Dear Mr. LU Zushan, Governor of Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government.
Dear Mr. Mihkel Oviir
My colleagues, guests, ladies and gentlemen:
At this pleasant season of Autumn, sweat osmathus flower brings its aromatic smell to us, and getting together at the waterside of West Lake, we are extremely happy to welcome Chair of INTOSAI WGEA as well as colleagues from SAIs of Asia and representatives from Commission on Audit of Hong Kong Special Adminsitrative region of China and Audit Commission of Macau Sepecial Admnistrative Region of China . On behalf of the CNAO and in my own name, I would like to express my sincere welcome and greetings to all participants of the seminar and audit colleagues from Estonia who have travelled a long way here.
In the current world, human beings are facing the stern challengaes in the fields of resources conservation, environmental protection and sustainable development. While enjoying the rapid development of economy, China has struck to the principle that strengthening the environmental protection is one of the basic national policies. China is aiming at promoting a healthy, coodinated and sustainable development of economy, society and environment, forming an industry structure, mode of growth and comsumption pattern which tallys with the principles of energy and resource-saving and enronmental protection, and building a resource-saving and environmental-friendly society. China is determinated to solve resources and environmental problems through development.
Through years’ efforts, great progress has been made in the fields of energy and resources saving and environmental ptotection. The environmental pollution prevention and saving energy and reducing emissions have been promoted in a steady way. Ecological environment protection has been intensified and the investment over pollution have been increased. We have made great achievements. Last year, there was a 3.66% year-on-year drop in energy consumption per unit of GDP than 2006, and there was a reduction in both chemical oxygen demand and the total emission of sulfur dioxide, with the former down 3.2% and the latter down 4.7% from the previous year. In the fist half of 2008, engergy consumption per unit of GDP has decreased by 2.8%，towthere was a continuous reduction in both chemical oxygen demand and the total emission of sulfur dioxide, with the former down 2.5% and the latter down 4% from the previous year. The momentum of continuous decrease of both factors is shown and environmental protection cause is moving toward the further development in a intensive and comprehensive way. This should be accredited to the indusrious efforts exerted by the Central government, local governments at all levels and the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
I am sure you might have all known the recent accident of tainted dairy products by the brand of Sanlu. The Central government as well as local governments at all levels have all taken powerful measures to find a timely and resposive solution.
Resources conservation and environmental protection issues have a direct bearing upon both the development of national economic and social development and the health of people. Once a problem occurs, it would bring intensive effects and lead to a very high cost for the recovering. As an immune system of economic and social operation, government audit in China finds its duties to carry out audit of resources and environment in order to disclose the major problems and hiden troubles in the resources environment as early as possible, guard against the resoudrce and environment risk and ensure the security of national resource and environment. Therefore, the CNAO, in close cooperation with the Mnistry of Environmental Protection, has over these years been devoted to promoting enerrgy and resouces saving and environmental protection and enhancing the implementation of sustainable development strategy through the conduct the audit of agriculture, resources and environment.
In recent years, with the intensifying of government environmental protection and its rectification efforts as well as their requirement, the contents and scope of environmental auditing in China has also been broadened. We have conducted a series of environmental audit projects from the perspectives of promoting the prevetion of envrionmental pollution, building eco-environment and ensuring a sustainable use and utlization of resources. For example, we have exercised the following audits: the project of converting the farming land for forestry, the natural forest resource protecton project, audit investigation over the control project about source of dust and sandstorm in Beijing and Tianjin, audit investigation over environmental protection funds of the Qinghai-Tibet railway, audit and investigation over the water pollution prevention and control funds in main rivers, lakes, seas and three gorges project. We shall also audit or investigate the erengy-saving and emission-deduction by the central enterprises as well as the environental impacts of key construction projects.
In conducting resources and environmental audit, we attach great importance to the following four key points of principles: 1) legality and performance of the utiization of resources exploitation and collection, management and utilization of environmental control funds; 2) whether resources and environmental protection laws and regulations are complete or integrated, and whether they have been fully implemented, whether various reform measures have been exectued and how about their implementation effects; 3) the implementation effects of policies and performance of government responsibilities; 4) economic and social effects of key environmental protection projects. The audit results in these years have shown that environmental audit by audit institutions have become an important force to promote the resources and environmental protection work and played an irresplaceable role.
The forerunner and key support for the continuous development of environmental audit is the theoretical research on environmental audit. The CNAO has actively organized the experts and researchers of government audit institutions, research institutes and institutions of higher learning to jointly promote theoretic research on environmental audit and intensified their understanding about contents, techniques and rish control of environmental audit in order to provide a theoretic research for the continuous development of environmental audit practice.
Though resources and environmental audit in China has made positive achievements, it is still a long way to go in order to satisfy the needs of the mordern society in the following aspects: 1) limited by audit resources, audit could not have a full coverage, failing to reach the expectation of the common public and society; 2) more efforts are needed to accummulate experiences by the auditors; 3) laws, regulations and the evaluation standards in resources and environmental performance audit are far enough to be responsive to the needs of audit work. Therefore in the future work we shall target at implementing the basic national policy of saving resources and protecting environment, safeguarding the security of resources and environment, broaden the fields of environmental audit, improve relevant systems, make innovations of audit methodology, improve audit capacity and construct a mode of resource and environmental audit and audit evaluation system which is commensurate with the national situation. We shall further bring the role of resources and environmental audit in promoting resources-saving, environmenta-protection and sustainable development of economy and society. Into full play.
Today, resources and environmental situation facing human beings is more and more serious, auditing, as an immune system for the economic operation of the country, has the responsibility to timely discover and disclose the problems and risks existing in the resource and environmental protection and make due contribution for the environmental protection and security of resources and energy. We shall as before take our responsiblities as Chairman of ASOSAI WGEA and member of the steering committee of INTOSAI WGEA and make our contributions to the further development of environmental audit in Asia and the world.
Our friends, in order to fulfill the motto of INTOSAI regarding cooperation and information sharing, the CNAO has its long term wish of sharing with colleagues in the world the achievements and experiences of government audit in China. An philosopher in ancient China has a famous saying which goes like that, “teaching benefits teachers s as well as tudents”. The seminar way of exchanes that we adopted today, shall obviously bring benefits to all the speakers and listeners. I also has the hope that through the exchanges and comminication at this seminar, auditors present could have the chance to learn from the experience and prctice of SAIs of all countries for jointly promoting the environmental audit of Asian countries forward, and making positive contributions for the following targets: to have a beautiful scene of blue sky and mountain, green water and land, to have the coexistance of human beings and the nature, and to leave a living environment and space in harmony with the nature for our offsprings.
Hangzhou is a city with time-honored history and culture and a holy place for romatic love as the charming legend of Romeo and Juliet could be also found their Chinese version here. Hangzhou is also a city of harmony as its landscape is believed to be top of the world and in particular tourists are exhilarated by the scenery in West Lake. We have found a right place to carry out environmental audit seminar as we are so relaxed and happy here to enjoy both the esthetic sentiment and peaceful environment.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude, on behalf of all the participants of the seminar, for the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government. Thank you very much for your attention and support of our seminar. I would also like to thank Zhejiang Provincial Audit Office for the hard work they have taken. Thanks should also go to my colleagues from National Audit Office of China for their industrious work for our seminar.
Last not not the least, I would like to wish a full success of environment audit seminar and a enjoyable stay in Hangzhou and good health of our participants.Thank you.