Richard Brabec (C), Czech deputy prime minister and minister of environment, receives an interview with Xinhua at the venue of the International Horticultural Exhibition 2019 Beijing, in Yanqing District of Beijing, capital of China, April 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)
BEIJING, April 29 (Xinhua) -- As both the Czech Republic and China are making efforts to promote sustainable development, the two nations enjoy great prospect for cooperation of green development in many aspects, visiting Czech Deputy Prime Minister Richard Brabec said here on Sunday.
Hours before the opening ceremony of the Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition (Beijing Expo), Brabec, accompanying Czech President Milos Zeman to attend the ceremony, inspected the Czech booth on the second floor of the International Pavilion.
"This is the first time I visit China, and I have been expecting for the Beijing Expo," said Brabec, who is also the Czech minister of environment.
Brabec said that during the visit, he was impressed by the green coverage ratio in China, voicing his admiration for the national afforestation campaign and greening cause China is undertaking.
Official data shows that the forest coverage rate in China has increased by nearly 10 percentage points since the late 1970s. In 2018, China planted 7.07 million hectares of trees, and is now home to the world's largest man-made forest in scale.
"We are facing a common challenge of climate change. The afforestation efforts China is making is very important to control climate change," Brabec said.
When asked about his view on the relationship between humans and nature, Brabec said, "We human have offered a wrong answer to that question for the last 200 years."
"China and Czech have been promoting sustainable development but so far a lot of developing actions around the world are not sustainable. We are consuming the natural resources too fast for the nature to restore. That's why now we have to face serious environmental problems," he said.
Warning against the deteriorating outcomes from the old developing mode, Brabec said he has been fortunate to see that an increasing number of common people as well as governments are changing the mindset and willing to take a new start.
"Therefore we need to seize the time in promoting green development," he said.
As to the bilateral green development cooperation, Brabec said the Czech Republic experienced such environmental crisis as air pollution in history, so Prague and Beijing can jointly work on many things.
According to Brabec, the two nations can cooperate more on water reservation and utility, drought fighting, air pollution control and waste management.
Speaking of air pollution control, the Czech minister of environment said that it is necessary to reduce the use of fossil fuels such as hard coals and let renewable resources -- solar, wind power and hydropower -- take the role.
Standing in front of a half-Skoda-car model covered with green leaves, Brabec said the green plants symbolize the significance and urgency that people need to do to restrict the auto emission, adding that the Czech Republic has a long tradition of green industry and innovation.
"Our future should be green as well," he said.