From September 18 to 19, the “International Forum on Sustainable Development of Ecology and Environment along the Silk Road Economic Belt,” sponsored by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology, was successfully held in Urumqi, Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. More than 300 experts from 17 countries, including Russia, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan, attended the forum.

Zhang Yuanming, Director of the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, presides over the opening ceremony. [IMAGE: XIEG]

With the theme of “Forge Synergies for Development, Jointly Build a Beautiful Silk Road,” this forum shared the latest achievements in biodiversity conservation, green agriculture and food security, ecological restoration and governance, explored the establishment of more cooperation mechanisms, expanded new areas of cooperation, and worked with scientists from countries along the Silk Road to jointly tackle scientific problems that call for an urgent response, so as to advance the green development of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Kaiser Abdukerim, Vice Chairman of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Government, pointed out in his speech that Xinjiang and countries participating in the BRI have jointly implemented many ecological projects, developing technical models and demonstration cases of important engineering and ecological security. He expressed his hope that participants would hold in-depth exchanges and discussions, build up consensus on innovation, promote cooperation to a higher level, with higher quality and higher standards, and inject new impetus into sustainable development.

Abulimiti Yili, Director of the Science and Technology Department of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, pointed out that Xinjiang attaches great importance to scientific and technological cooperation in the field of ecological environment, and has established stable scientific and technological cooperation relations with BRI participating countries, jointly building numerous scientific research cooperation and resource sharing platforms. He shared his hope that this forum would promote cooperation among BRI participating countries to a higher level.

Conference scene [IMAGE: XIEG]

Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov, Academician and President of the National Academy of Sciences of Kyrgyzstan, said that we have seen very frequent scientific research exchanges between China and Kyrgyzstan. During this forum, Kyrgyzstan has prepared several cooperation projects to communicate with CAS’s Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, hoping to take this opportunity to deepen scientific research cooperation between the two sides.

Wang Guangqiang, Vice Chairman of the Xinjiang Association for Science and Technology, said that the Association, as a bridge and link between the government and scientific and technological workers, actively implements the development strategy of facing the world and the future, and aids in the construction of the core area on the Silk Road Economic Belt, relying on its advantages of complete disciplines, and a great talent hub with intensive intelligence, and extensive connections. We will actively serve this forum, gather a network of top-tier experts and think tanks, and produce a group of high-quality academic reports to serve the sound decision-making of the Party Committee and government of the autonomous region.

Sub-forum scene [IMAGE: XIEG]

At the opening ceremony, Zhang Yaping, Academician and Vice President of CAS, Bai Chunli, CAS Academician and President of the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO), Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive Secretary of Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), delivered their opening remarks via video.

Eight academicians and experts gave special reports. On the same day, the forum also held six sub-forums to discuss trending topics in such fields as Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use in Arid Lands, Green Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resource Status and Sustainable Use, Land Degradation and Desertification Prevention and Control, Ecological Monitoring Technologies and Application, and Pratacultural Resources and Sustainable Management in Arid Lands.

During the forum, the BRI Achievement Exhibition on Science and Technology Cooperation in Ecology and Environment was also held to showcase China’s important role and influence in the resources and ecological environment of the Silk Road Economic Belt. The forum witnessed the joint release of the initiative on “Forging Synergies for Development, Jointly Building a Beautiful Silk Road,” the establishment and launch of the “Dialogue Mechanism among Leaders of China-Central Asia National Research Institutions,” and the joint initiation of the Scientific Action Plan for Green Development in Central Asia.

Roundtable scene [IMAGE: XIEG]

The initiative pointed out that it is recommended that a high-level forum be held annually and hosted in turn on a voluntary basis by the initiators. With the full play of national research institutes, institutions of higher learning, and others in regional scientific and technological cooperation, we shall strive to achieve higher-quality scientific and technological cooperation relating to the Silk Road Economic Belt by stepping up exchanges and identifying priority areas of cooperation among BRI participating countries. Under the framework of the Scientific Action Plan for Green Development in Central Asia, all parties will also give priority to the research on the sustainable development of a water-food-energy-ecosystem in Central Asia under climate change, the Scientific Program for Ecological Restoration and Environmental Governance of the Aral Sea, and the research on the current status and sustainable use of transboundary water resources, the conservation and sustainable use of transboundary biological resources, and experiment demonstrations, commercialization transformation and the promotion of technologies for green development in Central Asia.

Source: Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography,

Chinese Academy of Sciences

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