China's vision of ecological civilization, which has roots in traditional Chinese culture and stresses the harmonious coexistence of man and nature, provides solutions to address the global crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, officials said on Thursday.
They made the remarks as a two-day forum on ecological civilization opened on the sidelines of the first phase of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP 15, in Kunming, Yunnan province.
More than 2,000 people from home and abroad, including representatives of government bodies, research institutes and international organizations, are participating in the forum, either in person or via video link.
The forum will cover a wide range of topics, including coping with climate change and nature-based ecological protection and restoration.
Ecological civilization is a concept promoted by President Xi Jinping for balanced and sustainable development that features the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said the forum offers an opportunity for the world to learn from China's environmental experiences.
Addressing the opening ceremony in Kunming, Mrema noted ecological civilization is a practice born in China that attaches specific goals and actions to create a systemic shift toward an ecologically centered pathway for sustainable development.
"Today, we gather as a global community to learn from China's experiences and achievements in transforming the model of development, based on the ideas of practicality, environmental protection and sustainability," she said.
Mrema said she appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and other organizations to contribute to the forum's presentation of salient examples of ecological civilization.
The discussions will include measures that instill long-term planning without neglecting immediate needs, mainstreaming biodiversity across all sectors of government and society, identifying investments, opportunities for biodiversity, and fostering a culture of sharing responsibility and cooperation, she continued.
"Biodiversity is at the center of the biggest issues the world faces," she said. "How we collectively address the biodiversity crisis will clearly determine our future."
Minister of Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu delivered a speech on behalf of the ministry's Party chief, Sun Jinlong.
The vision of ecological civilization provides the international community with Chinese wisdom and solutions to cope with global environmental challenges, Huang noted.
He said the vision of ecological civilization includes traditional Chinese wisdom.
"The Chinese nation always respects, accommodates and protects nature," he said, adding the unity of man and nature is deeply integrated into Chinese culture.
The Chinese government advanced the philosophy of ecological civilization following the example of traditional Chinese culture, he said. The purpose is to address production and consumption styles with large-scale output and emissions and keep human activities within the limits of the ecosystem and environment, as well as to realize the harmonious coexistence of man and nature.
Adhering to the philosophy of ecological civilization, China will promote wide-ranging green transformation in its socioeconomic development and endeavor to achieve continuous environmental improvement, he said.
"Joining hands with the international community, China will strive to protect the planet we call home," he said.