enforcement institutions will be set up on a piloting basis, and eco-compensation mechanisms will be introduced and improved across regions and between the upper and lower reaches of basins. Pilot projects will be carried out on national park system, and the projects on large-scale and systematic preservation and restoration of mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, and lakes will be facilitated in key ecosystem functional zones, in order to advance the integration of environmental management institutions. In the meantime, the legal, administrative, and economic instruments will be further integrated, and the market mechanisms will play a more important role, to reflect the environmental requirements more directly by market prices, market expectations, and market transactions, and advance the integration of management tools.

Second, science-based. Green innovation is an area where the innovation is the most dynamic. The emerging new technologies, materials, processes, and products provide new solutions to today’s environmental problems. The development of observation, smart, and computing technologies offer new tools for us to gain a deep understanding of the mechanisms and the causes of various environmental problems and their impact on the human health, and provide scientific support for developing more pertinent solutions. In the meantime, the communications and interactions among the government, the science and technology circle, the news media, and the public will be strengthened to help interpret the science terminology in laymen’s language, the general public’s scientific quality will be improved, and more people will become rational proposers, scientific supervisors, and enthusiastic implementers of environmental solutions.

Third, law-based. The enforcement of the new Environment Protection Law marks a notable progress in the environmental legislations and enforcement. The laws and regulations on air, water, soil, and nuclear safety have been or are being drafted or amended, and the framework of environmental legislation has been constantly improved. Central environmental protection inspection with Chinese characteristics will be carried out, a plan for the attainment of environmental standards by all of the industrial pollution sources will be launched, the industries will be urged to share environmental information, compensations for environmental damages will be made, the environmental inspection and enforcement capacity building will be enhanced, and the environmental violations will be severely investigated and punished. The environmental compliance trends are being created with the increasingly strict and substantial environmental regulation and enforcement.

Fourth, delicate. Delicate management means changing the extensive environmental management approach in the past, classifying the regions, basins, or pollution into more specific categories, assigning the responsibilities at all levels to control units and grids, and exercising the environmental management to the maximum extent both horizontally and longitudinally. So far, MEP has divided certain key regions into grids, canvassed the polluters on the list, made pertinent management measures, and identified responsible persons, to make sure the environmental regulation is effective and satisfactory.

Fifth, IT-based. IT-based management means applying and integrating mega-data, cloud computing, and other information technology into environmental protection work. The project on the development of mega-data on ecological environment is moving forward, and national management platforms are being established, such as environmental regulation and enforcement platform, environmental quality online monitoring platform, key enterprise online monitoring platform, and environmental impact assessment approval and management platform. All those efforts may provide conformity test for environmental enforcement, approval, and monitoring, enable the environmental management to be more standardized and effective, and provide strong data support for the improvement of the environmental standard, criteria, and spatial management approaches.

At last, Chen said that the efforts to promote ecological progress and protect the environment have something to do with the development of China and the future of mankind. We stand ready to take an open-minded attitude, enhance the environmental cooperation with other countries and multinationals, and while accelerating the ecological progress and building a beautiful country, make useful contributions to advancing the global sustainable development.

On the sidelines of the forum, Chen also met with the CEO of the World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of Apple Inc. Tim Cook, Global Managing Director of consulting firm McKinsey & Company Dominic Barton, and exchanged views on enhancing international cooperation on environmental protection, green technology innovation, and transformation of environmental management.

China Development Forum aims at “seeking common development through dialogues with the world”. It is an invaluable platform for dialogues among the senior Chinese Government leaders, global business leaders, international organizations and Chinese and international scholars. Since it was initiated in 2000, the Forum has made active contributions to advancing the Chinese and overseas communications and international cooperation on development policies. With the theme “China and the World: Economic Transformation through Structural Reforms”, this year’s forum discussed around major topics such as deepening supply side structural reform, adopting proactive and effective fiscal policies, taking precautions against and alleviating systematic financial risks, economic globalization, promoting ecological progress, and innovation-driven development.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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