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Strive for Innovation and Actively Exploration of New Path to Environmental Protection--New Year Address by Zhou Shengxian

A new year begins. The unforgettable 2010 closed its last page. At this moment of saying goodbye to 2010 and welcoming new year, on behalf of Ministry of Environmental Protection, I extend my best wish to all officials and workers in environmental protection field across China and heartfelt thanks to all friends in the society who support and take part in environmental protection cause!
In the past five years, CCCPC and the State Council have taken environmental protection at a more important strategic position and put forward a series of new thinking and ideas such as development of ecological civilization, promotion of the historic transformations of environmental protection, ecological rehabilitation of rivers & lakes, energy saving and emission reduction as an important tool for shift of economic growth mode and restructuring, environmental protection being an important welfare issue and exploration of new path to environmental protection with Chinese characteristics, public environmental awareness has remarkable improvement.
Environmental protection has experience important change from understanding to practice over the past five years. The task of emission reduction has been finished ahead of schedule, prevention and control of pollution of key river basins has been further promoted; safety of drinking water has been ensured; rural environmental protection and ecological conservation have been strengthened; more efforts in supervision on environmental law enforcement have been made; nuclear and radiation safety is basically under control, environmental management system & institution and policy measures have been under continuous innovation; environmental quality has enjoyed steady improvement and environmental protection work has achieved breakthrough. Environmental protection has entered the main line and platform of economic and social development.
2010 is going to end and the new year—2011 is coming. In the first year of the “12th Five-Year Plan” period, we are facing new opportunities, challenges and tasks. The Suggestions of CCCPC on Development of the 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development adopted by the Fifth Plenary Session of the 17th National Congress of CPC clearly points out that we should take scientific development as the theme, acceleration of economic growth mode as the main line, make more efforts in environmental protection, and uplift ecological civilization. Centering on the theme of scientific development, acceleration of economic growth mode and requirement for uplifting ecological civilization, we will keep pace with times with pioneering spirit and strive for a new situation of environmental protection.
Guided by the outlook on scientific development, the development of ecological civilization is a key strategy and task put forward by Communist Party of China based on the grave situation of too big cost of resources and environment during rapid economic growth. It is an important component of the overall arrangement of the great cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Ecological civilization depends on innovation and adherence, its success depends on long-term efforts. The promotion of ecological civilization is a unity of ideas, actions, process and outcomes. Among them, firmly establishing the ideas of ecological civilization, green & low carbon development and priority for environmental protection is the prerequisite. Taking all policy measures conducive to development of ecological civilization with prompt action is the key. Ecological civilization is a long-term development process, making unremitting efforts to develop it is the foundation. Focusing on optimum and sustained outcomes of ecological civilization is the aim.
The main approach for facilitating development of ecological civilization is active exploration of new path to environmental protection. Vice Premier Li Keqiang stressed several times that environmental protection is the main platform and fundamental measure of developing ecological civilization, we should develop and implement target indicator system and examination method for ecological civilization as soon as possible. The fundamental requirements for facilitating ecological civilization and promoting harmony between man and nature are strengthening environmental protection and actively exploring a new path to environmental protection that is small in cost, good in benefit, low in emissions and sustainable in development. To explore a new path to environmental protection, we should bravely innovate, bravely solve difficult problems with good practice. Innovation is the gene of development. Only by continuous innovation can we solve complex issues in reality and facilitate the progress and breakthrough of our cause. We should further deepen the understanding about environmental protection with new ideas, grasp well the opportunity for developing environmental protection cause with new vision, facilitate greater achievements of environmental protection with new practice, ensure sustained progress of environmental protection with new system & mechanism and design the future of environmental protection with new thinking.
Saying goodbye to old year with great achievements and being determined to make progress in new year. The “12th Five-Years” are the five years full of hope and 2011 is the first year of the “12th Five-Year Plan”. Let us unit closely around the CCCPC with Hu Jintao as the General Secretary, innovate with practical spirit, work hard with achievements, actively explore new path to environmental protection, strive for ecological civilization and welcome 90th anniversary of the establishment of Communist Party of China with great achievements of environmental protection!
Finally, I wish you happy new year, good health, happy family and good luck in everything!


(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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