GENEVA - The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva on Wednesday called for persistent international efforts in dealing with environment challenges such as climate change and the shortage of energy and natural resources.
"Finding appropriate solutions to address these challenges is our shared long-term goal ... we must work together to find common solutions to these common problems," said He Yafei at a briefing to Geneva-based diplomats and journalists on the next Group on Earth Observations (GEO) ministerial meeting to be held in Beijing in November.
"The recent financial and economic crisis has diverted some of the attention of governments from these environmental challenges. But although the impacts of the global financial crisis are still with us, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the many global environmental challenges that humanity is facing," He said.
Over the years, China has actively promoted international understanding and cooperation on addressing global economic and environmental issues, according to the ambassador.
"We have worked hard to play an effective and constructive role in major international conferences. As a large developing country, we expect to contribute to global efforts to address these challenges," he said.
He praised the efforts made by the GEO in developing a so- called Global Earth Observation System of Systems, or GEOSS, which aims at supporting national and international action on climate change, biodiversity conservation, food security, the UN's Millennium development goals, etc..
The GEO, which was created in 2005, has assembled "a unique international partnership" consisting of both governments and leading organizations, he said.
"GEOSS provides an opportunity for the international community to deepen our understanding of the earth on which we are living. It assists us, policy and decision makers, with the best available information about those global environmental issues," he said.
The ambassador expressed hope that the GEO ministerial meeting in Beijing would further promote the GEOSS development process.
He added that China was always willing to share its experiences with others in developing environmental monitoring and observation systems.