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A Chinese Scientist Visited Sri Lanka 30 Times

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Since the mid-1990s, Sri Lanka has long faced chronic kidney disease of unknown origin (CKDu) and Safe drinking water issues, and has sought international cooperation and relief.

Since 2013, Wei Yuansong, director of the Water Pollution Control Laboratory of the Ecological and Environmental Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Become aware of the major livelihood needs of Sri Lanka – chronic kidney disease of unknown cause, and Embarked on a journey ofof cooperation between the two sides. Focusing on the study of the causes of Unoriginated disease, as well as scientific research and personnel training for drinking water safety and water environment improvement, theirrelatedwork has been listed in the joint statement of the two governments in 2016 and 2023.

Trust building

Wei Yuanzairecalled: “The confidence between us was built up bit by bit.”

On December 18th, 2023, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) and the University of Peradeniya signed the Agreement of a state-of-the-art Joint Research and Demonstration Center for Water Technology in Colombo, marking a new chapter of the joint cooperation.

When talking about the project experience, Wei Yuansongbelieves that The first aspect co-construction, co-management and sharing – CAS will jointly carry out scientific research, personnel training, equipment research and development, technology demonstration and other activities In collaboration withNWSDas well astheUniversity of Peradeniya or other institutions; The second aspect lies in the necessity to address the actual needs of local people’s livelihood and solve the most urgent problems. “Sri Lanka still faces issues with drinking water in rural area, so we will work with partners to investigate the quality of rural areadrinking water to find solutions.”

Water and environmental issues are common ecological issues as well as major livelihood issues faced by developing countries. However, most countries currently lack the technical, financial, personnel and industrial support required to solve the problem. Sri Lanka Is in the same situation, especially in rural area. “The characteristics of such projects by CAS are one country, one policy. NWSDB is concerned with safe drinking water planning and has been following WHO general guidelines in this area. I took Beijing Miyun Reservoir as an example to share the protection model of China’s water sources. In some of Sri Lanka’s water sources, there are industrial parks a few kilometers upstream from the water plant, which needs to be adressed.”

Another critical aspect is data availability,the implementation of these drinking water programs requires a lot of data, butSri Lanka has no such data or very little. Data is essential, like giving medical treatment to people. APatient’s indicator data needs to be clarified through laboratory tests.WhileObservation is a reasonable tool, the situation in Sri Lanka has been easily misjudged by mere observation/by observation alone. Our domestic environmental industry and monitoringsystemarequite complete, so we’ve donated a set of river water quality monitoring equipment to Sri Lanka for the monitoring of most important water source,Mahaweli River, which is still under construction.

With over 20 million people, Sri Lanka presents ample opportunities for environmental security initiatives. We remarks, “In 2016, a garbage mountain collapsed in Sri Lanka, claimed over 10 livesWhen some officials and professors visited Beijing, they contacted me to visit Beijing’s waste treatment, and I arranged the visit to Beijing Chaoyang District Gao Antun Resource Recycling Center, they were very excitedto see the process of transferring from waste to energy resources, including composting, anaerobic digestion, incineration and landfilling – This shifted their perceptions, of underestimating about China’s environmental progress.”

“The nature is our home, and ecological infrastructure is our lifeline.” says Wei Yuansong.

“Sri Lanka attaches great importance to ecological and environmental protection. The concept is quite advanced. I appreciate it a lot. ”

The hop topic in China at present is “new quality productive forces”

Wei Yuansong believes that green development is the Grounding of high-quality development, and the new quality productive forces itself is green productivity. Although Sri Lanka is a small island country, it cherishes the environment very much and has high requirements for environmental protection, which has the potential to catch the fast track of nnew quality productive forces green industries. For instance,Environmental governance holds the key to solving many of Sri Lanka’s challenges,

“An official from Sri Lanka’s ministry of science and technology told me that the forecasts of rice yield are not accurate every year. I suggested that remote sensing forecasting can greatly improve the accuracy.The impact of inaccurate rice yield forecast is Significant, involving production and import planning.Thus the country calls for more data analysis to ensure the planning, and big data technology is also a layer of new quality productive forces.”

“Sri Lanka’s stable environment and hospitable people make it an attractive destination for Chinese visitors, drawn not only by its natural beauty but also by its rich Buddhist heritage.The unique geographical advantages Brought Sri Lanka the potential to become a maritime hub in South Asia, and that also requires a lot of high-tech and talent to support. We envision that Sri Lanka will become the next Singapore, and we are willing to do everything we can to help realize it.” Wei said.

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