As the latest effort to promote green development under the Belt and Road Initiative, China and its international partners launched the BRI Green Development Institute in Beijing on Tuesday. As a high-level international think tank, the institute aims to promote joint research on green development, climate change, biodiversity protection and green finance, said Zhou Guomei, executive director-general of the Foreign Environmental Cooperation Center, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, addressing the inauguration ceremony.
In addition to facilitating exchanges on green technologies, the institute will also guide enterprises to attach more importance to environmental protection and enhance environmental management, said she, also the institute's executive director.
She said the institute will provide all-around support to the BRI International Green Development Coalition with an international team.
Launched at the Second Belt and Road Forums for International Cooperation in April 2019, the coalition aims to advance global consensus, understanding, cooperation and action of a green Belt and Road Initiative.
"We want a dialogue as to what is the best environmental practice and how it can be achieved," said Erik Solheim, former executive director of the UN Environment Programme and also convener of the coalition's advisory committee.
He said he also expects the institute to play a role in promoting the Green Light System, which was launched by the coalition in late 2019. The system aims to explore the formulation of guidelines on the assessment and classification of BRI projects and provide guidance for stakeholders to further recognize and address ecological and environmental risks in overseas investment.
He said he also expects the institute to help "promote all the fantastic practices from China".
"Over the last few years, China has developed first-class experience in many environmental fields," said he, citing several examples, including a river chief mechanism.
China first appointed local government officials as river chiefs in 2007 to address pollution woes of a blue algae outbreak in Taihu Lake, Jiangsu province.
The system has been extended across the country in June 2018. Under the system, leading officials of different levels of government are appointed as river chiefs to ensure strong enforcement of environmental policies and enhanced coordination of different government bodies in water body management.
In Jiangsu, the system has made amazing changes in water quality in many of the lakes and rivers along the Yangtze and beyond, he said.
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