In his keynote speech delivered on 12 October via video link at the leaders’ summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), Xi Jinping reiterated China’s total commitment to strengthening biodiversity and tackling other key environmental issues. Among other things, he announced that China would set up a 1.5 billion RMB fund to support biodiversity protection in developing countries, and that an extensive system of national parks would be established in China.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to meet you virtually in Kunming and jointly attend the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. On behalf of the government and people of China as well as in my own name, I wish to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests.
As a Chinese saying goes, “All beings flourish when they live in harmony and receive nourishment from Nature.” Biodiversity makes Earth full of vigor and vitality, and lays the foundation for human survival and development. Protecting biodiversity helps protect Earth, our common homeland, and contributes to humanity’s sustainable development.
The Kunming conference, under the theme of “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”, has great significance. It will work for the conclusion of the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and identify targets and pathways for global biodiversity protection in the future. In this context, the international community must enhance cooperation, build consensus and pool strength to build a community of all life on Earth.
Man and Nature need to coexist in harmony. When we take care to protect Nature, Nature rewards us generously; when we exploit Nature ruthlessly, it punishes us without mercy. We need to have deep reverence for Nature, respect Nature, follow Nature’s laws and protect Nature, so as to build a homeland of harmonious coexistence between man and Nature.
Green mountains are gold mountains and silver mountains. A sound ecology and environment is not just a natural asset, but also an economic asset, and it affects the potential and momentum of economic and social development. We need to speed up efforts to foster a green way of development and secure a win-win of economic growth and environmental protection, so as to build a homeland of coordinated advancement of economy and the environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has cast a shadow over global development and compounded challenges to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Faced with the dual tasks of economic recovery and environmental protection, developing countries need help and support all the more. We need to strengthen solidarity to overcome difficulties and let people across countries benefit more and in a fairer way from development outcomes and a sound environment, so as to build a homeland of common development of all countries.
We are living in an era both fraught with challenges and full of hopes. As long as we press ahead with perseverance, a bright future will beckon. For the sake of our common future, we need to join hands and start a new journey of high-quality development for humanity.
First, we shall take the development of ecological civilization as our guide to coordinate the relationship between man and Nature. We need to solve the problems brought by industrial civilization, keep human activities within the limits of the ecology and environment, and carry out holistic conservation and systematic governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts.
Second, we shall let green transition drive our efforts to facilitate global sustainable development. We need to build a green, low-carbon and circular economic system, translate ecological strengths into development strengths, and bring out the great benefit that green mountains and clear waters can offer. We also need to step up green international cooperation and share the fruits of green development among all countries.
Third, we shall concentrate on bettering people’s well-being to promote social equity and justice. We need to keep in mind the people’s aspiration for a better life, pursue win-win results in environmental protection, economic development, job creation, poverty alleviation and other endeavors, and increase the sense of fulfillment, happiness and security of people in all countries.
Fourth, we shall take international law as the basis to uphold a fair and equitable international governance system. We need to practice true multilateralism, and effectively honor and implement international rules, which are not to be exploited or discarded at one’s own will. The new environmental protection targets we set need to be ambitious on the one hand and pragmatic and balanced on the other, so as to make the global environmental governance system fairer and more equitable.
China has made remarkable progress in building an ecological civilization. The recent story of the northward travel and return of a group of elephants in Yunnan Province in southwestern China shows the vivid results of our endeavor to protect wild animals. China will continue to advance ecological progress, stay committed to implementing the new development philosophy emphasizing innovative, coordinated, green and open development for all, and build a beautiful China.
On this occasion, I wish to announce China’s initiative to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund and take the lead by investing 1.5 billion RMB yuan to support biodiversity protection in developing countries. China also calls for and welcomes contributions from other parties to the fund.
To strengthen biodiversity protection, China is moving faster to establish a protected areas system with national parks as the mainstay. Over time, areas with the greatest importance to the natural ecosystem, and with the most unique natural landscapes, the most valuable natural heritage and the greatest biodiversity reserve will be included in the national parks system. China has officially designated its first group of national parks that includes the Three-River-Source National Park, the Giant Panda National Park, the Northeast China Tiger and Leopard National Park, the Hainan Tropical Forests National Park, and the Wuyishan National Park. The protected land area is 230,000 square kilometers and they cover nearly 30 percent of the key terrestrial wildlife species found in China. In the meantime, acting by the principle of striking a balance between on-site and translocation conservation, China has started building a system of national botanical gardens in places like Beijing and Guangzhou.
To achieve its carbon peak and neutrality targets, China will release implementation plans for peaking carbon dioxide emissions in key areas and sectors as well as a series of supporting measures, and will put in place a “1+N” policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality. China will continue to readjust its industrial structure and energy mix, vigorously develop renewable energy, and make faster progress in planning and developing large wind power and photovoltaic bases in sandy areas, rocky areas and deserts. The first phase of projects with an installed capacity of approximately 100 million kilowatts have recently started construction in a smooth fashion.
If we humanity do not fail Nature, Nature will not fail us. Ecological civilization represents the development trend of human civilization. Let us join hands, follow the philosophy of ecological civilization and shoulder our responsibility for future generations. Let us make joint efforts to build a community of all life on Earth, and a clean and beautiful world for us all.