Canada - China Partnership to Address Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS)

Vancouver, March 11, 2002 - Environment Minister David Anderson, and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Minister Susan Whelan, announced today a contribution of $316,000 ($200,000 U.S) to Royal Roads University of Victoria, BC and the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of China to undertake research that will help China reduce the use and dispersion of persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

The contribution from Canada's POPs Fund, which was established by the Government of Canada and is administered by the World Bank, will allow Royal Roads University to conduct a feasibility study and an evaluation of alternatives to the use of chlordane as a pesticide in China.

"Persistent organic pollutants threaten the health and well-being of humans and wildlife in every region of the world. That is why Canada was the first to sign and ratify the Stockholm Convention of May 2001 to reduce and eliminate the release of POPs into the environment", said Minister Anderson.

Minister Anderson made the announcement at the Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre Museum's "Man and Environment" exhibit. This unique exhibition of contemporary Chinese calligraphy showcases works that highlight the relationship between humanity and the environment and is sponsored by SEPA and Environment Canada. The event was held in conjunction with the Canada-China Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation and the GLOBE 2002 Conference and Trade Fair.

"Canada and China have developed good working relations on environmental issues through various Government-led environmental missions between the two countries over the past few years. The study to be conducted through Royal Roads University and this extraordinary calligraphy exhibit are testaments to the friendship between Canada and China and our common concerns about the environment," Minister Anderson said.

The Canadian Government provided $20 million to the Canada POPs Fund in March 2000 to assist developing countries and those with economies in transition to build their capacity to address POPs issues. Projects are aimed at reducing and eventually eliminating POPs emissions, production, and use, introducing more sustainable alternatives and safely disposing of POPs stockpiles and waste. The Canada POPs Fund is managed by the World Bank on behalf of the Canadian Government and will be disbursed over a five-year period.