ORDOS, China, Aug. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fifth Kubuqi International Desert Forum has been held at the Kubuqi Desert in Ordos, Inner Mongolia autonomous region from July 28 to 29.
Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Yang joined former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, former African Union chairman John Kufuor and China's Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang at the opening ceremony of the forum.
"We should protect the environment like we protect our eyes and treat the environment like it is our life. We should firmly establish the idea of respecting nature, conforming to nature and protecting nature and insist that green landscapes and clean water are true treasures," said Wang, quoting President Xi Jinping's instructions on ecological civilization construction.
"Tasks to accomplish desertification control of 10 million hectares between 2016 and 2020 and establishing an ecological safety system in desert areas based on forage vegetation are proposed."
Wang also stressed that in order to realize the development target, greater attention will be paid to scientific management, participation, institutional improvement and international cooperation.
Desertification is not only an environmental problem but also an economic, social, political or even a security issue, said former European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.
There should be a solution for desertification control and the Kubuqi model is one successful case that countries in regions such as Africa should use for reference, he said.
Barroso also talked about the climate polices of China and the European Union which are gradually integrating. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Xi is a response to environmental protection and to assist green development, Barroso added.
Kufuor spoke highly of the desertification control of the Kubuqi Desert. "The Kubuqi model is suggestive because it helps us to establish the balance between people and nature and it also shows the willpower of human beings to bring desertification under control," he said.
"African countries are in urgent need for the Kubuqi model on desertification control."
Wang Wenbiao, Elion Resources Group's founder and chairman, said: "We are taking action to practice the Belt and Road Initiative and ecological strategies proposed by President Xi and accelerate desertification control through technological innovation and industrial innovation."
He also appealed to establish the Global Desert Ecological Economy Union, which centers on desertification control.
The proposal received active responses from Barroso, Kufuor, Executive Secretary-general of the UNCCD, Monique Barbut.