Category Archives: Environment

China Cultural Center in Stockholm holds the largest exhibition in its history

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 19(Greenpost)– China Cultural Center in Stockholm is holding the largest exhibitions since its establishment in September 2016.

Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou spoke at the opening of the three exhibitions. One is Born in the 60’s China Contemporary Art Exhibition & Invitational Exhibition for Swedish Artists. The third is Qian Yuqing’s Chinese calligraphy and Ding Yazhong’s  landscape ink Paintings.

“Art is a language that all the people can appreciate. Although China’s contemporary art has a short history, it has become an important art form in China and even in the world. China’s rapid development and great changes have become an inspiration and a source for artists.”  said Ambassador Gui.

“By learning from the western art, Chinese artists have explored deeply about Chinese traditional culture in recent years, by holding this exhibition, I am sure it will promote bilateral cultural exchanges through art works from both China and Sweden.” said Ambassador Gui.

Director of the China Cultural Center In Stockholm and Cultural Counselor of Chinese Embassy in Stockholm, Pu Zhengdong said he is proud to present these three kinds of exhibitions which he believed to have been historic and plays an important role in promoting bilateral understanding and exchange of cultures.  This has been the main purpose of the center and now it really meets the goal.

Anders Nyhlen, planner of the exhibition said he was very glad to attend this exhibition.

“I have held exhibitions relation to China for six times. Many Swedish artists like to know about China since China develops so fast. This time we have eight Swedish artists participating in the exhibition and I think we welcome the Chinese artists to come to Sweden. ” said Nyhlen.

Professor Zhang Fangbai who is also artist and one of the focal persons for the exhibition said he is very grateful to have a chance to exhibit Chinese contemporary art again in Sweden because this has been very conducive for the Chinese contemporary arts development. These kinds of exhibitions in Stockholm affect Chinese artists a lot and Chinese artists were inspired by Swedish artists.

Artist Han Zhongren said by looking at the Swedish artists works, he felt he could understand what those artists are seeking for and he felt that they are seeking for similar goals and shoulder similar responsibilities.  Han’s works are mainly about environmental protection theme.

Qian Yuqing used to be a policeman. But he loved Chinese calligraphy since childhood and calligraphy has always been his hobby. Now he treats the hobby as his main task and quitted the police job.  He loved calligraphy and if he couldn’t get both, he quitted the police job and keeps the calligraphy job.  He said Chinese and western artists actually can learn from each other.  These exhibitions are just the way for them to exchange ideas. He got inspiration from the Swedish artists and he hopes Swedish artists can get some inspiration from him.

Ding Yazhong has his own art gallery, Jia Ji Art Gallery, and has his own art school. He also loves art since childhood.  His specialty is to use special red ink color to paint the landscape. His works show  people a beautiful feeling of autumn symbolising good harvest and beautiful autumn.  China is indeed experiencing the good harvest in many aspects.

The exhibitions opening attracted many audiences.  It will last till 28th of November.

There is also a digital exhibition during the whole exhibitions.

Text/Photo  Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Chinese Special Series–Chinese Housing enough for the next generation

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov. 12(Greenpost)– To be honest, I came from a poor farmer’s family. But now those who live in the countryside enjoy big house, bigger space.

My brother and sister both have about 100 square meters apartment.
Recently a woman from Qingdao, Shandong province told me that they live in a 150 square meters apartment just for two persons.

Many civil servants have bigger office areas and enjoy two or three apartments.

Even those who came from the countryside and later lived in the city can enjoy very big apartment, not just one.

China has built so many buildings, so many cars and so many bikes.

A great change now is that people live much better.

Beijing attracts architeks from all over the world and it is a test site for all the vanguard builders. I saw an instrument type of building in Chaoyang district.

The famous CCTV building is even more protruding.  Skyscrapers are everywhere. And in many provinces, counties and cities, there are many buildings built.

Many people in local areas even have much more houses than those in bigger cities.  Chinese people enjoy far better material enjoyment now than ever. But their time of course is much tighter than before. They work harder than before.

Solvatten–An Innovative Tool to Achieve Climate and Development Goals 

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Nov.7(Greenpost)– Climate change is a reality and people from developing countries – specially women and children – are suffering the most. How can technology support governments to overcome these challenges?  Getting ready for the future. Credit: Solvatten. 

Here we have an interview between Analice Martins, independent writer, activist for women’s rights and founder of Internacionalidade and David Wadström focusing on an innovation called Solvatten.  The following is the details of Q and A.

Hej, David! Thanks for having me here! Can you tell me more about Solvatten?
Hej Analice! Sure! Solvatten – which means “Sun Water” in Swedish – is a jerry can that uses solar energy to purify contaminated water. After a few hours exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically UV-B, the water is free from the pathogens that cause diseases such as dysentery, salmonella and cholera. We created a durable design that stands intense heat and sunlight for many years and it has the capacity to process up to 40 liters of water per day, all we need is sunshine!

Sounds very promising! And how is Solvatten addressing global challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change?
Billions of people still use firewood to cook, heat and boil water in order to make it cleaner. There are numerous social and environmental consequences of this practice; for instance, burning firewood causes harmful indoor air pollution, releases greenhouse gas emissions, and impact the lives of many girls and women who need to walk dozens of miles every day to fetch water and firewood.
A typical household used to spend up to three hours a day to generate energy to water needs. Solvatten saves time and allow people to pursue more economically productive activities. Additionally, decreasing firewood burns is beneficial to both the household’s members as well as the trees in the local environment.

In which ways is Solvatten supporting governments and organizations to achieve their climate and development goals?
Solvatten is both a short and long-term solution. In the short term, Solvatten is a powerful relief tool for communities affected by natural disasters. Governments and International Organizations can use Solvatten in areas suffering from water contamination. In the long-term, Solvatten has been proven to be a change maker: it empowers women, increases girls’ attendance in schools, changes hygienic behaviors, and transforms its users into true climate heroes! Families have saved thousands of hectares of forest and a million trees by using Solvatten. That is real climate Action!
 

Solvatten works with governments but also green-minded companies, please tell me more about that? 
We work in partnership with governments, local organizations and corporations to provide Solvatten to millions of people living off-grid. Since 2007, we have initiated 45 projects reaching out over 300.000 people living in more than 20 developing countries. For instance, the Solvatten CSR and Climate Project provides companies and partners an opportunity to connect social and environmental impact with their business needs. An increased use of Solvatten can also improve the way a responsible company is doing business in East Africa and other emerging markets. It can really add value to their supply chains in agro-business. 

 

Can you give me an example of a successful partnership? 
Yes, good examples are the partnerships we have with sugar and coffee grower cooperatives. Solvatten plays a key role in improving the farmer’s lives at the same time it can be a practical way to offset the carbon emissions that the business contributes to. Solvatten is also being used by corporations like Axfood, International Organization such as the UN-Habitat, and environmental foundations like myclimate. 

 

It’s really inspiring! Now, to finalize, what is your biggest dream? 

My dream is to live in a world where everyone has access to safe and clean water, just as we do here in Sweden. I also hope that Solvatten shall inspire other entrepreneurs and innovators to raise their voice and come up with great solutions to address climate change! 

2017诺贝尔医学生理学奖将于2日上午发布敬请关注

北欧绿色邮报网报道(记者陈雪霏)–一年一度的诺贝尔奖发布日期即将来临。诺贝尔生理学或医学将将于10月2日在卡罗林斯卡医学院发布。

10月3日,4日诺贝尔物理学奖和化学奖将分别在瑞典皇家科学院礼堂新闻发布厅发布。

10月5日,如果没有意外应该是诺贝尔文学奖发布日。但是有时也有可能变化。敬请关注。

10月6日,诺贝尔和平奖将在挪威首都奥斯陆发布。

10月9日,诺贝尔经济学奖将在瑞典皇家科学院发布。敬请关注。

World Bank research shows poor sanitation and lack of clean water cause poverty

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept.9(Greenpost)– World Bank has issued a report during the recent world water week in Stockholm titled Reducing inequalities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the era of the sustainable development goals.

The report calls for drastic change in the way countries manage resources and provide key services, starting with better targeting to ensure they reach those most in need, and tackling inefficiencies to make sure public services are sustainable and effective.

Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank speaks at the high level panel at the opening of the World Water Week. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

“Millions are currently trapped in poverty by poor water supply and sanitation, which contributes to childhood stunning and debilitating diseases such as diarrhea. To give everyone an equal chance at reaching their full potential, more resources, targeted to areas of high vulnerability and low access, are needed to close the gaps and improve poor water and sanitations services.  This report provides  a roadmap for closing that gap,” said Guangzhe Chen, Senior Director of the Water Global Practice of the World Bank.

Offering a comprehensive analysis of water and sanitation indicators, the research spans 18countries around the world and for the first time, pinpoints specific geographic regions within countries that have inadequate WASH services. It sheds light on major disparities in water supply and sanitation services between rural and urban poor and non poor areas.

Craig Kullmann, specialist and Luis Andres, Lead Economists at Water Global Practice, World Bank. Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

The research finds a particularly stark contrast between urban and rural areas. Across the 18 countries, 75% of people who lack improved sanitation live in rural areas, and only 20 % of rural inhabitants have access to improved water. This report provides policymakers with a baseline and guidance on how to better target investments to ensure that basic services reach the poorest communities and households.

In Nigeria, over 60% of the rural population live more than 30 minutes away from a working water source.

In Indonesia, only 5 percent of urban wastewater is safely treated and disposed of  and children living in communities with open defecation during the first three years of life are 11 percentage points more likely to be stunned.

In Bangladesh, there is E.coli contamination  in water in  tap as well as in pond.  In Ecuador, about a quarter of population drinks contaminated water, and in Haiti, 67 percent of people drink bad water.

Today diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under 5. thus water and sanitation services need to improve dramatically. otherwise we are risking the future of our children, says Rachid Bennmessaoud, country director of Nigeria.

The report stressed that the services didn’t go to the poor is due to poor implementation, not due to poor policy.

 

Video: A video interview with Kevin Rudd at World Water Week

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Sept. 8(Greenpost)–Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and current Chairman of Sanitation and Water for All has said that all sectors should help invest in solving sanitation and water issue which is fundamental for achieving the UN 2030 SDGs.

The interview was done by Xuefei Chen Axelsson on Aug. 30  at the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm.

Mr. Rudd talked about his relations with water and sanitation from childhood, government level and international level.  He said that to achieve the SDGs, it needs all sectors’ joint efforts because water and sanitation sector is a relatively weak one which indeed needs much more attention and efforts.

Filmed by Xuefei Chen Axelsson on Aug.30, 2017 Stockholm.

2017 Stockholm World Water Week stresses values of water

Stockholm ,1 September (Greenpost)–Understanding and recognizing the many different values attached to water is the key to more efficient use – a must as more people have to share the world’s limited fresh water. This was the conclusion at the end of the World Water Week on Friday in Stockholm.  Xuefei Chen Axelsson has more. 

Over 3,200 participants from 133 countries have attended several hundred sessions, shared experiences, and discussed solutions to the world’s most critical water challenges. The number of the people has been the highest so far.

Water is the lifeline of our civilization. Without it, there is no hope of sustaining households, industries, food and energy production, or such key functions as hospitals. Access to safe water is necessary in order to implement the global development agenda, said SIWI Executive Director Torgny Holmgren, host of the World Water Week.

“With increasing scarcity, we must recognize the many values attached to water, be it economic, social, environmental, cultural or religious. I believe that by re-valuing water, we will develop a deeper understanding and respect for this precious resource, and thus be better prepared for more efficient use,” added Holmgren.

During the week, delegates discussed all kinds of issues related to water which the theme of this year is water and water, reduce and reuse.

Throughout World Water Week, links were made between the different values of water, including its monetary value.

“I believe we will see more diverse pricing structures in the future, allowing for more economical and efficient use,” said Holmgren.

A growing global population is creating a higher demand for fresh water. Climate-driven changes in weather patterns, leading to extended droughts and devastating floods, further exacerbate pressure on our common water resources.

“Efficient use, therefore, is not an option but a must to ensure availability for all of us,” Holmgren added.

Another focus of World Water Week is the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a filmed message to World Water Week, Amina J Mohamed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, pressed on the need to accelerate progress towards SDG6 on clean water and sanitation and on all the water-related sustainable development goals.

“Today, strains on water are rising in all regions and climate change is aggravating the challenge. When water is unequally shared, or perceived to be, the risk of local and national conflict increases. We are even seeing in some cases the use of water as a weapon of war.

The priority now is to harness national leadership and global partnership to scale up action. Only by ensuring the sustainability of fresh water and access to sanitation for all will we achieve the SDGs. Let us value and treasure water as we value and treasure life itself,” concluded Amina J Mohamed.

Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation in South Africa, stressed that we need to embrace new technologies which support our route towards the realization of the SDGs and that an appreciation must also be given to new world class technologies emanating from Africa. “We cannot afford to continue to do what we did yesterday and expect to see a different result tomorrow. We must be bold!” said Minister Mokonyane.

Mark Watts from C40, an organization that gathers mayors of cities worldwide, told World Water Week participants about the risks that big cities face from climate change and how water is key to mitigation and adaptation efforts.

“We see that water pattern disruption is often the first sign of serious climate impacts and 70 per cent of our member cities tell us that they are already seeing the significant and negative impacts of climate change. 64 per cent of our member cities face significant risk from surface and flash floods, Watts said, adding that water must be part of the climate mitigation programmes, but also a central part of climate adaptation.

World Water Week hosted an event taking stock of water in the implementation of both Agenda 2030 and the Paris Climate Agreement. Addressing the event, Hungarian President János Áder said the world needs a more focused global effort towards tackling water challenges.

Two prizes were awarded during World Water Week. On Tuesday 29 August, Stockholm Junior Water Prize was awarded to Ryan Thorpe and Rachel Chang, USA, for their novel approach to detect and purify water contaminated with Shigella, E. coli, Salmonella, and Cholera. H.R.H. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden presented the prize. On Wednesday 30 August, the Stockholm Water Prize was awarded to Professor Stephen McCaffrey, USA, for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law. The prize was presented to by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, patron of the prize, during a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall.

World Water Week 2017 was the 27th edition. The 2018 World Water Week, to be held from 26 to 31 August in Stockholm, will focus on Water, Ecosystems and Human Development

 

About SIWI

SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

Stephen McCaffrey in international water law receives 2017 Stockholm Water Prize

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug. 31(Greenpost)–Professor Stephen McCaffrey received the 2017 Stockholm Water Prize on Wednesday, for his unparalleled contribution to the evolution and progressive realization of international water law.

The prize was presented to Stephen McCaffrey by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, at a ceremony in Stockholm City Hall during the ongoing World Water Week.

 In its citation, the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee recognized Professor McCaffrey’s “path-breaking leadership and legal scholarship in international water law. He has made a unique contribution in three specific areas: his seminal work on Treaty negotiation; his major scholarly works, including his book The Law of International Watercourses and; his leadership providing expert legal advice, wise counsel, training and facilitation of complex negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.”

Dr Letitia Obeng, Member of the Stockholm Water Prize Nominating Committee, said: “Professor McCaffrey is an internationally respected pioneer in water law and in diplomacy. Today’s international lawyers stand on his shoulders”.

Water flows where it will and has no regard for national or regionally drawn boundaries. Beneficial hydrological, social, and economic linkages can be fostered among countries which share transboundary waters, with their equitable use promoting peace and development.

Nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries that share river basins. Increasing stress on water resources globally will require the reasonable and equitable use of transboundary waters. Improved management of transboundary waters reduces the potential for conflict, fosters socio-economic development, promotes shared benefits, and supports healthy ecosystems and services.

On receiving the Prize, Professor McCaffrey said: “I accept this very special award not only on my own behalf, but also on behalf of many women and men who work so hard in the field to ensure that fresh water can be brought to people in ways that do not strain international relations, but which in fact affirmatively produce win-win solutions for countries and people on the ground in accordance with law”.

Stephen McCaffrey, Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in Sacramento, California, is the single most respected authority on International Water Law. His work continues to influence scholars, legal practitioners and policy-makers and contribute to the sustainable and peaceful management of shared waters.

In an interview with Greenpost.se, McCaffrey said the future lies on cooperation. Only through cooperation can people cope with water issues peacefully and can benefit from cooperation.

 

“Cooperation over shared waters is becoming increasingly important, as we witness higher demand coupled with growing scarcity. Stephen McCaffrey is a true inspiration for us in this area, as well as and an important guide, through his works and his wisdom”, said SIWI’s Executive Director Torgny Holmgren.

More about Professor Stephen McCaffrey

Professor McCaffrey has been acting as legal counsel to states in several negotiations concerning international watercourses. He has served as counsel in many inter-state disputes over shared water resources, for example between Argentina and Uruguay, Pakistan and India, and Slovakia and Hungary, which have been heard by international courts and tribunals.

He has guided, often multi-year negotiation processes among riparian countries with respect to transboundary water law, for example, on the Nile, Mekong, and Ganges, some with numerous countries involved.

In earlier writings, Professor McCaffrey articulated the human right to water which was later recognized by the UN General Embassy as a right in 2010. Additionally, he has provided critical insights, linking water law to policy, conflict resolution, benefit sharing, and environmental protection over the years.

About Stockholm Water Prize

The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organization or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

Photo by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

2017 Stockholm World Water Week focuses on water and waste—reduce and reuse

Stockholm, Aug. 29(Greenpost)–2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Torgny Holmgren, Director of Stockholm International Water Institute, host of Water Week made a welcome speech on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

2017 Stockholm World Water Week has been focusing on water and waste—reduction and re-use. CRI’s Chen Xuefei has attended the opening session and has details.

Swedish astronaut Professor Christer Fuglesang made the opening remarks as the session began, noting that all water- including urine – in a spaceship is recycled and reused.

Stockholm International Water Institute Director Torgny Holmgren, host of Water Week, said the recycling practice in space described by Fuglesang perfectly illustrates this year’s theme at the conservation event.

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly spoke at the World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“To advance our knowledge and learn more about managing our scarce water resources, we choose water and waste, reduce and reuse as the theme of this world water week, the theme touches the very core of our daily lives, to reduce, some drastic changes will be needed by the main water users, it could be in the industry sector, energy sector and agricultural sector…”

In that sense, Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is actually a connector of all different sectors.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard said water is a circular resource and one has to learn how to reduce harm and reuse the resource we claim from the earth.

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Stockholm Mayor Karin Wanggard made a speech at the opening plenary of World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Access to water is the most important international issue to ensure sustainable development, peace and security. Clean water is fundamental in a health perspective and secure access to it for all people and the growing population is one of the greatest challenges for the international community.”

During the opening of World Water Week, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson also shared his reflection on the Ocean Conference held at the United Nations in New York last June and strengthened the interconnection of UN Sustainable Development Goals related to water sanitation and ocean resources.

Thomson said everything is connected and water, environment and climate change are all interrelated.

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang spoke at World Water Week in Stockholm on Aug. 28, 2017. [Photo: China Plus/Chen Xuefei]

“Thus we must have an inclusive and integrated approach and never fall back on the failing side of past status quos, we all have something to bring to the work ahead.”

More than 2000 government officials, water experts, researchers, non-governmental sectors and students will discuss issues relating to water and waste during World Water Week which began on Sunday.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Stockholm Water Prize, and Stockholm Industry Water Prize will be issued during the event.

For CRI, Chen Xuefei, Stockholm.

Source, CRI

World Water Week in Stockholm focuses on water and waste to reduce and reuse

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, Aug. 28,  (Greenpost) – World leaders, water experts, development professionals, policy-makers and students have gathered in Stockholm for a week-long meeting focused on finding ways to better use, and reuse, the world’s increasingly scarce fresh water.

The opening plenary of the water week began with Swedish Astronaut Christer Fulgesang telling about his stories in the spaceship.

Fuglesang said there is a very sophosticated water reuse system in the space which can treat their urin into drinking water.  Grapes can be grown there and many advanced technologies can be used to make water use more efficiently.

During this year’s water week, people talk more about the term “water scarcity” . As more countries, and cities, experience the effects of high population pressure and less available freshwater, the interest among policy-makers, businesses, and citizens grows. The realization is there. We need to become more efficient water users. We need to make some drastic changes.

“World Water Week is a key meeting place for the water and development community; it is here that we come together and make sure that the very best ideas are brought forward,” said SIWI’s Executive Director, Torgny Holmgren.

Holmgren said water is not a sector, it is a connecter linking all sectors in our daily life.

World Water Week is the world’s biggest global annual meeting focusing on water and development. It is organized by SIWI, Stockholm International Water Institute. The Week draws over 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries, who come to Stockholm to learn about new research results, share experiences, discuss progress in the implementation of the Global Goals, and together try to find new ways to meet the world’s growing water challenges.

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, Peter Thomson, called the world’s climate and water resources the “fundament of our existence”, and said that “Without proper stewardship of that fundament the 2030 sustainable development agenda obviously goes nowhere. Because without the fundament we can’t exist.”

“Together with the Paris Climate Agreement, implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals represents the best chance our species has to achieve a sustainable way of life on Planet Earth before it is too late”, he said adding that we must take inclusive and integrated approach to involve all kinds of people and expertise together.

Sweden’s Minister for Environment, Karolina Skog said that “Sustainable and efficient management of our water and wastewater has a profound effect on all aspects of human life; economic growth, sustainable development, sustainable city planning, circular thinking in industry and in production, energy saving, good quality of our water and, last but not least, it is crucial for health and for a sustainable environment.”

Another central aspect of efficient water use, is to use less. In his welcoming speech Holmgren pointed out that it will be challenging but necessary to change large-scale water consumption patterns:

“The Week’s theme, Water and waste: Reduce and reuse, really touches the very core of our daily lives. To reduce, some drastic changes will be necessary – especially by the main water users, including industries, energy producers and the agriculture sector.”

He added that changes are also needed in how we think about reuse of water: “I think that it is very important to try and change the mind-set around waste. Rather than presenting us with a problem, we can view waste as an asset also becoming a business opportunity.”

Stephen McCaffrey, 2017 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and a Professor in water law, spoke of the need for water cooperation and water diplomacy. He told participants that although the ingredients for potential water conflicts exist, such as higher population pressure, climate change, and much of the world’s fresh water being shared by two or more countries, studies show that water sharing is much more likely to lead to cooperation than conflict.

The grand opening plenary ends with Kevin Rudd led panel discussion on how to prioritize and financing water issue with participation of Swedish, Danish, Malaysian, World Bank, Ecuador and Ethiopian leaders.

Beginning from 1990, SIWI is a water institute, working to improve the way freshwater resources are governed. By combining its areas of expertise with its unique convening power, SIWI influences decision-makers, facilitates dialogue and builds knowledge in water issues, thereby contributing to a just, prosperous and sustainable future for all.

SIWI organizes the world’s most important annual water and development meeting, World Water Week, and it awards the Stockholm Water Prize and Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

About World Water Week: World Water Week is the largest annual meeting for water and development issues, organized by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). The Week brings together more than 3,000 participants from nearly 130 countries representing actors from governments, private sector, multilateral organizations, civil society and academia to shape joint solutions to global water challenges. The Week strives for equal gender participation. At this year’s Week, 46 per cent of participants are female, and 54 per cent are male.

Note to Editors:

Top story: Sino-Swedish Innovation & Entrepreneurship Centre and Representative Office of Zhong Guancun Yonghe Hangxing Science Park established in Sweden

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 26(Greenpost)– Sino-Swedish Innovation &entrepreneurship Centre and Respresentative Office of Zhongguancun Yonghe Hangxing Science Park has been established in Sweden. The unveiling ceremony was held on Friday.

Anna Lindstedt, Swedish Ambassador to China spoke at the unveiling ceremony.

“Sino-Swedish Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is a great example of such cooperation when Chinese and Swedish professionals come together with government agencies to create this platform and as Swedish Ambassador in China, I welcome such initiative in motion. We should all welcome, encourage and support the multitude platforms and initiatives taken by several levels but with different stakeholders.”

Lindstedt said more accessible and cooperative platforms are needed to fulfil the compatibility that existed between our two countries.  Last year, she also unveiled the plaque in Zhouguancun in Beijing.

Han Xiaodong, Counsellor of Commerce at the Chinese Embassy in Sweden also spoke at the ceremony.

“Innovation is one of the five development concepts in China and the Chinese government is encouraging the young people to do business creatively and driving innovation. And Sweden is very strong in innovation, so I would say we have a lot of common interest to further collaborate.”

Han hopes that the innovation centre will make more efforts to help Swedish companies to go to China and more Chinese companies to Sweden.  Last year, China imported more goods from Sweden than exported to Sweden.

Sun Shaoming said their centre will actively promote bilateral cooperation through an interpreter.

“SSIEC is the first platform built for creating exchange and cooperation in science and the technology, culture, innovation and entrepreneurship between our two countries, the center will provide efficient, convenient and high quality services for the Swedish enterprises in China and will actively promote business cooperation between the two countries.”

Lindstedt and Sun Shaoming jointly unveiled the plaque for the centre.

Several companies including China and European Entrepreneur Association signed agreements or MOUs during the conference.

Zhang Ling gave an introduction about the new centre.

Björn Elmqvist, Managing Partner, ELMSQUARED AB, Gao YONGJIE, CFO, Project Manager of Gudinna Investment Consulting, Ms. Jane Jeppsson, CEO of In-Nordic AB and Wang Kaihong were the panellists  discussing the chances and difficulties as well as cultural shocks in Sino-Swedish cooperation.

Wang Kaihong(second from right) was appointed to be the first representative of the Zhongguancun Yonghe Hangxing Science Park in Sweden.

Photo and text by Xuefei Chen Axelsson

 

 

 

 

 

 

China’s High Speed Train, World No. 1

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 9(Greenpost)– China’s High Speed Train or Gaotie is really good.  The train number begins with capital letter G as Gaotie, High Speed Train.

High Speed Train in China means the speed is more than 300 kilometers per hour. If it is a little less than 300 kilometers, it is called Dongche or begins with capital letter D.  And if it is fast speed train which means they stop fewer stops, but the speed is still the traditional one, then it begins with K, meaning kuaiche or fast train.

But Gaotie is really another category. It is comparable to airplane.

During my visit to China this summer from June to July for more than a month, I travelled to Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Suzhou, Jinzhou, Shenyang and Dalian. I took Gaotie all the time including Dongche.

They are all very comfortable, very fast, low noise, everyone has a seat and the seat is the same as in the airplane. The space is even broader.

The conductors provide good services and the sanitation is very good. It has air conditions and sometimes, it has a table too.  The comfort can be comparable to the Swedish train, but the speed is really fast.

From Beijing to Tianjin, just half an hour.  Shanghai to Suzhou just takes half an hour.  Shenyang to Dalian just takes two hours.

There are food and water supplies in the train.  You can either eat in the train kitchen or in your own seat.  Hot water is also provided.  With such a speed, people have no sense of stress, but quite relaxed.  The temperature is kept almost permanently 24-26 degrees.

Each time I even lived near the high speed train station. From there, there is often subway stations too. So it is very convenient to travel to any place in the city.

From Tianjin to Shanghai and from Suzhou to Beijing,  both take about five hours, less than half of the previous times.

Compared with airplane, people don’t need to travel far away to the airport.  It just uses public transport, one can arrive there easily.  Of course if you like to drive, you can have parking place there too.

All the high speed stations and waiting rooms are very good.  It is new, convenient and attractive.

I believe if China’s high speed train is built in other developed or developing countries, it will also greatly be conducive to their economic development and improvement of people’s living quality.

It is especially good for business people.  But for ordinary people now many began to take high speed train for their travel because it is still cheaper compared with airplane and it is more importantly comfortable.

2017 China trip- landing in Beijing 1

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 7(Greenpost)– Seven or 7 seems to be my lucky number this year.  My husband, my daughter and I finished our China trip on 2017-07-27. And I like to have a review from today.  Please stay tuned.

London visit paves the way to China

I am a Chinese and I love China no doubt about it. But sometimes I was tired of China. That is why I can live in Sweden for 11 years now and still not too tired yet. Except the first three years, I almost went back to China every year or even twice a year for some years.

Last year, I told my daughter that we all should go to China this summer because it had been three years since they went to China last time.

She said she didn’t want to go simply because Chinese people are too warm to her. They always said she is beautiful, Pretty, Piaoliang.  Since the first time she went to China, she was like a little angel and people queued the long queue to see her.

She is a good mix of Chinese and Swedish. When I was in Harare, Zimbabwe, my German teacher married with a native Zimbabwan and their mixed child was claimed to be the best.  When I was a child, when thinking of having a mixed child, it was almost a curse. But as China opens up and we are more and more in favor of the western culture, my child is very well accepted in China.

However,  she has become a little picky about China. For example, in Beijing in winter it was actually very hot inside the room. Chinese people talked too loud compared with Swedish people and so on.  Although in my eyes it was obvious that we should go to China this summer, they had to discuss it many times. My daughter said she wanted to go to London first in stead of America or China.

I said ok, then you must go to China in the summer! I booked the tickets right after we came back from London.  To be honest, we didn’t visit too much of London. Except Crystal Palace and Queens Hotel, we didn’t go to London Tower or Big Ben. But that turned out to be good.

My daughter always mentioned her London trip and wanted to go again because she lived in Queens Hotel!

Visiting China will use the same strategy. Not visit famous tourist sites, but just stay in hotels or at home to relax. Take a walk in the park nearby and doing nothing normal.

Coming back from Shanghai, my brother in law asked whether we had been to the tallest building in Shanghai, I said please don’t ask us about the most popular place!

Eight hours flight didn’t seem to be too long because we not only ate two Chinese meals with just right amount for our stomach, but also watched films.

Jackie Chan played a professor and found a gold treasure in India.  With the shuttle of time and the beauty of actresses, especially the part when Jackie Chan was driving with the big lion, it killed all our sleepiness!

Air China is very comfortable and just after a couple of times of travelling, I decided to fix Air China as my flight because I don’t like to save some money but to travel through Amsterdam, Copenhagen or Helsinki to spend at least three or four extra hours. Once I and my daughter travelled via Amsterdam, we had to stay one night at the airport and the next day we had to travel to Heathrow Airport in order to go to Stockholm! Enough is enough.  I’d rather spend a little more money to fly direct than go round about.

Chinese girls are beautiful and nice and it is very good that they both speak English and Chinese.  As time goes by, I like to save my energy as much as possible.

Beijing Airport is the same as before.  It is large, broad and bright. It was due to the 2008 Olympics, Beijing Airport was improved. Immediately you can feel the water saving facilities in the toilet.  All the water tap used sensing devices.  Without sensing, no water comes out!

It was easy because I put a smaller suitcase inside the big suitcase just in order to use them when we went back to Stockholm.  There were so little things we could take from Sweden to China.  When coming back, we have a lot to take.

As we came out of the customs, my sister and brother in law showed up to receive us.  She just bought a BMW last summer after she came back from Indonesia where she worked for two years.  I suggested she buy Volvo, but she chose the landrover BMW in the end. She wanted to drive in the countryside or tourist sites in suburban Beijing.

I felt privileged to have them receive us.  If I were alone, I would like to take the fast train or subway to go home.

It was my brother in law who drove the car. He drove a car in Namibia when we were both working in Africa.  Later he turned out to become my brother in law.  The world was actually not big.  After going around the globe for  a whole round, I came to Sweden from New Zealand.

Arriving at home, I felt hungry. My brother in law cooked dumplings for us and we ate a lot together with dried Toffo salad.  Then we had a sleep which can be counted as 24 hours because we slept almost in a stretch to next day and next day. The room was hot and it felt like a free sauna! Sweat streams out easily out of forehead and neck.

Beijing, a warm Beijing warmly welcomed us!

A far more cleaner Beijing is waiting for us!

I feel very glad because I look forward to seeing many of my friends, classmates and most importantly my parents, my father, 84 and my mother 74! PLUS THEIR GRANDSON, 2.5 years old!

China is willing to work with all parties in the Arctic

By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 7(Greenpost)–China is willing to facilitate maritime transport and work with all parties in the Arctic. Exchanges and coordination with relevant countries are encouraged in this area. Closer cooperation will be carried out to improve the market environment for international transportation and to facilitate maritime transportation. China is willing to enhance customs cooperation with countries along the Road, and to promote information exchange, mutual recognition of customs regulations,and mutual assistance in law enforcement, according to a vision issued by China’s NDRC on June 20, 2017.

Strengthening the connectivity of information infrastructure and networks. Information networks will be improved in countries along the Road by jointly building a system with broad coverage for information transmission, processing, management and application, a system for information standards and specifications, and a network security system, thus providing public platforms for information sharing.

Participating in Arctic affairs. China is willing to work with all parties in conducting scientific surveys of navigational routes, setting up land-based monitoring stations, carrying out research on climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic, as well as providing navigational forecasting services. China supports efforts by countries bordering the Arctic in improving marine transportation conditions, and encourages Chinese enterprises to take part in the commercial use of the Arctic route. China is willing to carry out surveys on potential resources in the Arctic region in collaboration with relevant countries, and to strengthen cooperation in clean energy with Arctic countries. Chinese enterprises are encouraged to join in sustainable exploration of Arctic resources in a responsible way. China will actively participate in the events organized by Arctic-related international organizations.

Source: Xinhuanet

Full text: Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative

STOCKHOLM, Aug. 7(Greenpost) –BEIJING, June 20 (Xinhua) — China on Tuesday released a document titled Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, to synchronize development plans and promote joint actions among countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

The following is the full text of the document.

Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the

Belt and Road Initiative

In 2013, President Xi Jinping raised the initiative of jointly building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (hereinafter referred to as the Belt and Road Initiative). In 2015, China issued The Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which suggests promoting policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, adhering to the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in propelling the Belt and Road construction. This proposal has garnered widespread attention and support from the international community.

With a view to synchronizing development plans and promoting joint actions amongst countries along the Maritime Silk Road, setting up the all-dimensional, multi-tiered and broad-scoped Blue Partnership, jointly protecting and sustainably utilizing marine resources to achieve harmony between man and the ocean for common development and enhancement of marine welfare, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) hereby issue The Vision for Maritime Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (hereinafter referred to as the Vision) to build a peaceful and prosperous 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

I.Background

The oceans comprise the largest ecosystem on earth, contributing valuable assets for human survival and a common arena for sustainable development. As globalization and regional economic integration progress, oceans have become a foundation and bridge for market and technological cooperation and for information sharing. Developing the blue economy has become an international consensus, ushering in a new era of increased focus and dependence upon maritime cooperation and development. As the saying goes, “Alone, we go faster; together, we go further.” Conforming with the prevailing trend of development, openness and cooperation, strengthening maritime cooperation contributes to closer links between world economies, deeper mutually beneficial cooperation, and broader space for development. Enhancing maritime cooperation also enables various countries to jointly tackle challenges and crises, thus promoting regional peace and stability.

China advocates the Silk Road Spirit – “peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit”, and exerts efforts to implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the field of coasts and oceans. China is willing to work closely with countries along the Road, engage in all-dimensional and broad-scoped maritime cooperation and build open and inclusive cooperation platforms, and establish a constructive and pragmatic Blue Partnership to forge a “blue engine” for sustainable development.

II. Principles

Shelving differences and building consensus. We call for efforts to uphold the existing international ocean order, and to respect diversified concepts of ocean development in the countries along the Road. Concerns of all parties involved will be accommodated, differences bridged, common ground sought and consensus achieved.

Openness, cooperation and inclusive development. We advocate further opening up the market, improving the investment environment, eliminating trade barriers and facilitating trade and investment. Mutual political trust will be sought, inter-civilizational dialogue strengthened, and inclusive development and harmonious coexistence promoted.

Market-based operation and multi-stakeholder participation. We abide by market rules and international norms, giving play to the primary role of enterprises. We encourage the creation of stakeholder partnerships and promote the broad participation of governments, international organizations, civil society, and industrial and commercial sectors in ocean cooperation.

Joint development and benefits sharing. We respect the will of the countries along the Road, take into account the interests of all parties and give play to the comparative strengths of each. We will plan together, develop together and share the fruits of cooperation. Together, we will help developing countries eradicate poverty and foster a community of shared interests.

III.Framework

Leveraging the ocean as the basis for enhancing common welfare, with the theme of sharing a blue space and developing the blue economy, China encourages countries along the Road to align their strategies, further all-around and pragmatic cooperation, and to jointly build unobstructed, safe and efficient maritime transport channels. Together we will build platforms for maritime cooperation and develop the Blue Partnership, pursuing a path of harmony between man and the ocean, characterized by green development, ocean-based prosperity, maritime security, innovative growth and collaborative governance.

In line with the priorities of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China will deepen ocean cooperation by fostering closer ties with countries along the Road, supported by the coastal economic belt in China. Ocean cooperation will focus on building the China-Indian Ocean-Africa- Mediterranean Sea Blue Economic Passage, by linking the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, running westward from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, and connecting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC). Efforts will also be made to jointly build the blue economic passage of China-Oceania-South Pacific, travelling southward from the South China Sea into the Pacific Ocean. Another blue economic passage is also envisioned leading up to Europe via the Arctic Ocean.

IV. Cooperation Priorities

Based on priorities to build a mutually-beneficial Blue Partnership, efforts will be made to innovate our approaches for cooperation, set up new cooperative platforms, jointly develop action plans, and implement demonstrative and inspiring cooperative projects. Together, we will embark on a path of green development, ocean-based prosperity, maritime security,innovative growth and collaborative governance.

4.1 Green development

Ensuring the health of the ocean contributes to improving human well-being for present and future generations. China proposes that countries along the Road jointly undertake marine ecological conservation and provide high quality marine ecological services, thus safeguarding global marine ecological security.

Safeguarding marine ecosystem health and biodiversity. Pragmatic cooperation will be strengthened to protect and restore the marine ecosystems and to conserve rare and endangered species. Mechanisms for long-term cooperation will be promoted and cross-border marine ecological corridors built. Efforts will be undertaken to jointly monitor, evaluate, preserve and restore the health of mangroves, sea-grass beds, coral reefs, island ecosystems and coastal wetlands. International forums on coastal wetlands will also be held.

Promoting the protection of regional marine environment. Cooperation will be enhanced in addressing marine pollution, marine litter and ocean acidification, and in red tide monitoring and pollution emergency responses. Mechanisms will be set up for cooperation in relevant areas, collaborative assessments of the marine environment carried out, and status reports of the marine environment jointly issued. A China-ASEAN cooperation mechanism for marine environmental protection will be established, and cooperation implemented under the framework of the China-ASEAN Environment Cooperation Strategy and Action Plan. Countries along the Road are encouraged to jointly launch and implement the Plan of Green Silk Road Envoys.

Strengthening cooperation in addressing climate change. Demonstration projects for recycling and low carbon development in maritime sectors will be encouraged. China is willing to support small island states in adapting to climate change, and to provide technical assistance in response to marine disasters, sea level rise, coastal erosion and marine ecosystem deterioration. Support will also be provided to the countries along the Road in conducting island and coastal surveys and assessments.

Strengthening international blue carbon cooperation. China proposes the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Blue Carbon Program to monitor coastal and ocean blue carbon ecosystems, develop technical standards and promote research on carbon sinks, launch the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Blue Carbon Report, and to establish an international Blue Carbon forum and cooperation mechanism.

4.2 Ocean-based prosperity

Promoting development and eradicating poverty are the common aspirations of the people along the Road. Countries along the Road are encouraged to give full play to their comparative advantages in sustainably utilizing marine resources, enhancing interconnectivity and promoting the blue economy for a shared future.

Enhancing cooperation on marine resource utilization. China is willing to work with countries along the Road to jointly survey and develop inventories and banks for marine resources. China is prepared to provide technical assistance to countries along the Road in drafting plans for sustainably utilizing marine resources. Enterprises are encouraged to participate in marine resource utilization in a responsible way.Participation is also encouraged in the surveys and assessments of marine resources organized by the international organizations.

Upgrading marine industry cooperation. China will join in efforts by countries along the Road in establishing industrial parks for maritime sectors and economic and trade cooperation zones, and promote the participation of Chinese enterprises in such endeavors. Demonstration projects for developing the blue economy will be implemented, and developing countries along the Road will be supported in mariculture to improve livelihoods and alleviate poverty. China will also work with countries along the Road in developing marine tourism routes and high-quality tourism products, and in setting up mechanisms for tourism information sharing.

Promoting maritime connectivity. Efforts are needed to strengthen international maritime cooperation, improve shipping service networks among countries along the Road, and to jointly establish international and regional shipping centers. Countries along the Road are encouraged to enhance cooperation through pairing sister ports and forging port alliances. Chinese enterprises will be guided to participate in the construction and operation of ports. Projects for the planning and construction of submarine cables will be jointly advanced to improve connectivity in international communications.

Facilitating maritime transport. Exchanges and coordination with relevant countries are encouraged in this area. Closer cooperation will be carried out to improve the market environment for international transportation and to facilitate maritime transportation. China is willing to enhance customs cooperation with countries along the Road, and to promote information exchange, mutual recognition of customs regulations,and mutual assistance in law enforcement.

Strengthening the connectivity of information infrastructure and networks. Information networks will be improved in countries along the Road by jointly building a system with broad coverage for information transmission, processing, management and application, a system for information standards and specifications, and a network security system, thus providing public platforms for information sharing.

Participating in Arctic affairs. China is willing to work with all parties in conducting scientific surveys of navigational routes, setting up land-based monitoring stations, carrying out research on climatic and environmental changes in the Arctic, as well as providing navigational forecasting services. China supports efforts by countries bordering the Arctic in improving marine transportation conditions, and encourages Chinese enterprises to take part in the commercial use of the Arctic route. China is willing to carry out surveys on potential resources in the Arctic region in collaboration with relevant countries, and to strengthen cooperation in clean energy with Arctic countries. Chinese enterprises are encouraged to join in sustainable exploration of Arctic resources in a responsible way. China will actively participate in the events organized by Arctic-related international organizations.

4.3 Maritime security

Maritime security is a key assurance for developing the blue economy. Efforts will be made to promote the concept of common maritime security for mutual benefits. Cooperation in maritime public services, marine management, maritime search and rescue, marine disaster prevention and mitigation and maritime law enforcement will be strengthened in order to enhance capacities for minimizing risks and safeguarding maritime security. [ Strengthening cooperation in maritime public services. China proposes an initiative for jointly developing and sharing maritime public services along the Road, encouraging countries to jointly build ocean observation and monitoring networks, sharing the results of marine environmental surveys, and providing assistance to developing countries in this area. China is willing to strengthen cooperation in the application of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and remote sensing satellite system to provide satellite positioning and information services.

Cooperation on maritime navigation security. China will shoulder its due international obligations, participate in bilateral and multilateral maritime navigation security and crisis-control mechanisms, and work with all parties to combat non-traditional security issues such as crimes on the sea.

Conducting joint maritime search and rescue missions. Under the frameworks of international conventions, China will shoulder its due international obligations, and strengthen information exchange and collaboration in joint search and rescue missions with countries along the Road. Countries are encouraged to expand cooperation in exchange visits, information sharing, personnel training and joint drills in order to enhance capacities in dealing with emergencies at sea including major disasters and security threats to tourists.

Jointly enhancing capabilities to prevent and mitigate marine disasters. We propose jointly setting up marine disaster warning systems in the South China Sea, the Bengal Sea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, and suggest jointly developing marine disaster warning products for transportation, escort, disaster prevention and mitigation. The IOC South China Sea Tsunami Advisory Center(SCSTAC) will play an active role in providing services to neighboring countries. Efforts will be made to work with countries along the Road to build cooperative mechanisms, set up training centers, conduct joint research and applications in marine disaster prevention and catastrophe response, and to provide technical assistance for countries along the Road.

Strengthening cooperation in maritime law enforcement. Dialogue with countries along the Road will be intensified and differences managed. Maritime law enforcement will be boosted under bilateral and multilateral frameworks. Cooperative mechanisms for joint maritime law enforcement, fishery law enforcement, and anti-terrorism and anti-violence on the sea will be developed and improved. Liaison networks for maritime law enforcement will be established and emergency plans developed through collective efforts. Exchanges and cooperation among the maritime law enforcement agencies of countries along the Road will be promoted, and necessary assistance provided for training.

4.4 Innovative growth

Innovation is one of the main drivers for the sustainable development of ocean-based economies. Efforts will be undertaken to improve cooperation in the fields of marine scientific research, education and training, and cultural communications, in order to enhance understanding of the ocean, facilitate the application of scientific and technological innovations, and to garner public support for intensifying ocean cooperation.

Furthering cooperation in marine scientific research and technological development. Together with countries along the Road, China will launch a Marine Science and Technology Cooperation Partnership Initiative, jointly survey and research the key waters and passages along the Road, forecast anomalies and assess impacts by researching the interactions between monsoons and the ocean, and by conducting geoscience surveys of the continental margin of the Indian Ocean. Further efforts will be undertaken to intensify cooperation in the fields of marine survey, observation technologies, renewable energy, seawater desalination, marine bio-pharmacy, seafood technology, drones and unmanned vessels. Cooperation in mutual recognition of marine technological standards and technology transfer will also be boosted. Scientific research institutions are encouraged to develop partnerships with enterprises in establishing oversea bases for the demonstration and promotion of marine technology.

Building platforms for marine technology cooperation. Together with countries along the Road, China will build platforms for the sharing of marine research infrastructure, data and technic resources, and marine technological cooperation parks. Efforts will be undertaken to facilitate the development of the APEC Marine Sustainable Development Center, the East Asia Marine Cooperation Platform, the China-ASEAN Marine Cooperation Center, the China-ASEAN College of Marine Sciences, the China-PEMSEA Sustainable Coastal Management Cooperation Center, the China-Malaysia Joint Marine Research Center, the China-Indonesia Center for Ocean and Climate, the China-Thailand Joint Laboratory for Climate and Marine Ecosystem, the China-Pakistan Joint Marine Scientific Research Center, and the China-Israel Seawater Desalination Joint Research Center, so as to improve our capacity to achieve innovation in marine technology.

Jointly building smart ocean application platforms. Marine data and information sharing among different countries will be heightened and cooperative mechanisms and networks set up among marine databases. Countries are encouraged to work together on marine data re-analysis and application, to build the Center for Marine Meteorological and Oceanographic Climate Data, and jointly develop marine big data and cloud platform technologies so as to launch public information sharing platforms serving socio-economic development.

Conducting marine education and cultural exchange. The Marine Scholarship Program will enjoy continued funding from China, and more individuals from the countries along the Road will come to China for research and training. Efforts will be undertaken to implement marine knowledge and cultural exchange and integration programs. Coastal cities in China are encouraged to launch sister city partnerships with counterparts in the countries along the Road. Efforts will be undertaken to enhance exchange and cooperation with non-profit marine organizations and science education organizations. The Matsu folk culture will be promoted and the world Matsu marine culture center set up. Cooperation in marine cultural heritage protection and underwater archaeology and excavation will be promoted. The Ocean Culture Year and the Ocean Arts Festival will be held in countries along the Road to celebrate the Maritime Silk Road’s spirit of friendly cooperation throughout the ages.

Joint promotion of ocean related culture. Media cooperation will be enhanced via cross border interviews and other efforts, in order to develop a media “circle of friends”. We will collaborate on maritime art creation to present the local customs and lifestyles of countries along the Road, thus laying a solid foundation of public support.

4.5 Collaborative governance

The Blue Partnership is an effective way for promoting ocean cooperation. Efforts will be undertaken to promote policy coordination, deepen common understanding, enhance mutual political trust, build bilateral and multilateral cooperative mechanisms and to jointly participate in ocean governance, in order to provide the institutional framework for ocean cooperation.

Developing high-level dialogue mechanisms for marine affairs. China will work with countries along the Road to set up coordination and dialogue mechanisms at different levels and through multiple channels to formulate instruments for inter-governmental and inter-departmental cooperative, including action plans and roadmaps, and to promote major cooperative programs. Joint efforts will be undertaken towards developing high-level dialogue mechanisms among countries along the Road with the mission of implementing action plans and addressing major issues. The China-Small Island States Ocean-related Ministerial Round Table Meeting and the China-South Europe Marine Cooperation Forum will be held as planned.

Developing mechanisms for cooperation in blue economy. The Global Blue Economy Partnership Forum will be launched to promote new concepts and best practices of the blue economy, and to boost marine industrial integration and capacity cooperation. Efforts will also be undertaken to jointly develop international blue economy classification standards, and to release reports on blue economy development. Ocean-related public finance products will be explored to support the development of the blue economy.

Jointly conducting marine spatial planning and application. Cross-border marine spatial planning for blue growth will be promoted, common principles and technical standards implemented, and best practices and evaluation methods shared. China is willing to provide technical assistance in marine spatial planning for countries along the Road, and to jointly build an international forum on marine spatial planning.

Strengthening cooperation through multilateral mechanisms. The Chinese government supports the development of mechanisms for ocean cooperation and the formulation of policies and rules under the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the East Asia Leaders’ Meetings, the China-Africa Cooperation Forum and the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum. China will boost cooperation with multilateral cooperative organizations and support the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO), the Partnership in Environment Management of Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the International Ocean Institute in jointly organizing and promoting major programs and projects.

Enhancing cooperation among think tanks. Dialogue and exchange among the think-tanks of the countries along the Road will be encouraged, joint research on the alignment of strategies and policies undertaken, and major initiatives launched, in order to provide intellectual support for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China supports domestic think-tanks in developing strategic partnerships with counterparts along the Road and relevant international organizations in efforts to set up a 21st Century maritime Silk Road think-tank alliance.

Strengthening cooperation among non-governmental organizations. Ocean-related public services, academic workshops, cultural exchanges, technological cooperation and knowledge dissemination are encouraged among NGOs along the Road as a complement to intergovernmental efforts, in order to enhance global ocean governance.

V. China in Action

Since the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative three years ago, the Chinese government has been actively seeking ocean cooperation with countries along the Road and has achieved steady progress.

High-level guidance and facilitation. With the leaders of relevant states bearing witness, China has signed intergovernmental agreements, MOUs and joint statements for ocean cooperation with countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, the Maldives and South Africa. We have made efforts in synching strategies and building extensive partnerships with countries along the Road.

Boosting the role of cooperation platforms. Under mechanisms such as APEC, the East Asian Leaders’ Meetings, and the China-ASEAN Cooperation Framework, we have launched consultations on maritime affairs and established dialogue and cooperation platforms including the Blue Economy Forum, the Seminar on Marine Environmental Protection, the Ocean Cooperation Forum, the China-ASEAN Marine Cooperation Center, and the East Asian Ocean Cooperation Platform. A series of Maritime Silk Road related activities, including the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Expo, the Maritime Silk Road International Art Festival and the Global Matsu Maritime Culture Forum, have been held in succession, thereby promoting understanding, building consensus and enhancing ocean cooperation.

Increasing financial investment. The Chinese government has mobilized domestic resources and set up the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund and the China-Indonesia Maritime Cooperation Fund. We have also implemented The Framework Plan for International Cooperation for the South China Sea and its Adjacent Oceans. Meanwhile, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund have provided capital support for major ocean cooperation programs.

China’s regions promoting opening-up. In the spirit of enhancing pragmatic cooperation with countries along the Road, the Chinese government has encouraged economic zones such as the Bohai Rim, the Yangtze River Delta, the west coast of the Taiwan Straits, the Pearl River Delta and coastal port cities, to leverage local advantages and further open up. The Chinese government has supported the Fujian Province in becoming a core area of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and promoted the development of the Zhejiang Marine Economy Development Demonstration Zone, the Fujian Marine Economic Pilot Zone and the Zhoushan Archipelago New Area. Efforts have also been made to promote Hainan Province as an international tourism island, and to establish demonstration zones for marine economic development and demonstration cities for ocean-based innovative growth.

Projects being implemented. Progress has been achieved in implementing a series of programs and projects, including the Malaysia Malacca Seaside Industrial Park, the Pakistan Gwadar Port, the port+industrial park+city mode of integrated development of the Kyaukpyu port in Myanmar, the Colombo Port City and the Phase II Hambantota Port Project in Sri Lanka,the railway linking Ethiopia and Djibouti, the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi in Kenya, and the Piraeus port in Greece. China is collaborating with the Netherlands in developing offshore wind power generation and with Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Iran in implementing seawater desalination projects. The connectivity of submarine communication has been remarkably enhanced and the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine optical fiber cable is officially up and running. The industrial parks in China’s Qinzhou and Malaysia’s Kuantan, the Sihanoukville Special Economic Zone in Cambodia and the Suez Economic and Trade Cooperative Zone in Egypt, are currently under construction, and have achieved remarkable progress.

Looking ahead, the Chinese government will work in good faith and with the utmost sincerity to promote ocean cooperation with countries along the Road. We look forward to creating opportunities, meeting challenges, and seeking common development. Let us cherish our ocean, work together to protect our blue home, and collectively draw up the blueprint for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Source : Xinhuanet

Editor  Xuefei Chen Axelsson