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China pledges active support to GMS countries in environment, biodiversity conservation

Source:   Time:

PHNOM PENH, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The government of China will still continue its active support to the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries in order to strengthen and expand the sub-regional environmental cooperation, Xu Qinghua, special representative of Chinese environment minister, said here Thursday.

"As a long-time supporter for GMS cooperation, China will continue to be an active player in promoting environmental cooperation in the area to promote sustainable development," he told the 3rd GMS Environment Ministers' meeting.

"The Chinese government attaches great importance to cooperating with other GMS countries and we deem good domestic environmental performance as the basis for better sub-regional cooperation," he said.

Xu also said China plans to provide potable water and air monitoring equipment to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to help strengthen the local efforts for environmental protection.

"Besides these, we will also organize policy and technical training programs on urban solid waste management for GMS countries," he said. "We hope to do what we can to help improve regional environmental management capacity."

Meanwhile, Xu said China's Yunnan province and Guangxi region have witnessed improved environmental management capacity.

By 2010, in Yunnan province alone, there are 162 nature reserves, including 16 national reserves, covering a total area of 2.96 million hectares, he said.

In Guangxi autonomous region, there are 78 nature reserves of different kinds with a total area of 1.45 million hectares.

The forest coverage in the two areas reached 47.5 percent and 58 percent respectively.

The GMS countries have engaged in regional environmental cooperation since 2006 through the Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (CEP-BCI). This program, at cost of 30 million U.S. dollar, is expected to end in December 2011.

Cambodian Minister of Environment Mok Mareth said Thursday that the 3rd GMS Environment Ministers' meeting would endorse the action plan 2012-2016 of CEP-BCI for environment cooperation to ensure balanced and sustainable economic growth in the GMS countries which include China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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