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6th Annual Report - 2000-2001

International

Progress with the International Community

Federal pollution prevention strategy goal: Participate in international pollution prevention initiatives


International Agreements and Technology Transfer

In December 2000, Canada and the United States signed the Ozone Annex to the 1991 Canada–U. S. Air Quality Agreement. It commits both governments to significantly reduce the creation of smog-causing pollutants -- nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds -- in Ontario, Quebec and the northeastern and midwestern United States. The goal is to implement cost-effective emission reductions through energy efficiency, renewable energy, cleaner fuel and alternative technology. It is estimated that the total nitrogen oxide reductions in the Canadian transboundary region will be 44% year-round by 2010. The Ozone Annex builds on the earlier success in reducing acid rain under the Canada–U.S. Air Quality Agreement.

Photo: Seminar

The UNEP 6th International High-Level Seminar on Cleaner Production brought together senior decision-makers from over 85 countries to address a variety of topics surrounding cleaner production.

Canada continued its international leadership role in protecting the stratospheric ozone layer by accepting a new amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Canada was one of the first countries to accept this amendment, internationally known as the Beijing Amendment, to ensure stronger controls on the production and consumption of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. Subsequently, Canada’s Ozone-Depleting Substances Regulations 1998 were revised to enable Canada to accept the Beijing Amendment, improve controls on ozone-depleting substances and address administrative issues. These amended regulations came into force on January 1, 2001.

Because of atmospheric circulation, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) travel great distances from their sources, posing significant risks to the health of Canadians. This is of particular concern to northern Aboriginal populations dependent on traditional foods. Even though Canada has banned or restricted their use, most POPs of concern are transported from foreign sources through the atmosphere into Canada, where they accumulate in the food chain. Canada was the first country in the world to establish an international fund to deal with POPs. The Canadian International Development Agency provided $20 million to the Canada POPs Fund, administered by the World Bank, to help developing countries and countries with economies in transition to reduce or eliminate the release of POPs, including certain pesticides (e. g., DDT) and industrial chemicals (e. g., PCBs). On a similar note, Health Canada was part of the Canadian delegation that led in the development and negotiation of a global agreement on banning the manufacture, sale, use and trade of POPs. The agreement was available for signing in the spring of 2001.

As part of the Climate Change Action Fund, Technology Early Action Measures (TEAM) provides financial support for international demonstrations of climate change technologies. The Climate Change Office of Industry Canada contributed salary dollars to TEAM admi-nistration and participated in the inter-departmental review of prospective projects. As an example of TEAM’s work, Western Economic Diversification Canada, on behalf of TEAM, administered an alternative method to industrial waste disposal while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project involved the composting of industrial and municipal waste streams at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre, including industrial sludge, oily waste and biosolids. The compost was sold in the landscaping market.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) manages the $100 million Canada Climate Change Fund on behalf of the Government of Canada. Through this fund, CIDA promotes, facilitates and/or finances the transfer of environmentally sound technologies that address the causes and effects of climate change to developing countries. The four programming areas are emission reductions, carbon sequestration, adaption and core capacity-building. Transfers are completed in such a way as to build knowledge, equipment and product capacity in the recipient country. Two rounds of project selection, one in the fall of 2000 and the most recent in the spring of 2001, have been completed.

Through partnerships with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Natural Resources Canada promotes environmental stewardship in minerals and metals mining abroad. During 2000–2001, Natural Resources Canada managed contracts on behalf of CIDA in Guyana, Brazil and Zambia. The objective of these projects is to transfer Canadian technical expertise in environmental management related to mining in order to improve the capability of these countries’ governments to manage their mining interests, thereby reducing the risks to human health or the environment.

With financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency, Environment Canada, through the Ontario Centre for Environmental Technology Advancement and ETV Canada Inc., continued introducing the principles, protocols and benefits of environmental technology verification (ETV) adapted from Canada’s model to the international community. Phase 1 began in 1999–2000 with the transfer of expertise to the People’s Republic of China. The transfer continued in 2000–2001, as well as the development and approval to implement Phase 2 -- Development of the Chinese Environmental Technology Verification System -- in the next year. Chinese stakeholders regard ETV as a valuable tool and methodology for assessing the performance of pollution prevention and control technologies through an objective third-party rigorous process that establishes credibility for both the buyer and the vendor. In 2000, the transfer of ETV expertise also commenced in Indonesia. Additional work for adapting the concept in Indonesia will be continued once funding becomes available. India has also expressed interest in ETV, and a workshop is under consideration to introduce the ETV concept and integrate it into India’s pollution prevention policies.

International Pollution Prevention Summit

In October 2000, over 250 leading practitioners and decision-makers from more than 60 countries, representing all regions of the world, gathered in Montreal for the International Pollution Prevention Summit. The Summit produced a series of action plans for furthering sustainability goals in the areas of changing behaviour, education, finance and government policy.

The Summit also saw the launch of the Global Cleaner Production Network. This Internet-based Network will be designed to collect and share successful practices and new ideas on eliminating pollution. It will also serve as a virtual meeting place for the hundreds of pollution prevention roundtables and sustainability and cleaner production networks worldwide.

The Canadian Centre for Pollution Prevention and Environment Canada’s National Office of Pollution Prevention hosted the Summit with guidance from an international Steering Committee. The Millennium Bureau of Canada was a core financial supporter.

Preceding the Summit, Canada hosted the United Nations Environment Programme’s 6th International High-Level Seminar on Cleaner Production, bringing together senior decision-makers in cleaner production from over 85 countries. Panels addressed a variety of topics, including facing new challenges, the International Declaration on Cleaner Production, technology innovations and cleaner production, twinning industrial ecology and cleaner production, and perspectives for the next decade.

North, Central and South America

The Environmental Services Association of Alberta, with funding from the Canadian International Development Agency, works with the Latin American association of 27 oil and gas companies (ARPEL) to enhance the ability of member companies to develop and implement environmental protection and management plans, programs and guidelines. In order to achieve the objective of reduced atmospheric emissions and increased energy efficiency within the Latin American oil and gas industry, seven environmental guidelines were developed and four ARPEL member companies were selected to participate in direct technical assistance to the facilities during 2000–2001.

Asia and Africa

With the support of the Canadian International Development Agency, the China–Canada Cooperation in Cleaner Production project was created in 1995 to assist China in implementing cleaner production in priority sectors. During 2000–2001, the project trained Chinese policy and technical experts so they can train others in the realm of audits, guidelines and cleaner production solutions. A draft of national cleaner production legislation was proposed and is now under review. A number of policy and guideline documents are also under way. One set of guidelines identifies 10 cities as demonstration sites for the promotion and introduction of cleaner production. The guidelines also identify several priority industrial sectors -- petrochemical, metallurgy, chemical (nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, chlor-alkali and sulphuric acid), pulp and paper, fermentation and beer-making, and ship building. Initial success at a fertilizer plant and paper mill has resulted in the application of similar solutions to eight fertilizer plants and six pulp and paper mills. The six paper mills combined have achieved annual reductions in water (6 million tonnes), coal (11,000 tonnes) and fibre removed from waste (15,000 tonnes).

Jiangsu Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) Applied Management and Environmental Project provided assistance in management and in environmental and business planning capacity to SMEs. The Jiangsu provincial government and the Canadian International Development Agency sponsored this project. Results achieved include those at the Gaoyou Feida Chemical Plant: a 24% reduction in the volume of effluent, a reduction in the concentration and volume of chemical oxygen demand and sulphur released and a 15% drop in the cost of production.

Tracking Progress Against Pollution Prevention – A Federal Strategy for Action*
Goal: Participate in international pollution prevention initiatives
Actions:Status:Examples:
1. Stimulate a shift to pollution prevention in international organizationsOngoing- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
- United Nations Environment Programme
2. Incorporate pollution prevention into international standardsOngoing- Canada’s introduction of environmental technology verification to the international community
- Canada–China Cooperation in Cleaner Production
3. Advance pollution prevention through international protocols and agreementsOngoing- Canada–U. S. Air Quality Agreement
- Kyoto Protocol
- Montreal Protocol

*This table summarizes the linkages to programs and initiatives undertaken in pollution prevention with the federal government’s action plan on pollution prevention with the international community.


The Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Technical and Economic Co-operation of Thailand provided technical assistance to Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Vietnam under the Canada–Thailand Trilateral Project. Through 17 sub-projects, participants gained knowledge through training and information exchange in the areas of solar photovoltaic electrification, biogas energy and clean coal technology. The use of solar power was demonstrated as a viable energy source for small villages in remote locations. In addition, alternative energy sources (solar photovoltaic electrification, biogas and coal-based briquette production) were introduced in rural areas throughout Lao PDR. An educator’s manual for promoting the energy conservation awareness of youth was introduced in Vietnam, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

In 2000, the Canadian International Development Agency, in partnership with Resource Efficient Agriculture Production (REAP, an independent research and development organization), initiated the Southern Negros Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Project in the main sugar-growing region of the Philippines. The project aims to actively rehabilitate the natural resource base of the region through the adoption of ecological farming practices. Through informal information sharing and farmer-to-farmer training, farmers are encouraged to explore natural pest control methods to replace widely used synthetic pesticides. So far, 60% of farmers in five communities have used these methods, resulting in improved water and soil quality. Other benefits of the program include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through minimized crop residue burning and decreased use of fossil-based energy inputs.

Upcoming Projects

At the Sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in The Hague in November 2000 and resumed in Bonn in July 2001, 178 nations concluded a landmark agreement on the rules for implementing the Kyoto Protocol. Immediately afterward, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien indicated that the agreement opened the way for Canada’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol next year, following full consultations with the provinces and territories, stakeholders and other Canadians. With the acknowledgement in the Bonn Agreement that “sinks” can play a major role in addressing climate change, as well as the initiatives funded in Budget 2000 and in the Government of Canada Action Plan 2000 on Climate Change, Canada is on the way to addressing half of the target established in the Kyoto Protocol of 6% below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions.