Finland to lead China-EU water cooperation
From 1 January 2018 the European Secretariat of the China Europe Water Platform CEWP will be hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland. The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Southwest Finland will also participate in this work. Finland will lead the Secretariat in 2018–2019, with the main focus on water cooperation related to the circular economy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Global challenges to water security include the rapid social and economic development especially in China, climate change, demographic changes and urbanisation. In the CEWP the European Union and China have joined forces to find solutions to tackle these challenges.
“In the next two years the CEWP will focus on reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals associated with water and promoting a water-related circular economy. This takes place via even deeper water partnership between the EU and China and by increased cooperation with other international players in the water sector”, says Seppo Rekolainen, Director of International Water Cooperation at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry who is to lead the European CEWP Secretariat.
A good example of the multi-level international activities of the CEWP was the conference held in Turku, Finland last September, with ministerial delegations from 13 EU Member States and China, representatives of the European Commission and almost 150 Chinese and European companies.
“Such a visible and influential role in international water issues and in the China-EU relations is a significant recognition of Finnish water expertise. We take part in solving global problems associated with water security, while at the same time strengthening the productive cooperation on the use of sustainable natural resources between Finland and China”, says Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
From the beginning of next year the European Union will increase its contribution to the CEWP to a total of EUR six million for 2018–2021. This provides the CEWP with even better opportunities to also build cooperation arrangements with international financial institutions that invest in water security. Denmark, the host of the European Secretariat before Finland, and Portugal that will take the lead in 2020 will also be involved in this work.
The CEWP was established in 2012 to promote China-Europe cooperation in the sustainable use and management of water resources. It is comprised of tens of ministries, other public institutions, research institutes, universities and companies. Cooperation is promoted on the government and political level as well as among scientific and innovation communities. The work is steered by the European Secretariat in collaboration with the Chinese Secretariat.
Inquiries at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry:
Seppo Rekolainen, Director of International Water Cooperation, tel. +358 295 162 086
Olli-Matti Verta, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 162 123