Many events across country mark World Earth Day
China Thursday marked this year's World Earth Day under the theme of "Be Kind to the Earth --Scientific Development," which highlights sustainable exploitation of the country's natural resources.
"(We have) to protect the eco-environment, cherishing every piece of forest, every river, every acre of land and every mine, to carry out construction while not bankrupting the natural resources or endangering the eco-environment, and to ensure harmony between man and nature," said Premier Wen Jiabao.
Wen made the remarks in a letter on the eve of the World Earth Day to students at the Experimental Primary School of the Beijing Normal University.
He was answering to the students, who had expressed a desire to help the country's "scientific development."
The scientific concept of development is a new ideological advance of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Government as a whole.
Official statistics show China's per capita arable land is less than half of the world's average, while its per capita mineral resources are only 58 per cent.
Wang Zhuqi, a 10-year-old girl at the school who initiated the letter with others to the premier, felt excited when getting the reply.
The letter from the premier has consolidated the students' belief that they can help enhance awareness of the importance of sustainable development, she said.
They students can start small, she said, by planting a tree each spring, saving every drop of water, using every pencil and every piece of paper longer.
The children came up with the idea of writing to the premier when their teacher asked them to find a model from among the great Chinese figures and they set their eyes on the late great Chinese geologist Li Siguang. It was mainly based on Li's discoveries that China found oil and gas independently not long after the foundation of the country.
"We want to be like Grandpa Li and make great contributions to the country," said Wang.
"But if Grandpa Li is still alive, he will be sad to see our hard-discovered resources improperly exploited causing dire environment impact."
Zheng Mianping, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, attached great importance to the children's involvement in the country's sustainable development campaign.
He said it is important for children to know what is right from the very beginning.
World famous for his research on saline lake and epithermal resources, Zheng met his first group of non-geologist visitors Thursday at the first public day of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.
The academy opened its labs to the public as a special gift marking World Earth Day.
Also Thursday, environmental experts gathered at the 2004 World Earth Day Forum to elaborate the implementation of the scientific concept of development.