The 2022 World Canal Cities Forum (WCCF), which was themed around heritage protection and sustainable development of canal cities, was held in Yangzhou, the canal capital of the world located in east China’s Jiangsu Province on June 27.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said “Canals are great projects created by humankind and the forum would inject new impetus into prosperity and development of canal cities globally and enhance people-to-people exchanges and sustainable development.”
Yangzhou, a city in joint application for world heritage for China’s Grand Canal and related heritage protection, was awarded as the model canal city for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations on the forum.
A report of the same theme titled Yangzhou sustainable development report for 2021 was released on the 2022 WCCF by Beate Trankmann, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative for China, in an effort to provide a Yangzhou-based sustainable development sample for canal cities around the world.
Previously in 2021, the UNDP China established together with the World Historic and Cultural Canal Cities Cooperation Organization (WCCO) a set of sustainable development indicators centered upon 56 gauges derived from prospects of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and available for quantifiable assessment to appraise sustainable development performance of canal cities.
By the end of 2020, Yangzhou had completed 92.2 percent of the sustainable development indicators and over a half of local indicators had reached the ultimate goals.
“In the future, Yangzhou will cherish its honor as the model city and join hands with canal cities at home and abroad to jointly promote canal cultural heritage protection and sustainable development of canal cities” said Zhang Baojuan, Party chief of Yangzhou.
Co-hosted by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Jiangsu Provincial People’s Government, the forum also witnessed birth of the “Yangzhou Initiative” dedicated to enhancing world canal cities heritage protection and sustainable development via enhancing planning, adhering to joint construction and sharing, attaching importance to innovation and integration and fostering win-win cooperation.”