EIJING - A total of 19 groups and 33 individuals became the first winners of China's environmental prize, the ecological civilization award, on World Environment Day on Sunday. The winners were from provinces and regions including Sichuan, Xinjiang,Zhejiang and Tibet. The award event will be run by the Ministry of Environmental Protection every three years. Also on Sunday, a symposium was held inBeijing to promote ecological conservation aimed at building a beautiful China. Shen Yueyue, vice chair of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, said the award showed that the central government highly valued ecological conservation. While calling for determination and confidence in all endeavors, Shen urged the nation to learn from the winners and create a favorable environment for pursuing ecological conservation. According to the ministry, 133 Chinese cities and counties have won the title of ecology-friendly cities (counties).