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Conservation council re-elects Zhang president

Updated: 2016-09-14 01:28
By YAN DONGJIE (chinadaily.com.cn)

Conservation council re-elects Zhang president

Zhang Xinsheng is re-elected president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and chairman of the IUCN Council for another four-year term. Provided to China Daily

Zhang Xinsheng, president of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has been re-elected to serve another four years.

As the only candidate nominated by the IUCN Council at the 6th IUCN World Conservation Congress meeting in Honolulu, Zhang was also elected chairman of the Council by nearly 1,000 members of IUCN from more than 160 countries.

"I swear that I will continue my dedicated service to global conservation of nature and environment. I will try my best to inherit the past and usher in the future," said Zhang at the closing ceremony on Sept 10 of the 10-day gathering where more than 10,000 participants met and discussed world conservation.

Formed in 1948, the IUCN is the world's largest and most diverse environmental network with 1,300 government and private organizations as members.

The Honolulu meeting, which had as its theme "Planet at the Crossroads," marked the first time that the IUCN World Conservation Congress has been held in the US. It was the largest environmental conference in IUCN and US history.

Representing China as a member country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs joined the IUCN in 1996. Since then, about 30 organizations in China have also joined, according to Hou Bo, a staff member of IUCN's China office.

"It shows that China has grown strong, not only as an economy but also a soft power," said Zhang. He said that Western countries have gone the way of "treatment after pollution", which has caused severe environmental problems.

"China is going a totally different way," said Zhang. He said the principle that "lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets" raised by Chinese President Xi Jinping, along with the concept of eco-civilization, show China’s leading role in conserving the world’s ecosystem.

Proposed in 2007 by China, eco-civilization focuses on respecting, adapting to, and conserving nature in meeting social and economic needs.

Together with about 30 IUCN members from China, the State Forestry Administration of China attended the congress. The Chinese delegation held four themed activities, including a discussion about eco-civilization, a workshop on forest landscape restoration and an exhibition of China’s wildlife protection.

Zhang Yongli, deputy director general of the forestry administration, said that the forest area in China has been growing in the past 30 years, reaching a total of 208 million hectares.

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