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Blueprint for 'conservation culture' backed by top leaders

Updated: 2015-03-25 07:16

China's top leadership backed a "conservation culture" on Tuesday and adopted the concept of "greenization" for the first time.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

Conservation culture will now be considered in all aspects of government work-economic, political, social and cultural-in pursuit of "industrialization, urbanization, informationization, agricultural modernization and greenization".

The meeting, presided over by CPC Central Committee General Secretary Xi Jinping, approved a guideline on conservation culture and highlighted "greenization" in production, the economy and lifestyles. Lowering consumption of resources, boosting green industries and promoting low-carbon, thrifty lifestyles will become central to policymaking.

Leaders discussed conservation concerns regarding sustainable development and how to meet demands for a better environment. They stressed the need for optimal land development, more recycling, technological innovation and adjustments to the economic structure.

Top attention has been placed on the environment in decision-making by the central government since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012.

President Xi has highlighted the establishment of a conservation culture at various events, including the country's annual top political conferences and on state visits overseas.

Reports show that topics related to environmental protection have been mentioned by Xi more than 60 times since November 2012.

During the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference this month, Xi said, "We should protect the environment like we protect our eyes and treat the environment as if it is our lives".

He also said there is an "enduring conflict" between demands for development and the need to preserve the Earth's limited resources.

Li Wenhua, an academic specializing in ecology at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the time is right to make ecological civilization part of a national strategic plan.

"Previously, say a century ago, people did not pay attention to environmental problems. But with the increase of populations and economic and societal development, the environmental problem has become more severe. ... We need a conservation culture to guarantee our children's development," Li said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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