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Source: Small Island Developing States

5 June 2019: The China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) deliberated on outcomes from the eight Special Policy Studies (SPS) conducted during the past year, and discussed draft recommendations informed by SPS findings at its 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Hangzhou, China. Delegates urged China to help Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner countries avoid becoming locked-in to outdated, polluting technologies and to help them meet their respective commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs.

Delegates to the AGM attended meetings from 2-5 June 2019. The formal AGM proceedings from 3-4 June were preceded by a one-day presentation of SPS findings and recommendations on 2 June. Many CCICED delegates stayed on in Hangzhou for World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June, which was organized on the theme, ‘Beat Air Pollution.’

On 2 June, participants deliberated on a draft issues paper prepared by the CCICED Secretariat, which outlines the environment and development challenges ahead for China, and took part in six parallel forums on key topics. From 3-4 June, they discussed draft recommendations arising from the SPS findings. The SPS recommendations have the potential to help shape China’s environment and development policies, including the BRI, which is channeling infrastructure investment to countries in Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.

Discussions at the meeting recognized China’s achievements in its national environmental planning and monitoring, including its successes and remaining challenges in improving air quality, mitigating climate change, and promoting nature-based solutions. Many delegates looked forward to the leadership role that China will play as host of the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in October 2020, which is expected to put in place a post-2020 framework for the global governance of biodiversity, with the aim of stemming biodiversity loss worldwide.

CCICED’s eight draft recommendations to the Chinese government address the need to:

  • promote green consumption and drive green transformation;
  • keep pace with the changes of the digital era while experimenting with new models of urbanization and regional development;
  • establish a mid- to long-term “eco-environmental” protection strategy for the Yangtze River Economic Belt, including an ecological compensation scheme;
  • enhance integrated management to address climate change;
  • encourage major technological innovations and creative institutional designs in the field of environment;
  • make biodiversity conservation a national strategy, thus providing a positive example internationally;
  • promote marine sustainable development and step up China’s contribution to global marine governance; and
  • make the green development of the BRI an “important vehicle” for global ecological civilization and a green community with a shared future.

Around 700 delegates took part in the CCICED 2019 AGM. High-level government representatives and heads of international organizations, including leaders from China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the Chinese National Academy of Sciences, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), participated in the AGM.

World Environment Day celebrations on 5 June, hosted by the Government of China and UNEP, gathered more than 1,100 participants. Delegates were presented with a written message from Chinese President Xi Jinping, emphasizing China’s commitment to multilateralism as an approach for solving shared environmental problems.

CCICED was established in 1992 as a high-level international advisory body comprising members and experts from government, businesses, international organizations, research institutions and social organizations from China and abroad. Its main tasks are to study critical environment and development issues facing China and to provide policy recommendations to the Chinese government. CCICED’s annual policy recommendations are circulated as official government documents by the Ministry of Ecology and the Environment (MEE) to the State Council and local governments, providing a reference for policymakers at all levels. [IISD RS Coverage of 2019 AGM of CCICED]

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News