Ecological Civilization and Education
Remarks at the Opening Ceremony
of the 8th International
Conference on Ecological Civilization
Honorable Chairmen,Ladies and Gentlemen,
It’s my honor to attend the opening ceremony of the 8th International Forum on ecological civilization to be held in Claremont.I would like to give my thanks to Mr. Cobb and Xinhua News Agency for inviting me to the conference. I specially appreciate that the Institute for Postmodern Development of China makes this event happen. At the same time, let me extend my very warm welcome to all gusts from China being in Los Angeles.Since 1980’s, the economy in China has developed rapidly and China's overall national strength has grown considerably. But meanwhile, the pollution problems in China are becoming more serious. Smog is affecting larger parts of China and environmental pollution is contributing to a health crisis. Up to now, both Chinese people and government have been fully aware that we must prevent and control pollution, we must rebuild our ecological civilization.
During the past seven years, the Institute has achieved a great success in holding such a conference,
We sincerely appreciate the Institute for the great contribution on studying China, especially the issues about Chinese modernization.
As you know, I am from Education Office of Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles. I am very interested in the main
topic of this forum—Ecological Civilization and Education. What is a relation between the construction of ecological civilization and education? Or what is something in common with them? I am not a professional in ecology, but I am an educator. Therefore, in my opinion, the answer is “ for our future, for our future generations”.
Over the last century, America had an extremely long history of pollution and the struggle to reduce it. In Los
Angeles, for instance, it has battled air pollution and smog for years. As many of you know, the movement focused on environmental protection from 1960s to 1980s led to the creation of EPA and the birth of National Environmental Education Act. Unfortunately, I personally think China is repeating the mistakes the West made. History often repeats itself, and always the same way. So, China still has to learn from the West---- how to control pollutions and how to get well our ecological civilization. For example, we should share the experiences about the environmental education system in America.
What role can education play for creating an ecological civilization? I do not intend to answer this question in full in this remark, although I refer briefly to a suggestion about the issue towards the end. That is environmental education or ecological civilization education should become a part of our national curriculum, including in basic education, vocational education and higher education. Please let me cite a sentence in a report of UNESCO：“environmental education should increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues as well as provide the public with the skills necessary to make informed decisions and the motivation to take responsible actions”
Finally, hope the8th International Forum on Ecological Civilization a great success!