ACCA21: An Introduction
The Administrative Center for China's Agenda 21 (ACCA21) was established in 1994 with the approval of the Central Government. ACCA21 is affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and, with regard to some functions, also operates under the leadership of the State Development Planning Commission (SDPC). In 1998, ACCA21 was merged with the China Innovation Center for Life Science and additionally took over some functions from MOST.
Mission: Promoting the implementation of China's Agenda 21 and sustainable development in China.
1. Manage the day-to-day affairs and facilitate the implementation of China's Agenda 21 and its Priority Programme
2. Conduct policy and strategy research in the area of sustainable development providing policy support to government decision-making
3. Foster international cooperation and exchange in the area of sustainable development
4. Promote the development of experimental communities for sustainable development, and build local capacity
5. Build a national information sharing network for sustainable development promoting information exchange and sharing
6. Coordinate and implement research projects and pilot commercialization of research findings for key national research programmes concerning natural resources, the environment and pharmaceutics
7. Enhance public awareness of sustainable development through publicity, education, and training programs
1. A young, professional and internationally oriented team
2. Sound collaborative relations with government offices, research institutes, social organizations and businesses
3. Effective cooperation with the international community
4. Well-informed of the latest developments in the theory and practice of sustainable development, both at home and abroad
· Office for State Experimental Communities for Sustainable Development
· Disaster Relief Office of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the State Development Planning Commission, and the State Economic and Trade Commission
· China Society for Sustainable Development
· China's Population, Resources and Environment magazine
· Office of the EU-China Environmental Management Cooperation Programme
· Secretariat of the China-US Center for Sustainable Development
I. Formulation of China's Agenda 21
On 25 March 1994, the State Council of China approved China's Agenda 21: White Paper on China's Population, Environment and Development in the 21st Century. On that same day, ACCA21 was established. China's Agenda 21 was the first national blueprint for sustainable development formulated after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro. It was conceived as a guiding document for medium- and long-term socio-economic development planning for all levels of government. More than 50 government departments and 300 national and international experts were involved in the White Paper's drafting process, which was coordinated by staff of ACCA21.
1. The White Paper
2. A preparatory workshop on China's Agenda 21
3. High-level roundtable conference on China's Agenda 21 in 1994
4. President Jiang Zemin meets with delegates to the roundtable
II. Implementation of the Priority Programme for China's Agenda 21
ACCA21 was authorized by the Central Government to conduct feasibility studies, select projects, and formulate the Priority Programme for China's Agenda 21. The Priority Programme, an international cooperation programme to advance China's Agenda 21, was launched in 1994 comprising 128 projects in nine priority areas.
The Priority Programme won strong support from the international community. More than 30 foreign governments, international organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and multinational agencies have participated in the programme with more than US$500 million international investment.
1. The Priority Programme for China's Agenda 21(First version)
2. The Priority Programme for China's Agenda 21(Revised and expanded version)
III. Promotion of Sustainable Development on a Local Level
One special feature for China to implement the strategy of sustainable development is to conduct pilot and demonstration programmes on a local level. ACCA21 has played a pivotal role in this process in two ways.
First, building local capacity by piloting local Agenda 21 programmes on provincial and prefectural levels. For this purpose, in 1997, SDPC and MOST selected 16 provinces and municipalities (including Beijing and Hubei). ACCA21 helped those pilot areas to formulate their agendas and initiate sustainable development adapted to local conditions. By the end of 2001, 25 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions as well as many localities had set up special offices for implementing their individual Local Agenda 21 programmes.
Second, supporting the management of "state experimental communities for sustainable development" in typical districts of metropolises or counties. By the end of 2001, 40 state-level communities and more than 60 provincial-level communities were established.
ACCA21 also manages the day-to-day affairs of the MOST programme "Invigorating Cities (Counties) Through Science and Technology".
UNDP has provided great support to China's local capacity building. After completing a fact-finding mission to China on local sustainability, a United Nations evaluation team for global sustainable development concluded that China has led the world consistently in sustainable development.
1. Distribution of the experimental communities across the country (red: state experimental communities; green: provincial experimental communities).
2. Before and after situations of the air in the pilot city of Benxi
3. biogas demonstration project in the experimental communitay of Zhengding
4. A national workshop on the performance of the experimental communities
5. Newsletters on local Sustainable Development
IV. Policy and Strategy Studies
One of the core functions of ACCA21 has been to conduct policy and strategy studies to advise government decision-making and guide local practices of sustainable development.
In this regard, ACCA21 has participated in the drafting of important national documents such as:
· China's Agenda 21: Outline for Sustainable Development
· Science and Technology Outline for Sustainable Development
· Special Report on Population, Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development in conjunction with the drafting of the 10th Five-Year Plan
· Research Report on the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Strategy in the 10th Five-Year Plan
In addition, ACCA21 has also done policy research for MOST and SDPC, drafted documents for a series of important meetings, and participated in the drafting of other governmental plans and programmes.
Areas of research:
· Strategies and practices of local sustainability
· Scenarios of sustainable development in China
· Comparison of domestic international practices in sustainable development
· Globalization and sustainable development
· Global climate change
· Indicators of sustainable development
· Science and technology development strategies concerning resources, the environment and medicine
ACCA21 works closely with domestic and international agencies; many of its research findings have been highly acclaimed both at home and abroad.
1. Publications on sustainable development by ACCA21.
2. International seminar on sustainable development indicators held in Harbin.
V. Management of National Science and Technology Programmes
MOST promotes technological advancement and innovation in the area of sustainable development through two major programmes: the National Key R&D Programme and the High-Tech R&D Programme (863 Programme). At the behest of MOST, ACCA21 undertakes process management and public services for research projects under these two schemes ranging from population, medicine, natural resources to environmental sciences. ACCA21 also manages public bidding and tendering for major research projects.
1-4. Resource and environment subjects under the 863 Programme
5. Evaluation of strategic objectives for environmental and resource areas under the 863 Programme
6. A bid-opening ceremony for an air pollution project for Beijing
6. Evaluation meeting of a research project in ecologically fragile parts of western China
7. Evaluation of a project to modernize and commercialize traditional Chinese medicine
8. A national safety evaluation and research center for new medicine in Shanghai
VI. Information Sharing for Sustainable Development
Since 1996, ACCA21 has built up a network center and information network for sustainable development in China to improve information sharing and integration and to meet the needs of the government, research institutes and the general public for information on sustainable development. This network is a databank group management system that for the first time in China made it possible to share information on sustainable development. It is revolutionary in easing the bottlenecks that impede information sharing by formulating a sharing policy and introducing mechanisms, standards and technologies.
A specially established network center links all the Agenda 21 Administrative Offices at central and local levels, local pilots and state experimental communities across the country, publicizing best practices and sharing information on new technologies and products. The network center integrates all the information in the area of sustainable development and makes it publicly available via the Internet hosting nearly 100 databases on China's population, natural resources, environment, society, economy, and disasters, all of them being freely accessible to the public. It also seeks to build an accurate, real-time and dynamic assessment and analytic tool, develop information products tailored to the needs of different industries and users, and build a number of decision-making support mechanisms for the government.
1. The homepage of the center.
2. The information network for sustainable development
3. The sustainable development database
VII. International Cooperation
Since its founding, ACCA21 has conducted effective exchange and cooperation with multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, APEC, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank; dozens of developed and developing countries including the United States, Sweden, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and Viet Nam; and foreign companies, research institutes, and universities. Such cooperative programmes have promoted international investment and technical assistance to China in the area of sustainable development, enhanced international understanding of and support for China, and built up capacities for sustainable development at departmental and local levels. Major partners and projects:
Assisted China between 1992-1998 in formulating and implementing China's Agenda 21, UNDP launched three phases of technical assistance projects to China through its "Capacity building 21 Programme". The aim of the projects was to incorporate China's Agenda 21 into economic and social development planning at the national and local levels.
Asian Development Bank
To promote the transfer and application of environmentally sound technologies in China, the Asian Development Bank collaborated with MOST in helping ACCA21 build the Center for Environmentally Sound Technology Transfer and two sub-centers through two phases of technical aid projects implemented during 1997-2001,
The Environmental Management Cooperation Programme (EMCP) is a major aid programme the European Commission has started in China. Launched in 2001, the programme will be completed in four years. The EU provides 13 million Euros to EMCP, which consists of four parts: institutional development, local and urban development, industrial development, information management and promotion of applications. The aim of the project is to boost China's institutional capacity building for environmental management, improve the level of management of personnel, and enhance exchange and cooperation between the two sides in environmental management, environmentally friendly technology transfer, capacity building, and information network building and sharing.
Co-sponsored by MOST and the International Development Agency of the Swedish government and jointly implemented by ACCA21 and the LIFE Partners of Sweden, four cities were selected as pilots: the Western District of Beijing, Nanyang City of Henan Province, Panzhihua City of Sichuan Province, Shenhe District of Shenyang City. LIFE Partners sent experts to those locations providing consulting services and conducting training programmes. The consulting services were customized to meet specific needs of different localities such as cleaner production, public participation, energy efficiency, solar energy, forestry management, and flood control.
The United States
In July 1998, during a visit to China by President Bill Clinton, China and the United States signed a work statement between China's MOST and the US Department of Energy. Both sides agreed to build a medium-sized energy-saving office building in Beijing that will house ACCA21. The building will adopt advanced energy-saving concepts and cost-effective technologies, materials and equipment. Compared with existing Chinese buildings, the new building will save energy by more than 35%.
China's practices in implementing Agenda 21 and promoting local sustainability provide useful examples to other developing countries. Over the past several years, ACCA21 has received delegations from more than 10 developing countries, such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Mongolia, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakstan, Kirgizstan, and Zimbabwe. ACCA21 briefed them on China's experience and provided training on policy and management, implementation of Agenda 21, environmentally friendly technology transfer, and application of information networks.
International Cooperation in Medical Science and Technology
ACCA21 has organized two workshops held annually by MOST, one in cooperation with the Italian Foreign Ministry, another one with the Swiss company Novartis both addressing hot issues in medical science and technology. These workshops are repeated on a yearly basis.
1. Mr. Nitin DESAI, UN Under-Secretary-General, visiting ACCA21 in April 2002
2. UN forum in Beijing in 2002 organized by ACCA21
3. ADB project conference
4. EMCP launching meeting held at ACCA21
5. Chinese trainees visiting an organic farm in Sweden
6. Chinese-US energy efficiency demonstration building
7. A Vietnamese delegation visiting the experimental community in Beijing
8. China-Novartis symposium on medical science and technology
VIII. Intermediary and Consultancy Services
Providing value-added and tailor-made services to the general public as well as to enterprises is a core responsibility of ACCA21 that is carried out by both the Center for Environmentally Sound Technology Transfer and the Center for Promotion of Medical Science and Technology. They provide market-oriented consulting services, conduct policy research on technology transfer and promote the commercialization of environmental and medical research findings.
1. Website of the APEC Virtual Center
2. Demo project for technology transfer
3. Promoting investment for Taihu Lake's ecology
4. Energy-efficient straw bale house
5. Eco-tourism workshop
IX. Training and Awareness Raising for Sustainable Development
Extensive public participation is key to the implementation of China's Agenda 21 and sustainable development. ACCA21 seeks to promote public awareness and encourage public participation through publicity campaigns and training programmes.
Over the past several years, ACCA21 has held dozens of training programmes for thousands of government officials, researchers and managers. Training materials cover China's Agenda 21, incorporating China's Agenda 21 into national economic planning, local capacity building, network building, environmentally friendly technology transfer, western development and sustainability. In addition, ACCA21 has also sent people abroad for training.
ACCA21 raises awareness of the general public by publishing a magazine, newsletters, books, audio-video materials and other publications on sustainable development.
1. A high-level training workshop on China's Agenda 21
2. Training on environmentally sound technology transfer
3. Training material for China's Agenda 21
4. China's Population, Resources and Environment magazine
ACCA21 actively promotes public participation and encourages stakeholders to take part in the implementation of China's Agenda 21.