Persistant Organic Pollutants, or POPs, are chemical substances that persist in the environment, accumulate in the food chain, and pose serious risk of causing adverse effects to human health and to the environment. Hence emissions of POPs is not only a local problem, but a global challenge that demands combined efforts of the international community. Both China and Norway signed the Stockholm convention in 2001 in an effort to manage and control these pollutants.
The China-Norway collaboration on POPs started in 2008. The first phase of the project focused on the original “dirty dozen” identified by the Stockholm convention. The second phase targeted the nine new POPs added in 2009.
The project has centered on capacity building at both management level and technical level, especially related to monitoring of new POPs, an area where Norway has long traditions and particularly strong expertise. The collaboration in SiNoPOP 2 has increased the capacity for monitoring at national level as well as in several of China’s provinces.
Key partners at the national level has been Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Tsinghua University and National Testing Center for Environmental Analysis. At the province level the EPBs from Guangdong, Zhejiang and Hubei provinces has taken part. The main partner on the Norwegian side was The Norwegian Institute for Water Research
This successful collaboration between China and Norway has received very good reviews. For instance, the mid-term review stated that the «relevance is high both for China and Norway and that the scientific outputs are relevant and of a high quality».
For Norway it has been important to engage with China on the environmental issues where we have international treaties and that are considered to be of global importance. The Sino-Norwegian collaboration has been running for close to 20 years, and Norway looks forward to exploring new opportunities for collaboration on issues that are of common interest to both two countries.