Coalition embraces inclusiveness to boost green development
Zhang Jianyu, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and chief representative of the EDF Beijing Office, on the sidelines of a thematic forum during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on April 25, 2019. [Photo courtesy of the EDF]
Openness and inclusiveness are well embodied in the design of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) International Green Development Coalition, Zhang Jianyu, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), said in an exclusive interview with China.org.cn on Saturday.
The coalition was officially launched at the Thematic Forum on Green Silk Road during the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Thursday.
Co-initiated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, the coalition is designed to strengthen international cooperation on green development and promote consensus and collective actions of BRI countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Zhang, also chief representative of the EDF Beijing Office, said that openness and inclusiveness are reflected in the mission, membership, and agenda of the coalition.
He said that the coalition aims to bring together environmental expertise of different organizations to ensure that the BRI facilitates long-term and planet-friendly growth in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The mission is aligned with the shared vision of various countries, showing that the coalition does not serve the interests of a particular country, but the wellbeing of mankind, Zhang explained.
He said that the coalition is open to all organizations that endorse the mission and are ready to contribute to global green development no matter where they come from and what their identities are.
To date, more than 120 organizations from 60 countries have joined the coalition, indicating that different stakeholders have widely upheld its principle of openness and inclusiveness, Zhang added.
He said that the agenda of the coalition is also inclusive. "It has set up 10 thematic partnerships, ranging from typical environmental issues, such as biodiversity, ecosystem management, and climate change, to cross-cutting issues, such as green finance and investment, green technology innovation, and sustainable transportation."
The incorporation of the cross-cutting issues into the agenda would be really helpful in raising environmental awareness of relevant industries, driving sustainable development, and pushing forward sectoral green transformation, Zhang said.
Zhang, who was nominated as an international liaison of the coalition, said the platform is expected to play an active role in promoting policy dialogue and communication, knowledge and information sharing, as well as green technology exchange and transfer.
According to the EDF, the United States-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group is among the first organizations to join the coalition, and its President Fred Krupp now serves as a member of the coalition's advisory committee.
Zhang said that with more than 50 years of expertise in addressing the most difficult environmental challenges, the EDF looks forward to offering intellectual support for capacity building projects of the coalition.
With the experience of working in more than 10 countries, the EDF can also play a bridging role in facilitating cross-culture communication and enhancing mutual understanding among Chinese and international partners, he added.
(Source_title：Coalition embraces inclusiveness to boost green development)