The inaugural Sino-German Sustainable Development Forum took place in hybrid format on Sept 24. The event brought together over 30 experts from both countries under major themes including climate change and environment, new energy materials, green development policies and university-industry cooperation.
ZJU’s Vice President He Lianzhen joined officials and organization leaders at the opening session. She started with an overview of ZJU’s historical and vibrant, ongoing ties with Germany, and noted its readiness to work with German institutions to “coordinate efforts and turn vision into action”.
“Today’s forum will be another important step under the umbrella of Z4G, which is going to mobilize broad support for the UN’s 2030 agenda,” Professor HE said. Z4G (A Global ZJU for Social Good) is Zhejiang University’s latest Sustainability Action Plan launched in March. “It serves as a blueprint to improve sustainability-related education, research and practices not only within ZJU but in the wider community home and abroad,” she added.
Huge potential for Sino-German cooperation
Also present at the opening were: Mr. FANG Jun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Chinese Ministry of Education; Mr. Pitt Heltmann, Consul General of Germany in Shanghai; Dr. Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation; and Ms. Ruth Schimanowski, Chief Representative of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Mr. FANG noted that China and Germany have forged close ties in many areas including trade, innovation and education. Environment-wise, Germany is one of the global trailblazers while China is an active champion in this regard with its new development philosophy and climate commitments. Speaking about the future prospects of Sino-German cooperation, Mr. Fang said: “When we join hands for the cause of sustainable development, both countries will have great potential and can play a crucial role in this area.”
That point was echoed by Mr. Heltmann, who commended the significant progress achieved by the Chinese science, technology and innovation community in the field of sustainability and green technology. “There is no more important challenge for the global community than the issue of sustainability,” said Mr. Heltmann. He continued by stressing the pivotal role China plays in the context of climate action and said his country is “looking forward to deepening our collaboration in tackling these tasks jointly”.