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Minister Zhou Shengxian Called on Concerted Efforts for a Green Olympics at the 7th World Conference on Sport and Environment

The 7th World Conference on Sport and Environment opened in Beijing on Oct. 25. SEPA Minister Zhou Shengxian attended the opening ceremony and made an address.

Minister Zhou Shengxian first expressed warm congratulations to the convocation of the 7th World Conference on Sport and Environment on behalf of SEPA. He said the theme of the conference was "from plan to action", which fully demonstrated the sense of mission and responsibility of IOC and UNEP for working out synergy between sport and environment to promote sustainable development of the economy and society.

Zhou Shengxian noted that environmental protection and sustainable development had become the consensus of international community. The Chinese government has long been devoted to environmental protection. Environmental protection is a basic state policy and sustainable development is taken as a basic strategy. Improving environment and promoting harmony between man and nature are important objectives of building a moderately prosperous society. The just concluded 17th CPC Congress gave prominence to environmental protection in our national strategy and the awareness for conservation culture was promoted in the whole society. We will form an industrial structure, economic growth mode and consumption mode conducive to conservation of energy and resources and environmental protection, intensify efforts to control water, air and soil pollution and improve the habitat for urban and rural population. China will enhance its capacity for addressing climate change and make new contributions to protecting the global climate. Environmental protection is regarded as important content of the path to peaceful development and we are willing to work with other countries in the world to protect our planet that we human beings rely on through mutual help and cooperation. The success of the 17th CPC Congress ushered in a new era for China's environmental protection cause.

Zhou Shengxian said that China was a developing country with over 1.3 billion population. The past 30 years witnessed sustained and rapid economic growth with continued increase of economic aggregate and improvement of people's living standard. However, this was achieved at the expense of environment. To better address the contradiction between rapid economic development and environment and limited resources, the Chinese government set the target, in the Eleventh Five-year Plan for Economic and Social Development, to cut energy consumption per unit of GDP by 20% and major pollutant discharge by 10%. In this year the government has taken drastic measures and with the joint efforts of all the people, we have scored gratifying progress in the work of energy conservation and emission reduction. As more pollution control and emission reduction measures gradually begin to take hold, total emissions of both major pollutants are expected to drop this year.

Minister Zhou said that it had been proved that the principles, policies and arrangements for environmental protection made by the Central Committee and the State Council agreed with our national conditions, thus bringing about remarkable progress. Scientific Outlook on Development and conservation culture has been widely recognized among the people. At a fresh historic start, China's environmental protection cause is embracing brand new development and will surely make greater contributions to world environmental protection and sustainable development.

Finally Zhou Shengxian stressed that the 2008 Beijing Olympics was coming. Making the Olympics a great event with green concepts will have a significant impact on improving Beijing's environment and promoting sustainable development of China and even the world. He expressed wishes that friends from all walks of life will work together, offer advice and make it a green event in the world Olympic history.

According to sources, the IOC founded Sport and Environment Commission in 1995 and the 1st World Conference on Sport and Environment was held in the same year. The conference was held twice a year and 6 conferences have been held so far. Featuring the theme of "from plan to action", this year's conference was hosted by IOC and Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee and co-organized by UNEP. It lasted 3 days.

(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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