A European Union (EU)-supported project to tackle environmental problems in Liaoning Province, an industrial base in northeast China, has been progressing smoothly since its inception three years ago.
Launched in 1999, the project is the largest ever supported by the EU in China. The EU has donated 37 million euros, and the Liaoning Provincial government has allocated 11 million euros for the project, according to Kong Changjun, deputy director of the Provincial Environmental Protection Bureau and Deputy Head in charge of the EU-Liaoning Environment Project.
The project consists of several programs which cover environmental protection public awareness, management of water sources, prevention of air pollution, environment-friendly production, city planning, industrial restructuring and investment promotion, and energy resources management.
Several programs have already produced concrete results. For example, five cities, among them, Shenyang, the provincial capital, and Anshan, have acquired more monitoring equipment, enabling them to significantly improve their ability to forecast air quality.
To encourage environment-friendly production, the EU and Liaoning Province set up a 10 million euro joint fund, with a five million euro donation from each side. This fund offers low-interest loans to enterprises who develop environment-friendly modes of production.
The environment-friendly production program involves eight state-owned enterprises in the metallurgical, petro-chemical, textiles and paper-making fields, and 30 small and medium-sized enterprises.
In addition, there will be a focus on the economic aspects of the project, as Chinese and EU experts are expected to identify problems impeding the sustainable development of enterprises and work out programs for restructuring.
Ambassador Dr. Klaus Ebermann, head of the delegation of the European Commission of the EU, spoke highly of the smooth progress of the program during his recent visit to Liaoning.
The program, which has just passed metaphase evaluation, is a good example of Sino-EU cooperation, said Dr. Klaus Ebermann.
(Xinhua News Agency September 11, 2002)