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Scientists set sustainable development goals for Belt and Road

By Zhang Zhihao | | Updated: 2017-05-11 19:16

Chinese scientists have created a list of 17 key goals for countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to help achieve sustainable development. 

The list is based on the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but has been enhanced to address the needs of all 65 countries currently taking part in the initiative, said Pan Jiaofeng, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institutes of Science and Development.

Health and well-being, food security, environmental protection and energy structure are the top four goals, while consumption, industry foundation, climate change and water sanitation are also on the list.

"All the goals are important, but some require immediate attention. The sooner they get addressed, the easier and more effective the solutions will be," Pan said.

He said the four major common issues that undermine sustainability are lackluster socioeconomic development, outdated economic engines, threats to food security, and environmental issues. 

"These problems must be addressed to make the initiative sustainable," he added.

Countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road account for 62.2 percent of the global total population, 30.3 percent of global GDP, and 57.6 percent of global energy use and carbon dioxide emissions, according to Pan.

"The sustainability of the initiative is tied to the fate of the entire region as well as the whole world," he said. "It is our shared responsibility to build a sustainable future for our children."

Qing Dahe, an academician from the academy who specializes in climate change, said China has many advanced technologies, including infrastructure construction and garbage disposal, which are suitable for developing countries.

China is also training ecologists from Central Asian countries involved in the initiative to facilitate joint efforts to tackle climate change, Pan said, adding that "every country should play to their advantages and help each other in solving regional and global challenges".

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