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China shows commitment to environmental protection (2)


11:06, July 21, 2013

Swiss President Ueli Maurer, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Tongan Prime Minister Siale'ataonga Tu'ivakano, Thai Deputy Prime Minister Nivatthamrong Boonsongpaisal and former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi attended the opening ceremony and delivered keynote speeches.

The Eco Forum Global is an independent international organization committed to improving the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders in the shaping of global, regional and industry agendas.

The theme of the annual conference in 2013, which runs through Friday to Sunday, is "Building an eco-civilization: green transformation and transition -- green industry-, green urbanization- and green consumption-led sustainable development."

About 4,000 guests from China and abroad have been invited to attend the conference.

Zhou Shuang, coordinator of the Footprint Policy Programme in China with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Beijing Office, said she was glad to see that this year's forum has included more international participants, which shows the government's willingness to address the issues.

"This is a good chance for Chinese and international environmental organizations. At the forum we can establish links with senior officials and influential businesspeople, which might facilitate environmental protection efforts in the future," she said.

Patrick Haverman, deputy country director of the United Nations Development Programme in China, told Xinhua that such a forum is necessary, because environmental protection problems can not be solved by individuals or a single country.

"The Chinese leadership is changing views and adopting international perspectives," Haverman said.

A number of foreign participants are also at the forum seeking inspiration and cooperation from China.

Stefan Petters, executive chairman of Austrian-based guo-Business Development Consult, said he has found that his country has environmental concerns similar to that of Guizhou Province, where the forum is being held.

Geologically similar to Guizhou, Austria also contends with issues related to having limited space for a relatively large population, he said.

In addition, the mining industries in both Guizhou and Austria pose challenges to efforts to curb pollution, he said, adding that the forum presents an "opportunity for us to find solutions together."

"I am impressed by the organization of the forum, the level of speakers and the insights they share. The forum is very valuable, for it shows China's self-perspective and its willingness to cooperate with other countries on environmental issues," Petters said.

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