World Great Rivers Civilizations Forum·Zhengzhou Manifesto

Source: | 2023-09-17 19:50

The 2023 World Great Rivers Civilizations Forum was held from September 17th to 18th in the city of Zhengzhou, which is a national central city and one of the eight Great Ancient Chinese Capitals sited along the Yellow River. More than 300 experts and scholars from all over the world gathered to engage in and conducted extensive and in-depth discussions on the theme of "Mutual Learning Among Civilizations·Jointly Building A Shared Future", and have reached the following consensus:

1. Great Rivers have nurtured the world's major civilizations and are the embodiment of human civilizations. The perpetual flow of rivers symbolizes the continuity of civilizations, and their unstoppable force signifies human innovation and progress. The convergence of various streams reflects the openness and inclusiveness of human culture. Rivers connect different regions, bridging friendship between people of different races and languages, and serving as the source of inspiration for the advancement of human civilization. Rivers are the driving force for communication and the link for mutual understanding among human civilizations.

2. Great River basins carry genetic heritages of human civilizations. The Yellow River - Yangtze River basin, the Indus River basin, the Tigris and Euphrates River basin, and the Nile River basin have respectively nurtured Chinese civilization, ancient Indian civilization, ancient Babylonian civilization, and ancient Egyptian civilization. Each of these civilizations has its strengths and has made significant contributions to the progress of human civilization. The footprints of civilizations follow the veins of rivers, with some becoming eternal legacies displayed on the vast earth, while others shining even brighter through communication and mutual learning.

3. Advocate for respecting the civilizational characteristics of each river civilization to safeguard the diversity of human civilizations. The major river basins of the world have different environments and distinctive civilizational features, constitutinga colorful global garden of civilizations. Although civilizations have originated earlier or later, lasted longer or shorter, there is no superior or inferior among them. We should respect civilizations created by all countries and peoples of the world and protect the diversity of cultures.

4. Advocate for taking strong measures to protect cultural heritages of river basins. The cultural heritages of river basins represent an essential part of world civilization. Many cultural heritages are being threatened or disappeared in the process of urbanization in the world. It is urgent for the whole humanity to join hands to deal with the situation and take strong measures to enhance the protection of human cultural heritages.

5. Advocate for intensified research on global civilizations including river civilizations. A global academic research and exchange platform should be set up for the exploration of civilizations, civilization exchanges and the protection and utilization of cultural heritages, deepening research on the historical context of the origin, formation, and development of human civilization.

6. Advocate for enhancing the inheritance and promotion of civilization. Artifacts in museums, heritage displayed on the vast land, and ancient texts should be brought to life, so that human civilization can be revitalized with new vigor and vitality.

7. Advocate for protecting the ecological environment of river basins and to achieve a harmonious coexistence of civilization and ecology. Throughout the history of human civilization, river basins with favorable ecology and pleasant environments have nurtured a number of ancient civilizations. To inherit civilization demands us not only respect history as well as nature. We should plan for the development of river basins from the perspective of harmonious coexistence between humans and nature.

8. Advocate for utilizing the modern values of ancient civilizations to promote the development of modern civilization of human society. Ancient civilizations are important bearers of human wisdom and experience, and their historical contributions as well as modern significance should not be underestimated. Although some of the four major ancient river basin civilizations have not survived to the present day, they are the sources of many subsequent civilizations. Today, we should pay more attention to the contemporary relevance of ancient civilizations and make new and greater contributions to the progress of modern human civilization.

9. Advocate for strengthening civilization communication to achieve cultural exchanges, integration and mutual understanding. In the process of emphasizing the civilizational inheritance and innovation, fully tapping into the historical and cultural values of various countries, and promoting the creative transformation and innovative development of outstanding traditional cultures, we should respect the diversity of world civilizations, and adhere to the principles of equality, mutual appreciation, communication, and inclusiveness among civilizations. Cultural exchanges will transcend estrangement, mutual learning will transcend clashes, and inclusiveness will transcend feelings of superiority. We should build bridges for people to people exchanges and cooperation among different countries and jointly promote the human civilization to blossom inmutual learning, sharing development opportunities, and creating a better future together.

2023 WorldGreatRiversCivilizationsForum (Zhengzhou, China)

September 17, 2023