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Organization to promote environmental study
By Qin Chuan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-31 01:44

A new science organization is expected to help the research on how human activities and environmental changes affect each other.

The Chinese National Committee for International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change will also link between Chinese scientists and the international science community.

At the same time it will push forward domestic study and discussion, while providing information and consultations for national and regional sustainable development strategies.

It will also participate in developing major national and international co-operation projects and help raise public awareness on environmental protection.

The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change was created in 1996 by the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council.

A non-government programme, it aims to study the relationship between people and nature.

Since its establishment, 68 countries have become involved. Of those, 25, including the United States, Germany and India, have set up national committees.

Involvement in the network is good for China's strategy on sustainable development, said Liu Yanhua, chairman of the committee and vice minister of science and technology.

Liu said although research on global environmental change has been going on in China for years, the scientists mostly focused on natural sciences and there is a lack of research sharing between the two fields of natural science and humanities.

The committee aims to help bridge that gap.

Sun Shu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and vice chairman of the national committee's advisory committee, said at Monday's launch that China should invest more to study global environmental changes.

Special attention should be paid to monitoring and forecast of climate systems and how global environmental change affect China's natural ecosystem and social economic system, he added.

In China, research on global environmental changes started in the middle of the 1980s and Chinese scientists have so far proposed a number of crucial global environmental change problems.

For example, Chinese scientist Ye Duzheng suggested in 1988 that global environment problems caused by land uses are as important a problem as green house gases. The suggestion was hailed in countries like the Great Britain.

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