Zhao Yingmin, Secretary General of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), chaired the 30th Anniversary Forum Plenary. Noting 30 years is "but the wink of an eye," he underscored that theories and practices of environment and development in China have undergone tremendous transformation in that time. He welcomed old and new friends, explaining that many participants in the celebratory Plenary had taken part in the Council’s work from Phase I to VI, while others had joined the Council at the onset of the current Phase VII.
Participants watched a video outlining achievements of the unique CCICED mechanism that provides a direct channel to Chinese leadership and decision makers. Since the Council’s founding, more than 1000 Chinese and foreign experts have contributed to over 100 research projects, which have yielded over 300 policy recommendations. The video closed with a call for collaboration to write a new chapter of global ecological civilization for a green and prosperous world and to continue work through CCICED’s inclusive, open, and mutually-beneficial platform.
The CCICED Executive Vice Chairs then delivered welcoming remarks. Huang Runqiu, CCICED Chinese Executive Vice Chair, said the Council has built a multilateral platform on environment and development which has led to transformational change in China, international exchange of expertise, and mutual trust and friendship.
Steven Guilbeault, CCICED International Executive Vice Chair, noted that CCICED brings together great minds to foster best practices and international dialogue for tackling the triple challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Both speakers underscored the significant roles of the many experts who had made important contributions to the Council's work over three decades.
CCICED Secretary General Zhao then invited the two CCICED co-founders to address the Plenary. Martin Lees outlined reasons for its enduring success and relevance, highlighting in particular: the Chinese government’s openness to international advice, the combination of expertise across the science-policy interface, and the enduring friendship sustained through the Council’s Annual General Meetings (AGMs).
In comments read on his behalf, Qu Geping highlighted a line from the minutes of the first AGM, which noted the Council’s establishment demonstrates the Chinese government’s sincerity and resolve in pursuing reform and wider cooperation to address environmental issues. Commenting that mankind is now at a new crossroads, he stressed the need to continue to steadfastly pursue sustainable development and expressed his wish for continued hope and solidarity through the Council.
CCICED Secretary General Zhao then invited keynote reflections from several speakers on their experiences in different phases of the Council’s work and opened the floor to brief remarks from representatives who had made outstanding contributions to the Council. While the schedule could not accommodate all who wished to take the floor, Zhao encouraged participants to share their recollections during the remainder of the AGM.
Earlier on Tuesday, participants also convened in online Open Forums on:
- Build a Green Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Together to Boost Global Green and Low-Carbon Transition;
- Nature-based Solutions and Eco-benefits Assessment; and
- Synergizing Economic Growth, Energy Security and Climate Action for a Steady Growth.
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