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Li Guoying attended the ministerial meeting of the 9th World Water Forum by video.
  2022-03-25 18:26  


On March 21, the 9th World Water Forum with the theme of “water security for peace and development” commenced in Dakar, Senegal. Mr. Li Guoying, Minister of Water Resources of China, attended the ministerial meeting of the forum by video and delivered a speech. Mr. Xiao Han, Chinese Ambassador to Senegal, was in attendance at the opening ceremony of the forum.

Minister Li pointed out that water is the fundamental resource supporting the sustainable development of economy, society and ecology. Under the impact of the global epidemic and the intensification of climate change, countries across the world are confronted with increasingly severe water security challenges. Hence, it embarks on a long road to achieve the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as scheduled.

Minister Li noted that China’s water authorities have actively practiced President Xi Jinping’s water governance philosophy of “prioritizing water conservation, balancing spatial distribution, taking systematic approaches, and giving full play to the roles of both government and market”, and made great progress in realizing water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. First, an engineering system of river-basin flood control mainly composed of reservoirs, river courses, embankments and flood storage and detention areas has been built up, thus tackling the frequent and recurring floods and ensuring the safety of people’s lives and property to the greatest possible extent. Second, great endeavors have been made to ensure drinking water safety in rural areas. Since 2016, 310 million rural residents have enjoyed better water supply security, and the penetration rate of rural tap water has reached 84%. The difficulty in access to drinking water bothering generations of many rural residents has been historically addressed. Third, the effective irrigation area of farmlands has achieved 69.13 million hectares, yielding 75% of the grain and 90% of economic crops of the country, which ensure the national food security. Fourth, a number of major trans-basin and cross-regional water diversion projects has been constructed, initially forming an overall pattern of water allocation characterized by “north-south transfer and east-west complementation”. The economic and social water security capacity has been greatly stepped up. Fifth, China has implemented its National Water-saving Action to strengthen the rigid constraints on water resources. With 6% of the world’s fresh water resources, China has guaranteed water use for nearly 1/5 of the world’s population. Sixth, the river and lake chief system has been comprehensively executed to reinforce the protection and management of rivers and lakes, resulting in the historic improvements on their appearances. More and more rivers have resumed life, and more and more river basins have regained vitality.

Minister Li highlighted that President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative in September 2021, calling on the international community to speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and push forward stronger, greener and healthier global development. China’s water authorities will unswervingly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, always adhere to the new development philosophy of “innovation, coordination, green, open and sharing”, energetically propel the high-quality development of water conservancy at the new stage, as well as build up the capacities for flood and drought control, intensive and economical use of water resources, optimal allocation of water resources and ecological protection and governance of major rivers and lakes. All these will provide a strong water security guarantee for economic and social development.

Finally, Minister Li proposed that countries and regions around the world further boost multilateral and bilateral water cooperation and exchanges, share successful water governance experience and technologies, and jointly address the increasingly acute water challenges, in order to make positive contributions to accomplish the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development .

Mr. Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, ministers and high-level officials of water authorities from Senegal, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Tajikistan, India and the United States, as well as leaders of international and regional organizations including UNESCO, the Council of African Ministers of Water Resources and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, were present in the meeting. Participants unanimously expressed that the world was confronted with grave water challenges. Water scarcity, serious water pollution and frequent water disasters are impeding economic and social development. Therefore, the international community shall enhance water cooperation and exchanges, and accelerate the realization of the water-related goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The World Water Forum is the largest international water event in the world. It is initiated by the World Water Council and is convened every three years.