Chongqing -"Young scientists poised to be future leaders must first grasp the multifaceted concept of sustainable development," said Massimo Paoli, Programme Coordinator at the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), during an exclusive interview with Bridging News at the Belt and Road Forum for Young Scientists on November 6.
As a centerpiece of the Belt and Road Conference on Science and Technology Exchange (BRST), the forum brought together over a hundred young scientists from the International Alliance of Scientific Organizations (ANSO), converging on ideas to propel high-quality and sustainable development globally.
Founded in 2018 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and 36 global partners, ANSO is a non-profit scientific organization dedicated to promoting shared and sustainable development and advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The event opened with remarks from Chen Guiyun, Vice Chairman of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). He highlighted Chongqing's plans to support young scientific minds by fostering collaborations with enterprises, universities, and research institutes.
Chen envisaged Chongqing as a hub for scientific collaboration, deepening technological exchange through the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC) engaging in the Belt and Road Initiative. He depicted a city poised to facilitate knowledge sharing across economic, technological, and cultural sectors.
Helena B. Nader, President of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, emphasized the driving force of scientific cooperation for sustainable advancement. She pointed out the urgent need for youthful innovation in tackling environmental and poverty-related challenges.
Echoing the theme of partnership, Myo Thein Kyaw, Union Minister for Science and Technology of Myanmar, called for a diverse and original approach to scientific collaboration. He encouraged young researchers to explore uncharted territories as the custodians of science and the architects of the future.
The forum featured key presentations on planetary health, sustainable microbial technology, disaster prevention, and food security. Speakers demonstrated how cutting-edge interdisciplinary technologies can further sustainable development in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative and globally.
Yong-Guan Zhu, an academician of the CAS, advocated for the "planetary health" concept, urging a shift towards a balanced relationship between humanity and nature in the face of environmental crises. He called for a change in the scientific research paradigm, urging that real-world demands drive hypotheses to ensure practical application.
At the same time, Massimo Paoli highlighted the balance between economic growth and sustainable development as one of today's most daunting challenges. He praised China for its leadership in sustainable practices, particularly in green technology and agriculture.
Paoli addressed the young scientists with a clear message: understanding the multifaceted concept of sustainable development is crucial. He challenged them to adopt an interdisciplinary approach and maintain an open mindset, as they are instrumental in shaping the future.
Li Zhe, a professor from the CAS Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology, highlighted the Three Gorges Project's pivotal contribution to ecological conservation, improved living standards, and social progress. The Chinese government has spearheaded initiatives like the China Three Gorges Cooperation, extensive hydropower developments, and the Changjiang Water Resources Commission.
Li added that these initiatives have set commendable precedents and are poised to be benchmarks for sustainable development, offering strategic support to countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.
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