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Speech by Hu Siyi on the Inauguration Ceremony of the ASEM Water Resources Research and Development Center & The 1st Seminar on ASEM Water Cooperation

Writer: Time:2011-08-29

 Hu Siyi Vice Minister of Water Resources of China August 22nd, 2011


Dear Governor Xu Shousheng, Vice Minister Lv-Guozeng, Vice Minister Wang Weizhong, Vice Governor Guo kailang, Vice Minister Sangsomsak, Deputy State Secretary Istvan, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m very pleased to attend the Inauguration Ceremony of the Asia-Europe Water Resources Research and Development Center and the 1st Seminar on ASEM Water Cooperation. I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Ministry of Water Resources to express my sincere congratulations to the Center's establishment and convening of the seminar, to express my sincere thanks to those who have been giving long-term care and support to China's domestic and international water science and technology development in all walks of life!

Water is the source of life. It’s necessary to industry production and it’s an ecological base. Water is essential to modern agriculture construction as the initial condition. It is the based support to economic and social development that can’t be taken place of, and also an integral security system in improving the ecological environment. To protect and safeguard water security is of great importance to the global security, which determines the stability and prosperity of mankind and is closely related to global sustainable development. On the World Water Day in 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out that on occasion of considering the prospect of sustainable development; human beings are facing one of the most significant challenges lying in the interaction among water, food and energy. Ensuring the sustainable use of water resources for sustainable economic and social development are common challenges faced by the world and it is an urgent task.

The total amount of water resources in China is 2.8 trillion cubic meters, ranking the sixth in the world, but the per capita possession of water resources is only 2,200 cubic meters, less than 1 / 3 of the world average level. It doesn’t match in the uneven spatial and temporal distribution of water resources, and population, farmland and economic layout. Since the establishment of China, the Chinese government has always attached great importance to water conservancy work, which has carried out large-scale water conservancy construction and made unprecedented achievements in flood control .China has only 9% of the world's arable lands and 6% of fresh water, while it protects 21% of the world the population's food security and water security.

Science and Technology of water resources has provided an important support to water conservancy development. It has provided effective means in flood control and drought mitigation, hydrological information and flood forecasting with its integrated business system for disaster prevention and mitigation. Conservation and protection of water resources, new water-saving technologies and equipment development and promotion, all of these have promoted water-saving society, water pollution control and water conservation technology research. Development and pilot projects have effectively promoted the improvement of water environment and water ecological restoration. In the rural water conservancy, efficient water-saving irrigation technology development and demonstration have made a significant contribution to the protection of food security. In water conservancy construction, the Three Gorges, the South and other major water conservancy and hydropower project construction, indicate that China already has a world-class ability and level of water conservancy projects. After 30 years of efforts, China Water Conservancy Science and Technology in general has reached the international advanced level. Sediment studies, hydrology and water resources, dam technology have their leading place in some areas. Water science and technology has achieved a continuous span and sustainable development.

The Central Document No.1 in 2011, “On the decision to accelerate the development of water reform” and the Central Conference about Water Resources which was held in July this year pointed out that with sustained and rapid economic development and climate change and human activity intensifies, China's water shortage, water, environmental degradation, frequent floods and droughts, soil erosion and other phenomena have not been fundamentally changed. China is facing a great many problems as large water-scarce, water resources uneven temporal and spatial distribution, conflicts in economic and social development and water resources. Water environment carrying capacity of the obvious contradictions between that the relief has not fundamentally saved and that the formation of extensive long-term water resources development approach has not fundamentally changed. China's water security is still under heavy pressure and challenges. Grim and arduous task for Water Science and Technology has put forward new and higher requirements, but also that to achieve new breakthroughs in water technology has brought great opportunities for development.

On October 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao attended the Eighth Asia-Europe Meeting summit and proposed to establish ASEM Water Resources Research and Development Center, using scientific and technological cooperation through jointly to improve water management capacity to promote sustainable development between Asian and European countries. Here, we have three wishes for the development of the center. The first one is that we hope the Center will be a platform for the ASEM member countries in the field of water resources, technical cooperation and information exchange to promote water research and technology exchange, to transfer results demonstration and extension. The second one is that we hope all parties actively participate in the Center's affairs to promote the Asian and European countries in water resources science and technology training, capacity building and sharing of experience. The third one is that we hope with Hunan provincial government's strong support, the relevant departments manage to finish the management of the Center’s Secretariat, make full use of the professional advantages of Hunan Province, water conservancy departments and technical expertise to promote closer inter-departmental communication and collaboration.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As the water administrative department, Ministry of Water Resources will support the Center’s development, and are willing to make an effective long-term scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation with other Asian and European countries in the water field through the Center, share experiences, work hard together to make contributions to the achievement of sustainable development and use of water resources in China and all over the world around.

Finally and sincerely, I wish the Center successful development with fruitful achievements, and I wish this seminar a great success!
Thank you!