China Holds Meeting on the 10th Anniversary of Signing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
On 11 November 2011, a conference was held in Beijing by the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, marking the 10th anniversary of the signing the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The deputy director of the MEP summarized the national experience in POPs control and the progress made on its fulfillment of the Convention.
In the past few years, a nationwide inspection on POPs has surveyed 17 of the main industries involved with the emission of dioxins. They have also examined the overall power industry across China and non-power industries in 8 provinces that have installed PCB-related electrical facilities for conditions of POP use, waste quantity and storage. Eleven main agricultural provinces were also investigated for the type, volume and storage conditions of pesticide-type POP wastes. During the investigations, the authority has evaluated the POP-affected workplaces from 44 pesticide producers and performed detection analysis on two sampled POP-affected working sites. The MEP states it has now identified a directory of priority industries and districts under surveillance for the POP prevention and control.
However, the agency also points to a number of challenges facing the current POPs management task force. These include huge emission of dioxins over the country and its miscellaneous emitting sources, an ever-increasing number of newly added POPs, potential environmental risks caused by the historic POP wastes and their affected workplaces, the still imperfect legislative system and weakness in regulation management, the paucity of alternative product/technology research, the poor quality of prevention and control technologies and budget constraints, in compliance with the Convention.
According to MEP officials, China's MEP is currently working on the compilation of ‘the 12th five-year planning of pollution prevention and control against persistent organic pollutants for main industries over China’. In terms of financial guarantees, the agency said it would be important to speed up the establishment of relevant environmental economic policies by making full use of measures like taxation reform, Green credit policy and environmental pollution liability insurance, etc. to direct the industry to reducing emissions from POPs. The MEP also proposed to increase the communication with international counterparts and make efforts to attract novel ideas and technology for the management of POPs.
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