Making Economic Advancement Mean Ecological Improvement

Hangzhou Declaration

From 18th to 19th May 2013, about 500 politicians, natural scientists, social scientists and eminent persons from 23 countries, gathered in Hangzhou City, a famous historical and cultural city in China, to attend the Second Annual Conference of World Cultural Forum (Taihu, China); participants freely shared their perspectives and discussed important issues concerning the enhancement of international cooperation and the construction of ecological civilization, contributors hereby it is hereby declare their consensus as follow:


(I) Since the 1972 Declaration of the United Nations Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, the international community has made significant efforts to addresse the cological crisis. However, the contradiction between development and environment is still remain. Scientific observations and international difficulties reveal that global environmental pollution, ecological damage and resource shortages have not been fundamentally alleviated, instead, they have become worse, with serious threats to the survival and development of humankind. This situation caused great attentions from the people of all countries.


(II) The world today is undergoing significant changes and adjustments, but a wide North-South gap remains. Developed countries' economic strength far exceeds that of most developing countries. The people of all countries have the right to live peaceful and prosperous lives. Fully respecting the developing countries’s right to develop conforms to common wish of the people of all countries, which is also an important basis to alleviate the tensions between development and environment. Ecological crisis, which is emerging during development, should be addressed correctly. It is not an issue of denying the development, but an issue of following what modes of development. The fundamental way to solve ecological crisis depends on the innovation path and mode of development .




(III) The global ecological emerges from the defects of traditional industrialization. Industrial revolution contributed a new chapter in human civilization. Industrialization has become the basic path to economic prosperity in modern countries. However, traditional industrialization rely on the great consumption of resources and wasteful emissions; human beings conquer and plunder nature, such approaches have become incorporated into indutrial of consumption and life. Driven by the persuit of capitalist profitablity, humans utilizes the nature in an uncontrolled manner, so as to stimulate and satisfy people’s unlimited material desires, this results in continual destruction in the harmony between human and nature and the harmony between human and society, which is the deep origin of the occurrence of ecological crisis. We should reconsider the relationship between human and nature since industrial revolutions, we need a new vision of ecological civilization, and the harmony between human and nature and the harmony between human and society should be reconstructed.


(IV) Ecological civilization is a new civilization form that is beyond industrial civilization. Its core concept is to respect, comply with and preserve the nature, it is based on the carrying capacity of the resources and the environment, takes natural laws as guiding principles and regards sustainable development as the aim; it fundamentally changes the traditional mode of production and way of life featuring excessive consumption of natural resources and excessive waste emissions; it develops green economy, circular economy and low carbon economy, constructs a resource-saving and environment-friendly society, promotes the harmonious coexistence of human and nature and the harmonious development of human and society. It is not only the highest priority in responding to global ecological crisis, but also the long-term plan for the progress of human civilization.


(V) The construction of ecological civilization emphass integration. The construction of ecological civilization is not only a serious issue facing developing countries, but also a major common challenge facing mankind, thus it is necessary for all countries to work in partnership; it should not only be limited to local scientific and technological problems of a professional and technical nature, it should also be cultural issues that have a bearing on overall  significance and a profound social and strategic nature, thus it needs the joint breakthroughs in the fields of science and humanities; it does not only directly relates to the sustainable development of economy and refers to the fundamental transformation of the modes of production and consumption, but also relates to various aspects of political, cultural and social constructions and refers to the fundamental changes of people’s life style, intercourse mode and mode of thinking, thus it needs an extensive participation of the country, society, enterprises, especially the public.


(VI) The construction of ecological civilization is a complex issue. All countries should proceed from their realities, such as population, resources, environment, historical and cultural traditions, social system and the level of economic development, and draw lessons from experiences of other countries, so as to explore the way and pattern for the construction of ecological civilization suitable to their national conditions, and they should act independently but achieve the same goal by different means. The concept of an integral whole with a common destiny should be established among human beings, and all countries should execute their assigned tasks through close cooperation. Developing countries should actively explore a new road to industrialization that can realize green development, circular development and low carbon development, and they should complete industrialization during the construction of ecological civilization. Developed countries should bring their superiorities in technology and economy into full play, so as to help developing countries to reduce emissions and control pollution, and they should also have the courage to bear the historical responsibility of environmental pollution, get rid of the historical inertia of traditional industrial civilization and construct a new ecological civilization. The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, the principles of equity and the principles of respective capabilities should be adhered to, so as to put an end to buck-passing, beggar-thy-neighbor and disaster-transferring, and pursue the win-win cooperation on addressing the ecological crisis and constructing ecological civilization.


(VII) The construction of ecological civilization is system project. It should be explored arduously in a long term and constructed systematically. Since the development of human civilization, our understandings on the development and changes of nature and the short-term and long-term effects caused by human activities on nature are fairly superficial, and some areas still remain uncovered.  The exchanges and cooperation among different civilizations should be enhanced; and different nations’ ecological wisdoms and experiences of  should be respected and motivated throughout the world, so as to learn from one another, overcome difficulties and promote the construction of ecological civilization continuously. We should conform to the trend of the times, draw lessons from history, discard the Cold-War mentality, and safeguard the long-term construction of ecological civilization by peace.

(VIII) To address with the ecological crisis and construct ecological civilization, we must rely firmly on the people and make the work become the people's great spontaneous practices. The construction of ecological civilization relates to fundamental and all-round social changes; and it will result in great social changes that transform the prevailing habits and customs, thus the people's right to know, their right of supervision and their right of participation  must be guaranteed, and the public accomplishment of ecological civilization must be improved continuously. Everyone is responsible to deal with ecological crisis and begins with oneself, continuous victories will be achieved in the construction of ecological civilization, and human beings will enter a new era of ecological civilization.



May 19, 2013