In his address, Vice Minister Zhang Lijun pointed out that the environmental protection undertaking of China has entered in a new development stage under historic transformation. The Chinese government highly values environmental protection work and is taking more active and pragmatic strategy and measures to address serious ecological and environmental problems. It has identified energy conservation and consumption reduction as well as pollution reduction as binding targets and released a series of major policy measures. Governments at all levels and all social sectors are continuing to increase their efforts in energy conservation and emission reduction. With our hard work, in the first three quarters of this year, the total discharge volume of major pollutants across China has been a 'double fall' for the first time. Such a major turning point signifies that the environmental protection cause of China is now at a new starting point.
Vice Minister Zhang noted that the Chinese government pays great attention to the environmental compliance and enforcement (ECE) work. In specific, the environmental protection legal framework accommodating to China's national condition has been established; the environmental inspection and enforcement network work at the national, provincial, city and country levels has been set up; the matured on-site inspection and enforcement work mechanism has already been established; and the efforts in the crackdown of environmental law-violating activities has been continuously tightened.
He further stated that the AECEN has done great amount of effective work in promoting the exchange and cooperation of ECE among Asian countries. In particular, the annual AECEN Forum is very conductive to deepening understanding, expanding consensus, strengthening cooperation and jointly enhancing the healthy development of ECE of all social sectors. The Chinese government attaches important to regional cooperation and is willing to stimulate the process of sustainable development together with other countries in the region and gradually intensify the efforts on cooperation with neighboring countries.
Established in 2005, AECEN is a regional international organization aiming to promote the exchange and cooperation of ECE among Asian countries. China is one of the ten member countries of AECEN.
The AECEN Forum is the first ever large-scale meeting on the exchange and cooperation of regional ECE held in China. With the theme on Asian public participation in ECE, this forum will carry out discussion centered on issues like the experience and challenge, effectiveness and problems of environmental compliance and enforcement of Asian countries. During the Forum, Mr. Lu Xinyuan, Director General of the Bureau of Environmental Inspection and Enforcement of SEPA will deliver a keynote speech.