UN praises China for combating pollution
Updated: 2006-01-14 05:20
China has made impressive commitment to monitoring the Songhua River
pollution in a regular and systematic way and to sharing results and other
information with neighbouring Russia and the United Nations Environment
Programme, a UNEP report said.
The report, released on Friday, also praised a recently established joint
monitoring programme between China and Russia, calling it "an encouraging step
in further multilateral co-operation on shared water resources."
UNEP said it was ready to assist Chinese authorities further in relation to
both the current spill and with measures to reduce the risk of a similar
incident in the future.
The report was completed by a four-person team of UNEP experts who visited
Northeast China last month to examine the November 13 blast at the Jilin
Petrochemical Corporation and its polluting effects on the Songhua River.
In its report, the team called for knowledge gained from the incident to be
incorporated into policy, legislation and enforcement.
The Songhua River merges with the Heilong River and forms a natural border
with Russia, eventually flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk.
China and UNEP "have agreed to share this report with the relevant Russian
authorities," the Kenyan-based agency said in a news release.
The UNEP report described the chemical spill as "probably one of the largest
trans-boundary chemical spill incidents in a river system in recent years."
It stressed that the accident has "major trans-boundary and international
significance" and suggested that both China and Russia provide access for
"independent and impartial" sampling and chemical analysis of the spill.
But the UN report said that during the initial phase after the explosion, the
government's "communication and information sharing with the general public was