China and the European Union held their 8th High Level Dialogue Conference on water resources via video link in Beijing on Friday 22 January 2021, marking an important part of China-EU relations amid a heap of fruitful results in natural resources and ecological protection.
Themed “Strengthening Water Ecological Protection and Promoting Water System Management,” the dialogue focuses on policies and measures to improve the quality and stability of the ecosystem, and promote the balanced and coordinated governance of natural resources.
According to Global Times, nearly 300 representatives from governmental departments, research institutes and enterprises from 18 countries attended the conference.
In his keynote speech, China’s Minster of Water Resources E Jingping stressed to strive for the high-quality and sustainable development of China’s water conservancy mission, and vowed to improve the supervision and scientific knowledge of the industry.
E called on China and Europe to further promote scientific research and business cooperation to pave the way for water conservancy companies to expand in overseas markets.
He also called for the two sides to further promote global cooperation on water security and jointly promote the realization of water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Minister E mentioned that China is in the process of realizing the digitalization of the national water network, making full use of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain to speed up the construction of smart water conservancy.
The EU said the dialogue was frank and pragmatic and the two sides reached consensus on several issues. The two sides committed to continue to strengthen efforts to address climate change and heighten high-level visits and personnel exchanges.
Lea Wermelin, Danish Minister for Environment, said the China-Europe Water Platform has become a model for international cooperation, calling for greater efficiency in water infrastructure services such as water supply and sewage management.
Portugal’s minister for the environment and climate action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, said that Portugal will strongly support the activities of the platform in 2021, suggesting there should be more policy dialogues, business communication and scientific cooperation between China and the EU.
China Europe Water Platform was established in 2012. As an important cooperation initiative and partnership mechanism, the platform aims to comprehensively promote China-EU policy dialogue, joint research and business co-works in the field of water. It has attracted nearly 20 European countries and more than 1,000 water officials, researchers and business representatives from China and the EU.