China calls for global cooperation on fighting drought, desertification

Source: Xinhua / Updated: 2022-05-31

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday called for enhanced international cooperation on fighting drought and desertification.

Wang, as the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, made the remarks via video link at a leaders' meeting on drought and sustainable land governance.

He said that since the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic, developing countries have faced severe challenges in their economies and people's livelihoods, and the task of coordinating development and environmental protection is arduous.

"Breaking the vicious circle of poverty and desertification and truly realizing the harmonious coexistence of man and nature requires the concerted efforts of the international community to find a better solution," Wang said.

He listed solutions in three areas, as suggested by the Chinese side.

First, international cooperation should be enhanced, Wang said, adding that developing countries, especially African countries, are facing more severe drought and desertification, and the international community should lend a helping hand.

Second, green development should be firmly promoted, he said. Food security, climate governance and green development are the key areas of cooperation in the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi, which calls for efforts to alleviate drought and achieve sustainable land governance. China welcomes the active participation of all parties, said Wang.

Third, international rules should be effectively improved, Wang said.

"We should actively respond to the drought issues that African countries are concerned about, continuously develop and improve drought-control rules, and build a fair and reasonable desertification-control system," he said.

Wang stressed that China is committed to jointly building a green Belt and Road, and through mechanisms such as the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and South-South cooperation, China will work with African countries to promote the construction of a green Africa.

The leaders' meeting on drought and land sustainable governance is a high-level meeting of the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), hosted by Cote d'Ivoire.