Interview: UNDP says China shows confidence to balance economic growth, environment protection

07:46, May 12, 2010      

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The Chinese government has set up environmental protection agencies to build capacity with the confidence to balance economic growth and protection of enviroment, visiting United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Clark made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Xinhua after a high-level roundtable discussion on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Climate Change held here during her four-day visit to the east African country since Saturday.

"China is also going to be an enormous producer of low-cost, low-carbon technology. The price will come down, which is good for developing countries looking for renewable form of technologies," the former Prime Minister of New Zealand said.

Commenting on China's poverty reduction process, Clark said, " We can learn a lot from what China has succeeded, in particular, in moving people from countryside to the city, a trend of urbanization for the development of the industry and manufacture."

She added that the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, under the theme of "Better City Better Life", is a showcase of incredible city life.

Meanwhile, the UNDP chief also hailed China's efforts to build rural areas into towns and small and medium cities.

On the benefit of China's experience of poverty reduction to African countries, Clark said that the International Poverty Reduction Center in China, based in Beijing, jointly initiated and established by the Chinese government, the UNDP and other international organizations in December 2004, is looking for collaboration by organizing a wide range of activities, and promoting knowledge sharing and South-South learning through organizing a series of training courses, with the overall goal to enhance poverty reduction process and contribute to worldwide poverty reduction.

During the high-level roundtable discussion, Clark stressed the importance of inclusive growth to the issue of poverty reduction in Tanzania to include growth of investment and agriculture, which employes over 70 percent of the country's more than 40 million population.

Meanwhile, Clark called for global partnership, including North- South Cooperation, South-South Cooperation and cooperation with the private sector on the issue of achieving the MDGs and efforts to balance economic growth and poverty reduction.

She also underscored the necessity of Africa's adaption to climate change with a comprehensive strategies.

Climate change is an urgent development challenge with the potential to derail progress towards achieving all eight MDGs in Africa. For instance, droughts in Ethiopia have led to collapsed harvests and food shortages. In Rwanda and Tanzania, longer rainy seasons have led to increased malaria in new areas, according to a UNDP handout.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that by 2020, 75 million to 250 million people across sub-Saharan Africa could face water shortages, and rain-fed agriculture could contract by 50 percent in some African countries, it said.

Arriving here on Saturday, Clark is making her trip to four Africa countries, which has already taken her to Mali and Burkina Faso, and will also include a visit to South Africa.

Source: Xinhua


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