On 10 August 2007, the Australian Academy of Science contributed to the following joint academies statement on sustainable ecosystems. It was issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
China and Australia recognise the importance of international science and technology cooperation as a key element of national science and innovation development.
In a world of increasing globalisation, advances in science and technology have large scale implications that provide important opportunities to enhance economic growth as well as environmental and social benefits.
Australia and China have established a global record of excellence in many areas of science. During the China–Australia Symposium on Sustaining Global Ecosystems held 8–10 August in Beijing, Chinese and Australian scientists have focused on the vital global research area of sustainable ecosystems.
While continued ecosystem change now seems inevitable, it is important to reduce the pace and impact of that change to give extra time for societies and ecosystems to adapt as smoothly as possible.
The symposium identified a number of areas where China and Australia confront similar challenges in terms of sustainable use of land, water, air and energy and the effects that environmental factors have on health.
Considerable research is being undertaken on these issues in both countries and the symposium identified areas where existing collaborations can be strengthened and new opportunities for joint research programs might emerge. The challenges faced require urgent action and the collaboration will lead to an accelerated understanding of the underpinning science.
The three Academies involved in the symposium, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, stress that scientific, technological, and health capabilities – supported by the governments and international cooperation, and mobilised by appropriate social and economic policies – will produce substantial progress over the next decades toward a sustainable human future. Realising this progress will demand efforts by the scientific and technological community to promote the use of existing knowledge more widely and effectively, to generate new knowledge and beneficial technologies, and to work with governments, international organisations and the private sector to promote a worldwide transition to sustainability.
This joint symposium forms an important step in this progress.
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