The 7th annual High-Level Dialogue of China Europe Water Platform (CEWP) took place in Guimaraes, Portugal, from 6th to 8th of November. Themed at “Innovation in Water Conservancy” and river-lake protection, the dialogue concentrated on shared experiences of water governance and discussed cooperation for mutual benefits. More than 200 representatives from governmental departments, research institutes and enterprises from more than ten countries attended the conference.
The Declaration of Guimaraes was singed, and the Chinese version of Ecological Flows in the Implementation of the Water Framework Directive made its debut during the conference.
In his keynote speech, Minster E Jingping highlighted that the Ministry of Water Resources of China has been focusing on the core principle of “making decisions and taking actions in accordance with the available water”, in order to enable a historical transformation toward more fine-tuned supervision.
These changes are mainly reflected in the following points.
First, the mission of river treatment in China is to deliver benefits to people, and let the “rivers of happiness” become the starting point and ultimate goal of river protection and governance in China.
Second, water saving is upheld as the fundamental strategy for addressing water shortage in China, and an enforceable precondition for the development, utilization, protection, allocation and scheduling of water resources, which should be embedded into every link of production and living.
Third, more emphasis shall be placed on rational allocation of water resources, and control of intensity of river and lake development.
Fourth, water resources are regarded as the paramount constraint, to curb reckless demand for water and rectify excessive water development and unreasonable water withdrawal and utilization, by means of developing an all-time monitoring system.
Fifth, China will take effective measures to restore the ecosystem of rivers and lakes, in an effort to remedy such actions as the invasion and destruction of river and lakes, with a strict monitoring and supervision of the entire river basins.
Exchanges and cooperation have always been an important parts of China-EU exchange and cooperation, said Minister E, as he put forward four suggestions for future cooperation, including in-depth exchanges in water governance policies; expand cooperation in science and technology to enhance the capacity of innovation; strengthen personnel exchanges and promote mutual learning; and promote sharing and win-win business cooperation between EU and China.
Mr. Fernadez, Portugal’s Minister of the Environment, pointed out in his speech that, Portugal will take the position of the European Secretariat of the China-EU Water Platform, which demonstrates its firm commitment to global water cooperation and willingness to form a partnership with China. EU-China partnership will be further enhanced by the joint efforts, so as to realize water-related Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
According to the Declaration of Guimaraes, China and Europe will achieve innovation in cooperation, in the respects of water pollution prevention and control, ecological flow, efficient water use and water saving, intelligent and smart water, and upgrading of aging water infrastructure, so as to contribute Chinese and European experiences and cases in global water governance.