In China, promoting ecological progress and building a beautiful country is considered a long-term and vital task for people's wellbeing and the country's future. The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017 emphasized enhancing ecological advancement through reforms and continuing the Beautiful China Initiative (BCI), the vision for China's sustainable development as well as meeting the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Faced with increasing resource constraints, pollution and a deteriorating ecosystem, the government has given priority to protecting nature, enhancing people's ecological awareness and making ecological progress an integral part of economic, political, cultural and social progress.
The Central Government has established an evaluation system for the performance of local governments in carrying out the BCI, using 27 indicators. They include garbage disposal, energy consumption and emission control. Local authorities are evaluated on how they dispose of household garbage, energy consumption per 10,000 yuan ($1,415.67) of GDP, and emission of major pollutants per unit of GDP, to ensure that economic and social development is in line with the environmental protection goal.
In addition to the government's work, individual contributions from all residents are also necessary to protect the environment. For creating greater public awareness of their responsibility to protect the environment, six years ago, China began observing Environment Day on June 5, which is also observed worldwide as World Environment Day. It drives home the message that environmental protection begins from minor things in people's daily life, such as sorting household waste correctly to facilitate its disposal, reducing the use of disposable plastic bags, and driving one day less in the week.
People are also encouraged to participate in more public matters such as biodiversity protection programs or volunteering in environment-related activities. An individual action can change the individual's environment, while the actions of thousands of people combined becomes a great force to improve and protect the environment.
The earth's community of life consists of humans and nature. Humans must respect nature and modernization must be based on harmony and coexistence with nature. In addition to creating more material and cultural wealth to meet people's needs for a better life, a pristine ecology is also necessary to meet people's demand for a beautiful environment. This is the prerequisite for human civilization to continue and innovate.
Building a beautiful China and contributing to protecting global biodiversity is a responsibility that all Chinese should fulfill.
(Print Edition Title: A Clear Commitment)