Speech at International Workshop on Seabuckthorn-99


Ms. Liang Dan, Director

The China International for Economic and Technological Exchanges (CICETE).

Ministry of Foreign Trade Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC). China

August 30,1999

Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I am very honored to have been invited by the Ministry of Water Resources to address the IWS-99 on behalf of CICETE. I would like to express my sincere congratulations to the Meeting.

    For many reasons, China's environmental quality has degraded seriously, particularly in Loess Plateau. Each year, 1.6 billion tons of soil and sand are eroded into the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It is said that soil erosion and water loss is the number one environmental problem in China. Through long-term scientific research, it has been found that large scale seabuckthorn planting is an effective and economic measure of controlling soil erosion, The unique ecological and economic characteristics of seabuckthorn has drawn the attention of the Chinese government and farmers. As a result seabuckthorn development has received support from different sectors, and especially the Ministry of Water Resources.

    CICETE is the institution directly under MOFTEC. As the counterpart of UNDP, authorized and entrusted by MOFTEC, CICETE is the executive and managing agency of UNDP to coordinate projects funded by UNDP and to support the priority areas of the Chinese government. CICETE is in charge of compiling national programs, selecting projects, signing project documents and monitoring the projects when they are in implementation. In July 1997, the UNDP provided 800,000 USD to the project 'Seabuckthorn Development in China.' The project has been implemented by China Research and Training Center on Seabuckthorn. This project has been underway of two years; and all activities are proceeding according to the plan. The Chinese government, UNDP, and the Ministry of Water Resources are satisfied with the progress of the project.

    CICETE is an active partner in international cooperation and exchange on seabuckthorn. In December 1995, the representatives from 11 countries put forward a proposal to establish the International Center for Research and Training on Seabuckthorn (ICRTS) and International Coordination Committee (ICC). This proposal was fully supported by the Ministry of Water Resources and CICETE. Establishment of ICRTS has greatly promoted technology transfer and information sharing between member countries. CICETE will provide more support to promote regional cooperation such as the cooperative activities in Northeast Asia, and will consider seabuckthorn to be a priority project in cooperative activities in the Himalayan Region.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, during the 4-days meeting, you will not only share your progress on seabuckthorn development but also discuss a development strategy for ICRTS. I extend my wishes that the meeting has positive results.

    Finally, I would like to extend thanks to UNDP, FAO, ICIMOD, and other international organizations for their support and especially the financial support for this workshop from UNDP. Thanks are also extended the Ministry of Water Resources for their efforts at the meeting.

Thank you!