Environment Vital To The West  

With China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and further development of the western regions imminent, environmental protection issues will be increasingly thrown into the spotlight, Wang Yuqing, Vice-Director of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), said Monday, according to Chinadaily.

China has to face fierce international competition and harmonize sharp contradictions between the surging need for development and relatively limited resources and environmental support, Wang said at the opening ceremony of the Forum on the WTO Entry and Strategy of Environmental Management.

The three-day forum, co-sponsored by SEPA, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation and the United Nations Development Programme, focused on implementation and development of ISO 14000 in China.

The ISO 14000 series standards, which were drafted by the International Standards Organization for environmental management systems (EMS), will help improve global environment management and promote sustainable development through trade, Wang said.

In 1996, the ISO published the first two environmental management standards: ISO 14001, specifications with guidance for use; and ISO 14004, general guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques.

SEPA attaches great importance to the implementation of the ISO 14000 series standards and a nationwide EMS certification system has taken shape after more than 800 EMS certification organizations were established since 1997,Wang said.

In his keynote speech, Michele Amedeo, programme officer of the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO,) analyzed the environmental challenges for China after it enters the WTO.

According to UNIDO research, ``China is expected to face increased industrial environmental challenges than what it already faces,'' Amedeo said. ``China not only needs to continue but perhaps accelerate its efforts to reduce pollutants.''

China could more aggressively address the potential non-tariff barriers to its exports by expanding national capacity for application of EMS (ISO 14000) and corporate responsibility programmes, Amedeo suggested.

More than 200 experts and representatives from enterprises at home and abroad attended the conference.

Original source: People's Daily
Submit by CEIN  News on 31.10.2002