CHINA / Official Publication

White Paper on Environmental Protection
Updated: 2006-06-05 10:27

X. International Cooperation in Environmental Protection

China stresses international cooperation in environmental protection, and is active in conducting relevant activities with the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations. Over the years, it has dispatched senior delegates to all the meetings of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development and its successive preparatory activities. China and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have conducted fruitful cooperation in the fields of desertification prevention and control, biodiversity protection, ozone layer protection, clean production, cyclical economy, environmental education and training, flood prevention and control on the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River, regional sea action plan, and the global action plan for preventing land-sourced pollution and protecting the oceans. China has also established, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other international organizations, effective modes of cooperation. China has actively participated in the environmental protection and sustainable development activities under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and attended all the APEC environment ministerial meetings. China's efforts for environmental protection have been acknowledged and praised by the international community. The UNEP, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility granted the "UNEP Sasakawa Environment Prize," "Green Award" and "Global Environment Leadership Award" to the persons in charge of China's environment affairs, and the UNEP also awarded the title "Champion of the Earth" to the leader of the All-China Youth Federation. By the end of 2005, the UNEP had conferred the "Global 500 Award" on 22 units and six persons in China.

So far, China has acceded to more than 50 international conventions on environmental protection, and has been active in performing the obligations stipulated in these conventions, which include the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, and the United Nations Convention on Combating Desertification.

The Chinese government has compiled the State Report of the People's Republic of China on Sustainable Development and the China Action Program for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century, and made clear the key fields and action plans of sustainable development for the early 21st century. It has approved the China State Plan on Gradually Eliminating Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, drawn up more than 100 policies and measures in relation to the protection of the ozone layer, built development and production bases for products that can substitute ozone-layer-depleting substances, and other environmentally-friendly products, and met the phasing-out target set in the Montreal Protocol. According to a World Bank estimate, the amount of ozone-layer-depleting substances that China has eliminated accounts for 50 percent of the total amount eliminated by all the developing countries. The Chinese government hosted in Beijing the fifth meeting of the conference of the signatory states to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the 11th meeting of the conference of the signatory states to the Montreal Protocol, which adopted the Beijing Declaration and Beijing Amendment, respectively.

China has consolidated and promoted its cooperation with neighboring countries and regions involved, and actively participated in the construction of a regional cooperation mechanism. Together with Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), it has established a mechanism for environment ministers to meet to hold regular policy exchanges and discussions of environmental issues of common concern. After the launching of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Environmental Cooperation mechanism, the first GMS environment ministers' meeting was successfully held in 2005, which spelled out the biodiversity conservation corridor program for the subregion and other cooperative projects. Environmental cooperation under the mechanisms of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China (10+1) and ASEAN and China, Japan and the ROK (10+3) has started. At the proposal of the Chinese government, the first Environment Ministers' Meeting (EMM) of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was convened in 2002, which released the Chairman's Statement of ASEM EMM and reached agreement about the basis, potential and principle of Asia-Europe environmental cooperation, and defined the key fields and priorities for such cooperation. In recent years, the China-Europe mechanism of ministerial dialogue on environmental policy and the meeting mechanism of China-Europe environment liaison officers have been set up, and the first China-Arab Cooperation Conference on the Environment was held earlier this year.

China has been active in bilateral cooperation in environmental protection. It has signed bilateral agreements or memorandums of understanding on such cooperation with the United States, Japan, Canada, Russia and 38 other countries, and signed bilateral agreements or memorandums of understanding on nuclear security cooperation with 11 countries. It has made considerable progress in its wide exchanges and cooperation with others regarding environment policies and regulations, pollution prevention and control, biodiversity protection, climate change, sustainable production and consumption, capacity construction, model projects, environmental technology and environmental industries. In addition, it has carried out several environmental cooperation programs with the European Union, Japan, Germany, Canada and nine other countries or international organizations with bilateral assistance gratis. China is also active in environmental cooperation and exchanges with developing countries. To support the follow-up action of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, China has sponsored the thematic activity of China's Environmental Protection Oriented Towards Africa. In 2005, China and the UNEP jointly hosted China-Africa Environment Cooperation Conference, and the Chinese government has organized courses of Workshop on Water Pollution and Water Resources Management for African Countries, helping African countries with environmental training.

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