China Environmental News Digest

Daily updated Environmental news related to China

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Russia, China seek to jointly solve Amur ecological problems

KHABAROVSK, November 13 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and China intend to jointly solve ecological problems of the Amur River, Khabarovsk Region Governor Viktor Ishayev told reporters on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference after the visit of a regional delegation to China, Ishayev reported that the delegation had considered with the Chinese side directions of economic cooperation as well as cooperation in the implementation of ecological programs.

He said Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, had raised the ecological issue when receiving the delegation. The influential Chinese leader expressed gratitude for joint work on the construction of a dam and liquidation of the aftermath of the explosion at a petrochemical plant in China’s Jilin.

“Not only China, but also Japan and South Korea have become concerned with the problem of Amur’s ecology,” the governor stressed. “We have got through to the international community,” he said. Now, the parties “need a calm, normal and adequate work” in that direction. Steps include a further monitoring, as well as measures to prevent pollution and liquidate its aftermath.

The Chinese side said it had allocated three billion dollars for environmental operations in northeastern China, the construction of treatment facilities at enterprises on the Sungari (Songhua) River, which is Amur’s tributary. A decision was made to liquidate ecologically unsafe enterprises or transfer them to other regions.

Monday marks one year after an accident at the petrochemical plant. The monitoring does not fix higher than normal level of benzene and nitrobenzene in the river, but still the situation is far from normal. The level of phenols is twice as high as the maximum admissible concentration.

Scientists from the Institute for Water and Ecological Problems of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences believe China’s share in the pollution is very high.


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