Promoting Chemical Safety and Emergency Preparedness in the Chemical Industry in China
Environment Ministry, UN Environment and Dow Chemical Launch Collaborative Pilot
Beijing, 16 September 2008 - China's Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Dow Chemical (China) Investment Company Limited (Dow) today signed a joint project document to collaborate on promoting chemical safety and emergency preparedness in the chemical industry in China.
The partnership will support the development of the safer production of chemicals and safety management systems in pilot industries. It will also assist the Ministry and relevant organizations to improve local awareness and preparedness for industrial environmental emergencies.
Lijun Zhang, vice minister of MEP, said today: "We face formidable, but reachable goals in China concerning safety and emergency response. The chemical industry plays a very important role in our nation's development, and this program will draw us closer to where we need to be; in essence, having safer places to work and live".
Arab Hoballah, Chief of the Sustainable Consumption and Production Branch of UNEP indicated that this project will assist in building capacity in the MEP and in the chemical industry and its value chain and is line with UNEP's Bali Strategic Plan on Technology Support and Capacity Building.
"Through this demonstration project and other relevant activities, the experience gained will be important in supporting further capacity development of local authorities and broader section of the chemical industry in China, as well as setting the basis for a National Center for Safer Production," he said.
Neil Hawkins, Vice President, Sustainability at Dow, said: "We are excited to move forward into another multi-year project in China, our third largest market and an important center of global transformational growth. Collaborating with partners like MEP and UNEP will make a positive and lasting impact on a wide range of people, and Chinese society as a whole."
"In 2005, Dow sponsored the three-year national pilot project with the China's State Environmental Protection Administration (now MEP). Dow also partnered with China's State Administration of Work Safety to launch a national demonstration project on the safe management of hazardous chemicals promoting a better understanding and awareness among small- and medium-sized enterprises. This project will be another important contribution in setting the standard for sustainability in China," he added.
Promoting chemical safety and emergency preparedness in the chemical industry in China
Expected deliverables for the program include the development of training material to help build capacity with local companies, the organization of training systems and the development of case studies. The project will last for two years, starting from September 16, 2008.
Notes to Editors
On the 3rd of July 2007, UNEP signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with the MEP on Disaster Preparedness and Chemical Safety, which states that UNEP will "jointly work with MEP (then the State Environment Protection Administration - SEPA) for seeking financial support to develop workshops, demonstration projects, seminars, training courses and other Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) activities".
This LOA allows for several partnerships with private sector or donors' contribution to implement jointly identified activities in response to safer production challenges.
MEP(Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China), formerly State Environmental Protection Administration, is the nation's environmental protection department charged with the task of preventing and controlling environmental pollution, protecting nature and ecology, supervising nuclear safety, safeguarding environmental safety, and promoting the harmony between man and nature.
Directly under the State Council, it is empowered and required by law to implement environmental policies and enforce environmental laws and regulations. More information on MEP can be found on www.mep.gov.cn.
The mission of UNEP is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
UNEP encourages decision makers in government, local authorities and industry to develop and implement policies, strategies and practices that are cleaner and safer, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure environmentally sound management of chemicals, reduce pollution and risks for humans and the environment, enable implementation of conventions and international agreements, and incorporate environmental costs.
More information on UNEP can be found on www.unep.org.
For Editorial Information:
Mr. Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesman, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Emily Zhang, Dow Greater China Media Relations,Tel: +8621 23019350, Email:email@example.com