Mr. Zhou Qiang and the All-China Youth Federation
Mr. Zhou Qiang currently occupies the most senior position in southern China’s Hunan Province as Party Secretary. From 2006 to 2010, Mr. Zhou was the governor of Hunan and during his tenure he dedicated himself to transforming the province into a model of environmental sustainability, calling on the protection of the Dongting Lake, China’s second largest fresh water lake, and the Xiangjiang River as well as promoting wastewater treatment and reforestation.
“A Green Hunan icon not only boasts of the beautiful scenery and sound ecosystems in the province but also represents the province’s initiative in promoting green development and a Green Economy. I hope I can keep working on the green development, not only for Hunan province but also for my country and our homeland Earth. I also hope that the resources of Nature that we have now can continue to benefit future generations,” he said.
Born in 1960 in central Hubei province, Mr. Zhou early on indicated an interest in protecting the environment. While serving as Chairman of the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), he also launched in 1999 the China Mother River Protection Operation for the Xiangjiang River which runs through the province. As head of the ACYF, he has mobilized youth and social communities to work on protecting the environment and join in the Mother River Protection Operation which aims to reduce the discharge of major pollutants, improving the water supply and protecting the wetland areas.
As the only national youth association in China, the ACYF is a very important force for protecting the environment in China and the global environment. To date, the youth organization has undertaken 882 afforestation projects and 191,000 hectares have been reforested. In addition 300 million youth have been mobilized to participate in the Mother River Protection Operation, and exchanges and cooperation in the field of environmental protection have grown among young people in more than 50 countries and regions. On 4 May 2002, the President of China inscribed the message of "Protecting the Mother River" to express his full support. The Operation, initially advocated by Zhou Qiang, has now become one of the most well known environmental protection initiatives in China.