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World Environment Day celebrated in Changsha

The annual event in celebration of this year's World Environment Day was held in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province in central China on Jun. 5. Secretary of the CPC Hunan provincial committee Du Jiahao, Governor of the provincial government Xu Dazhe, Secretary of the Leading Party Members' Group and Minister of Ecology and Environment Li Ganjie, and Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Publicity of the CPC Central Committee Zhao Qi presented at the event.

In his keynote speech, Secretary Du held that the environment is the foundation for the survival and development of mankind, and that to preserve the environment, promote green development, and build a beautiful China is the fundamental policy that sustains the Chinese nation and an inevitable requirement for achieving high-quality economic growth. The theme of this year's World Environment Day "Act towards a beautiful China" echoes the development trends and public opinion and is extremely important for guiding the whole society to contribute to the development of ecological civilization and beautiful China and to adopt green work and life styles. The presence of the Belt and Road countries and other international delegates serves as a catalyst to our international environmental cooperation.

Hunan as the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong is endowed with green mountains and clean waters. Over the past few years, Hunan has acted under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, thoroughly implemented the innovation-driven opening-up and rise strategy, and vigorously explored the scientific pathway to turning the ecological endowments into development edges. While maintaining stable and healthy local economic and social development, Hunan has taken solid steps to build a beautiful and eco-friendly province. As a result, the province-wide environmental quality has been constantly improved, and the economic development has balanced and been complementary with the environmental protection.

What is important for protecting the environment and building a beautiful China is participation and action by all, said Du. Specifically, Hunan will uphold the "ecology priority and green development" policy and quicken the pace to build an affluent, beautiful, and happy new Hunan.

Hunan will firmly bear in mind the expectations of Secretary General Xi Jinping for protecting the rivers, take into consideration the mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands, and other ecological factors, launch clean water, blue sky, soil decontamination, and waste clearing initiatives, strive to preserve and restore the nature and ecology, and resolutely put up a tough fight against pollution. The province will integrate the philosophy of ecological civilization into the whole process and all aspects of economic and social development, strictly observe the ecological conservation red lines, environmental quality bottom lines, and resource use upper limits, take an "ecology first and green development" path, adopt "greener" development model, "lighter" industrial structure, and "better" economic quality, and enable the high-quality development to be green-based. Moreover, efforts will be made to satisfy the needs of the people for clean water, green food, clean air, and other elements of a beautiful environment, and give top priority to addressing pressing ecological and environmental problems. Furthermore, Hunan will make a breakthrough in the institutional reforms on ecological civilization, implement the river chief system and lake chief system, protect the environment with the toughest laws and institutions, and work to establish a long-term mechanism to protect the environment.

In his remarks, Governor Xu said Hunan will thoroughly implement the guiding principles of the National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection and the Symposium on the Development of Yangtze Economic Belt, aim at building an affluent, beautiful, and happy new Hunan, and work hard at the ecological and environmental protection and management in "one lake and four rivers" (Dongting Lake and Xiangjiang, Zi, Yuan, Li rivers).

Xu noted that Hunan will quicken the pace to establish the cultural system, economic system, target responsibility system, and security system for ecological protection, as well as the ecological civilization institutions; resolutely implement the new development philosophy, and in pursuit of high-quality growth, change the development models, optimize the economic structure, and work faster to develop resource-saving and environment-friendly geographical space, industrial structure, and work and life styles. Moreover, Hunan will uphold the "ecology priority and green development" philosophy, incorporate the province into Yangtze economic belt development initiative, and strive to build the coastline of Hunan segment of Yangtze River, the Dongting Lake, and the four rivers with beautiful scenery. Furthermore, the province will vigorously implement the "three-year" action plan for the control of the air, water, and soil pollution primarily in the one lake and four rivers. Actions will be taken to control the pollution in Xiangjiang River and Dongting Lake in summer and secure a victory in defending the blue skies, clean waters, and soils. Efforts will be made to mobilize resources to address pressing environmental problems and constantly satisfy the people's growing needs for a beautiful environment.

The revival of the beautiful riverside scenery necessitates the wisdom from all walks of life, said Xu. He hoped that the experts and scholars would contribute solutions to the environmental perplexities in Hunan, that the entrepreneurs would actively take part in the ecological and environmental undertaking and the development of green industries, and that all walks of life would take the initiative to adopt green development patterns and life styles, work together to build a beautiful homeland with blue skies, green lands, and clean waters, and write a new chapter for building a beautiful China.

In his keynote speech, Minister Li said the National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection that just concluded a month ago is an epoch-making milestone. The conference officially established the Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization and gave answers to the "why, what, and how" questions about ecological civilization, which constitute an integral part of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the new era. The Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization as a creative, hallmark theory of strategic importance is the fundamental policy and overarching code for developing ecological civilization in a new era; it guides the ecological and environmental protection effort towards historic achievements and changes. Therefore, the core task for publicity in the ecological and environmental sector for now and for a period of time to come is to widely spread the Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization and the guiding principles of the National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection.

The theme of this year's World Environment Day "Act towards a Beautiful China" aims to catalyze the people's changes from being aware of to being willing to protect the environment and from complaining about the pollution to taking actions against it,  enable the people to adopt a moderate, green, and low-carbon life style and take the initiative to contribute to ecological and environmental protection, create a social environment in which the ecological civilization is championed by all, in all matters, and at all times, and enable the beautiful China initiative to be deeply rooted in people's hearts, and the philosophy that "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" to be recognized, acted upon, and bear fruits, said Li.

Minister Li put forward four proposals on the public participation and support of the ecological and environmental protection. First, each and every one should be keenly aware of the environmental protection. All walks of life and the nitizens are invited to keep a close eye on the ecological and environmental policies and contribute wisdom to the government. Second, each and every one should mind the environmental problems. The public should dissuade or put a stop to ecological damages and environmental pollution, or file a complaint with the 12369 tip line. Third, each and every one should be an enabler of ecological civilization, vigorously disseminate the knowledge on ecological and environmental protection and the philosophy of ecological civilization, take part in public-benefit and volunteer activities, carry forward the ecological ethics and culture, and attract more people to be committed to the ecological and environmental protection undertaking. Fourth, each and every one should adopt a green lifestyle, abstain from extravagance and overcomsumption, and pursue a moderate and low-carbon life style.

UN Deputy Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim sent a strong message on the World Environment Day in a video clip. This year's Chinese theme is well chosen, he said, beautiful China suggests less pollution, less coal consumption and more solar energy, and more beautiful cities and great nature.

This year's event was organized jointly by MEE, the General Office of Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress, and the people's government of Hunan Province. The persons in charge of relevant departments under the State organs and mass organizations of the CPC Central Committee, the representatives of the UNEP China Office, as well as delegates of relevant international organizations presented.

(This English version is for your reference only.In case any discrepancy exists between the Chinese and English context, the Chinese version shall prevail.)

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