NOAA 99-27b
Contact: Barbara Semedo


The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced a continuing collaboration with China to reduce and mitigate natural disasters, pursue integrated coastal management, and convene a workshop and symposium on climate variability issues later this year. The announcement was made at the second meeting of the U.S. - China Environment and Development Forum during the Science for Sustainable Development Working Group held on April 9 at the U.S. Department of State.

"This Forum provides a unique opportunity to advance sustainable development in our two countries," said Commerce Secretary William M. Daley."Our discussions fostered a valuable exchange of information on issues that affect us globally and domestically. The Commerce Department, President Clinton and Vice President Gore all consider sustainable development a priority issue."

Since the last meeting of the Forum in Beijing in March 1997, NOAA had a key role in advancing several initiatives:

  • Co-chairing a workshop on Natural Disaster Mitigation and Reduction in November 1997, which has resulted in several follow-on activities, including projects on marine natural disasters and on strengthening collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.This collaboration will allow both sides to address the many challenges of natural calamities and technological systems by calling for cooperative exchanges and projects in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation to help save lives and reduce property losses in both countries.
  • The establishment of a Joint Coordination Panel on Integrated Coastal Management, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and China's State Oceanic Administration. The Panel will support China's current efforts to manage growing coastal pressures, while acquiring data and information that will benefit U.S. coastal management.
  • Agreement to hold a U.S.-China Workshop on Climate Variability and Application in Beijing in September 1999.

"The activities we announced today build on the strength of our relationship and focus our efforts in the fields of science and technology," said D. James Baker, NOAA administrator and under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere, who earlier today represented the Commerce Department on the Science for Sustainable Development Working Group."As we approach 20 years of cooperation and collaboration with China, the critical issues of natural disasters, coastal management and climate will continue to be priorities for the future."

U.S. delegation members in the Science for Sustainable Development Working Group also included Neal Lane, the President's science advisor; Rita Colwell, director, National Science Foundation; Under Secretary James Schroeder and Under Secretary Miley Gonzales, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and Kay Goss, Federal Emergency Management Administration.