After 30 months implementation by the joint project team from Australian Urban Systems (AUS) represented by Earth Systems, ICC/NDRC and the two pilot cities of Suzhou and Huzhou, the Lake Tai Water Pollution Treatment project has successfully completed all its planned activities The project completion workshop was held in Suzhou on 20 March 2012 to disseminate the project outcomes and outline the future cooperation between Chinese and Australian partners.
Senior officials from the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, Australia’s Consulate General in Shanghai and the Victorian State Government delivered opening speeches and spoke highly of the project outcomes in policy decision-making, capacity building and partnership building. The workshop also attracted more than 100 delegates from AusAID Beijing, Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Environmental Protection and relevant government agencies from Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province and Shanghai Municipality and ACEDP PCO as well as academics from China Academy of Sciences and researchers from various institutions. International donors including EU delegation to China, WWF China and Friends of Nature Beijing also sent their representatives to exchange their experience of water resources and environment management.
Technical presentations were divided into three separate sessions on integrated river basin management, science-based lake management and wastewater treatment optimization on this one-day workshop. Interactive discussions among the presenters, panelists and the audience were facilitated by project experts to clarify understandings and share experiences and lessons.
Mr. Qu Yonghui, the lead expert from China International Engineering Consulting Corporation who is also responsible for the mid-term review of the Master Plan for Comprehensive Management of Water Environment in Lake Tai confirmed in his presentation that the findings and policy recommendations from the 2.5 years of project work fit in very well with the review task he is working on. He is looking forward to maintaining the knowledge sharing with NDRC, MWR and MEP in the future work on Lake Tai pollution treatment.
Prior to the opening of the completion workshop, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by senior representatives from ICC/NDRC, AUS represented by Earth Systems and Suzhou Development and Reform Commission witnessed by officials from MOFCOM, the Victorian Government, AusAID Beijing and ACEDP PCO. This MOU document has been able to build on the success of Lake Project and paved the way for further and all around collaboration in the area of environmental protection among the signatory parties.