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China takes lead to cope with pops
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China, one of the pops (Persistent Organic Pollutants) dirtiest countries decade ago, now takes lead in coping with the chemical substances, experts said, hoping the country can be the model for others to follow.

This has been made possible as the Chinese government has pursued its commitment given to the Stockholm Convention on POPs, which was signed by the international community in May, 2001. Shortly in the same month, the Chinese government signed the convention before it came into force in the country on November11, 2004.

“China now is in full compliance with all the requirements of the convention. It is the country number one in the world in the implementation of the Stockholm Convention,” senior official in charge of environment in UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) said.

Mr Mohamed Eisa, Deputy Director for Stockholm Convention Unit, Environmental Management Branch Programme Development and Technical Cooperation Division, UNIDO spoke to media from Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam after a grand meeting China held last week in Beijing to celebrate its 10-year involvement in the Stockholm Convention. 

Starting to clean up itself since the country joined the convention decade ago, China has made significant progress in cleaning up the pops, which are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.

“Ten years ago, China was number one polluting country in the world. Today it is number one compliant country in the world,” Mr Mohamed stated, adding that this achievement gained within ten years is an example.

He said China’s commitment has drawn in great support including financial support to finance the execution national projects and plan.

China is the top recipient of funds for the implementation of the convention, with 9 projects funded through the Global Environment Facility with a total budget of USD 84 million, UNIDO’s Managing Director Wilfried Luetkenhorst was quoted in UNIDO website as saying.

UNIDO supports China with projects in the sectors of bulb and papers, the metallurgical sector and medical waste management.

“Our goal is to help the country strengthen its institutions for the execution of the National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention and introduce environmentally sustainable management and safe disposal of its medical waste,” Mr Luetkenhorst said.

A 5-year UNIDO project entitled ‘Environmental sustainable management of medical waste in China’, launched in 2008, aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate the release of unintentionally produced POPs and other globally harmful pollutants into the environment, and assist China in implementing its obligations under the Stockholm Convention. 

The meeting organized by the China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) was attended by representatives from UN’s agencies and other relevant stakeholders.

Participants praised China for its hardworking to fulfill commitment and obligation that lead to such outcome. They agreed that China’s best practices can be an example for other countries to follow.

In his keynote speech, Vice Minister of MEP Zhang Lijun stated that the central government and the state council have attached great importance to the pops prevention treatment and the implementation of the convention, saying a lot of progress has been made, thanked to support from all social sectors.

By Souksakhone Vaenkeo, a reporter from Laos, who is on exchange in China.

[责任编辑:wayne]

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