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Greening International Relations
WWF is pushing China-Africa cooperation for a sustainable economy and environment
by Liu Jian

The global conservation organization World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) hosted its "China-Africa: Cooperation for Sustainability" symposiumin Beijing on March 9, 2012 (PHOTO BY LIU JIAN)

China's external investments in recent years, particularly those in Africa, have grown at a fast pace and the trend is continuing. "Financial investment in sustainability is fundamental for long-term prosperity," said Dr. Li Lin,  World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) 's deputy country representative in China at a symposium in Beijing on March 9.

"It's in both China's and Africa's interests that high environmental standards are part of [China's] aid, trade and investment portfolio in Africa," Li explained. The result, she said, will "positively influence China's footprint on the continent."

At the meeting, WWF also released a briefing note titled China-Africa: Cooperation for Sustainability, which puts forward proposals for three major sectors: financial cooperation, extraction of natural resources and clean energy. The hope is that Africa and China can work together toward a common goal of sustainable development.

According to Dr. Li, the proposals are intended to help preparations for the upcoming Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which will take place in Beijing this coming July. Their aim is to scale up previous FOCAC commitments, and to ensure that environmental considerations underline the development opportunities rooted in China-Africa cooperation.

African diplomats in China, WWF officials from African countries and representatives from China's State Forestry Administration also attended the symposium (PHOTO BY LIU JIAN)

At the WWF symposium, Laurent Somé, Director of External Relations and Partnerships at the WWF Africa Programme, outlined some of these environmental considerations. "While capitalizing on growth opportunities," he said," it's necessary to build economies that manage natural capital wisely to ensure security and stability, and to protect unique ecosystems such as the Congo Basin and the coast of East Africa upon which millions people depend for their livelihoods."

African diplomats in China, WWF officials from African countries and representatives from China's State Forestry Administration also attended the symposium.

The conference was organized by WWF's China for a Global Shift Initiative, which aims to make the fundamental drivers of China's development more environment-friendly. Reducing the ecological footprint of Chinese economic growth both domestically and internationally is crucial to the group. Currently, the initiative works with the Chinese government and governments around Africa. Its focus is on three priority sectors: forestry, infrastructure and extractive industries.

Martin Mpana, Cameroon's Ambassador to China spoke at the symposium (PHOTO BY LIU JIAN)

The WWF Briefing Note Africa & China: Cooperation for Sustainability is available at: (Chinese language); (English language); language).






Africa Report
Embattled Newest Nation
-Climate Relief
-Land Grab Woes
-Bring on the Rain
-Depending on a Diaspora
China-Africa New Strategic Partnership and Friendship for Development and Transformation
-BRICS Means Business
-Cameroon Aims for More Chinese Visitors
-Greening International Relations
-Switch Off Your Lights, Help The Planet
Nation in Focus
-November 2010
-September 2010
-June 2010
-May 2010
News Roundup
-September 2013
-August 2013
-July 2013
-June 2013
-May 2013





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