From 19 to 22 March 2018, the 8th World Water Forum was held in Brasilia, capital city of Brazil. Mr. Zhou Xuewen, Vice Minister of Water Resources, led a Chinese delegation to participate in a series of activities of the forum. Under the theme of “sharing water”, the forum attracted more than 10,000 delegates, including 15 heads of state from Brazil, Hungary, Colombia, South Korea and Senegal, and representations from central and local governments and parliaments from 170 countries, as well as representatives from 1500 various organizations and enterprises. The delegates held intensive discussions to address important issues, regarding sharing global experiences on water governance, and foster actions for all countries to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 6. The “Ministerial Declaration of the 8th World Water Forum” was released during the event.
Vice-minister Zhou Xuewen attended the Ministerial meeting during the Forum, which gathered more than 50 water ministers and over 500 senior officials from governments, UN organizations, as well as international organizations. The Ministerial Meeting was composed of six round-table discussions on different topics. During the Ministerial High Level Round-table themed on “Water and Ecosystems” on March 19th, vice-minister Zhou Xuewen delivered a keynote speech highlighting China’s experiences and best practices on water ecosystem protection. He pointed out that, upholding the philosophy of “lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets”, the Chinese government has attached great importance to water ecosystem security, and strengthened integral protection and systematic harnessing of mountains, waters, forests, farmlands, lakes and grasslands. The Chinese government has also taken a series of measures, strictly controlling of development intensity in river basins, safeguarding eco-environement flow and water quantity of rivers and lakes, implementing the Water Pollution Control Action Plan and the River Chief and Lake Chief systems, strengthening integrated management of ecologically vulnerable regions, and pushing forward linkage of reservoirs, rivers and lakes. The Chinese government is willing to join hands with all countries to achieve water related goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Vice-minister Zhou Xuewen also made a speech at the plenary session of the Ministerial Conference on the morning of March 20th, introducing China’s practices on safeguarding water security, improving water environment and restoring water ecology.
At noon of March 19th, vice-minister Zhou Xuewen attended the 3rd China, Japan and Korea Ministerial Meeting on Water Resources, together with Mr. Masatoshi Akimoto, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and Mr. Byeong Seok Son, Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Republic of Korea. Three vice ministers signed the Joint Declaration for attaining sustainable development agenda and sharing of valuable experience. During his speech, vice-minister Zhou Xuewen reviewed the trilateral water cooperation over the past years, and proposed to further strengthen trilateral cooperation, stepping up efforts in policy and technology exchanges among three countries, encouraging the young professionals to participate in exchange programs on water conservancy, and striving to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the afternoon of March 19th, vice-minister Zhou Xuewen also attended the special session on Water Security and SDGs jointly organized by Ministry of Water Resources of China and World Water Council. Zhou stated that this special session is a good occasion for the official launch of Global Water Security, a collection of successful experiences of ten countries and regions on water governance. This report is jointly published by Chinese Ministry of Water Resources and World Water Council. This speical session invited renowed internaitonal water experts to conduct in-depth exchange and discussion on water safety issues, to share successful experiences on water governance in various countries, and to explore solutions to the water security challenges in the world. Zhou also emphasized that synergy of all countries is needed in order to meet challenges and safeguard water security, which has become the common understanding among all state governments and professionals in water sector. Over the past few years, China has introduced the most stringent water resources management system, placed emphasis on strict measures of Three Red Lines, set caps for total water use consumption, targets of water use efficiency and control of pollutant discharge. By means of scientific planning, rational exploration of water resources and construction of water network and system, water quality and ecological environment have seen steady progress. These policies and actions have proved very successful in safeguarding water security in China.
During the forum, vice-minister Zhou Xuewen also held talks with leaders of international organizations and government agencies. During the meeting with Mr. Benedito Braga, President of the World Water Council, and Mr. Loïc Fauchon, Honorary President of the World Water Council, the two parties exchanged in-depth views on deepening long-term cooperative partnership, expanding cooperative fields, jointly championing global water security and water governance initiated by drawing on China’s experiences. In meeting with Mr. João Matos Fernandes, Minster of the Environment of Portugal, a mutual consensus was reached on further advancing China-EU exchanges on water resources, pushing forward bilateral cooperation on China-EU water policies, technologies and commerce in the New Era. In meeting with his Brazilian counterparts, discussions were made on pragmatic cooperation, such as furthering policy dialogue and technical exchange. In addition, Vice-minister Zhou Xuewen visited World Water Expo and China Exhibition of the World Water Forum. The Chinese delegation composed of water experts and representatives of water enterprises participated in various activities and sessions during the Forum.