Abstract：The 21st Century is an era of ecological civilization, and the bearing capacity of the ecological environment and the contribution of the ecological resources directly affect the speed and quality of social economic development. The relationship between economic development and environmental protection is a typical dialectical unity. The concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets not only provides a code of conduct for handling the relationship between ecological and environmental protection and economic development, but also provides a basic guideline for implementing green development and achieving high-quality development. It enriches and develops Marxist philosophy, provides a new idea for economic and social development, and opens up a new path for coordinated regional development at different levels.
The concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets combines ecology, production and living space, which has important theoretical value and helps to improve and reshape the current dominant Western economic theory system First, it breaks with the tradition of Marxist theory of labor value, and enriches the scope and connotation of human labor. Second, it further improves the theory of wealth distribution, taking nature as an equally important factor of production as capital, land and knowledge. Third, it enriches the theory of regional coordinated development. In the current attempts to construct the theoretical framework of regional coordinated development, most scholars regard government mechanism and market mechanism as the two driving mechanisms. Resource endowments such as labor, capital and technology, as well as public capital (infrastructure and public services) are taken as core elements. However, in this logical framework, there is a lack of ecology.
The concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets promotes regional coordinated development strategy through many paths, for instance, county economy and urban-rural coordination, regional cooperation and integration, Belt and Road Initiative and ecological diplomacy. First, it promotes coordinated development of urban and rural areas by advancing ecological development and integration. Second, it promotes cross-administrative regional cooperation and promotes the realization of regional ecological integration development, for example, jointly building a green and beautiful Yangtze River Delta is an important part of the regional integration of Yangtze River Delta. Third, it shares the same value with the idea of sustainable development advocated by the international community, and the international communication of the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets is conducive to building up a new pattern of ecological diplomacy.
It is a systematic evolution of the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets promoting regional coordinated development, and also a result of the joint action and comprehensive play of many factors in the economic and social development system. Among those, talent and technology are relatively key elements.
This article is a review of experts’ opinions on the Concept and Practice Conference on “Lucid Waters and Lush Mountains Are Invaluable Assets” in 2020. The conference is sponsored by Zhejiang University, the Institute of Environmental Planning of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, and undertaken by the Research Center for Regional Coordinated Development of Zhejiang University, the School of Environment and Resources of Zhejiang University, and the People’s Government of Anji County. Anji County is also famous as the headstream of the concept that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. More than 200 experts and scholars from government departments, universities, research institutes, think tanks, enterprises and public institutions participated in the conference. Experts at the meeting had in-depth discussions and exchanges around the theme of the conference.