On January 22, 2019, with the theme of "strengthening water ecology protection and stepping up holistic water governance", the 8th High-Level Dialogue Conference of the China-Europe Water Platform was convened in Beijing. The conference was focused on exchanging policies and practices in the spheres of protecting water resources and water ecology, improving the quality and stability of ecosystem, and pushing forward integrated governance of mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes and grasslands, by means of sharing experience and discussing mutually beneficial cooperation. H.E. Mr. E Jingping, Minister of Water Resources of China, H.E. Mr. João Pedro Matos Fernandes, Minister of Environment and Climate Action of Portugal, Mr. Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and other senior Chinese and European representatives attended the conference and delivered speeches. Mr. Tian Xuebin, Vice Minister of Water Resources of China, and Mrs. Inês Costa, State Secretary of Ministry of Environment and Climate Action of Portugal, co-chaired the conference.
H.E. Minister E Jingping put forward three proposals for China-Europe water cooperation in future. Firstly, he suggests two sides further deepen exchanges and dialogues on water policy, jointly implement the outcome document of the China-EU Summit, pursue in-depth water policy dialogue, and scale up water governance capacity. Secondly, two sides shall foster scientific research and business cooperation in water sector, and upgrade scientific research cooperation under the frameworks of the China-Europe Science and Technology Cooperation and the China-Europe Water Platform, to render more opportunities for European and Chinese water enterprises to expand overseas market and provide high-quality technology and services. Thirdly, two sides shall accelerate cooperation on global water security, actively participate in the global agenda of water governance, contribute joint water solutions, and push forward water-related goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
H.E. Minister Fernandes spoke highly of the active role played by the China-Europe Water Platform in policy dialogue, scientific research and business cooperation. He further pointed out that under the Platform both sides shared cutting-edge technologies and experience,boosting common development in the protection and efficient utilization of water resources. In 2021, as the rotating presidency of the European Council and the lead country of the European Secretariat of the Platform, Portugal stands ready to support all the activities of the China-Europe Water Platform, and suggests China and Europe continuously reinforce policy dialogue, business exchange and scientific cooperation.
EU Commissioner Sinkevicius noted that water resources in the world are confronted with severe challenges, and it is imperative for China and Europe to achieve more sustainable water management, conduct closer international cooperation and play a leading role in attaining water-related goals in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The conference adopted a joint declaration on intensifying China-Europe cooperation on water innovation, strengthening the response to climate change, enhancing high-level visits and personnel exchanges, advancing scientific research and business cooperation, and innovating cooperation models to scale up high-quality development of China and Europe in water sector.
As part of the High-Level Dialogue, Science and Technology Cooperation Seminar and Business Exchange Meeting under the China-Europe Water Platform were held on January 21, where representatives from China and Europe carried out extensive exchanges on topics including water informatization, water ecology restoration and protection, water use efficiency, smart water, etc.
The conference was convened in a virtual meeting and was attended by nearly 300 representatives from government departments, research institutes and water enterprises of 18 countries.