China: Environmental Industry Update

The Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong has provided an update on the environmental industry in the Greater China region. Its January 2007 newsletter includes recent environmental projects and a summary of developments in Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan.

Guangdong to Build 5 Environment Monitoring Centers

According to news release from the lately held Guangdong Environment Monitoring Conference, during the “11th five year plan” period, Guangdong’s environment monitoring system relies on its innovation of environmental management and the improvement of monitoring standard. It is a system that bases in Guangdong, and faces the Pan PRD for the purpose of environmental monitoring.

According to statistics from Guangdong Provincial EPB, Guangdong’s occurrence of environmental polluting incidents has intensified in the recent years, causing considerable instability to the society. In 2005, 32 polluting incidents broke out in Guangdong, of which the North River’s cadmium contamination is the most serious environment incident ever recorded since the 50s. As the situation worsened, Guangdong plans to invest RMB 2.2 billion during the “11th five year plan” period to set up an environmental monitoring centre; it has an automatic monitoring network that could be promoted in the Pan PRD region, supervising major point-source polluters, environmentally sensitive areas and regional air quality; the province has formed an advanced primary forecasting system for environmental monitoring. The system separates the province into four geographical regions, the PRD, Eastern Guangdong, Western Guangdong and Northern Guangdong, building and improving a monitoring network based on the provincial environmental monitoring station, and five major regional stations, which are located in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shantou, Maoming and Shaoguan respectively. These regional stations will become be responsible for monitoring and fostering environmental concerns.

During the “10th five year” period, Guangdong spent nearly RMB 700 million on improving its capability for environmental monitoring, constructed 133 automatic air quality monitoring stations, 37 water quality monitoring stations and the Guangdong - Hong Kong - PRD air quality monitoring network, periodically releasing regional air quality indexes and enhancing its comprehensive capability for environmental monitoring. The stations provided nearby 1.5 million environmental indexes data, nearly 3 times as much as the amount of data collected during the “9th five year” period (0.53 million), including provincial statistics of urban air quality, precipitation, drinkable water source, rivers water quality, lakes and reservoirs, river deltas, costal water and urban noise. Guangdong now has 22 environmental stations certified by national laboratory, ranks second in the country only after Jiangsu province.

Nevertheless, Guangdong’s lack of environmental monitoring commitment, out-of-dated equipments and limited programs remain significant. Other than Guangzhou and Shenzhen, none of the secondary station is capable for detection of 80 nationally specified programs for organic contaminants in drinkable water. Lack of detection equipments and facilities creates increasing difficulty in monitoring organic contaminants. Currently, Guangdong has not established a system to monitor permanent organic pollutants (POPs) generated from the burning of hazard wastes. Most of the tertiary stations are only capable for minor industrial pollutant source monitoring; they are not able to perform ordinary environmental monitoring.

The projected plan is that the central station and 5 regional stations will be capable for detection and monitor of assort pollutants by June 2007 and the end of 2007 respectively. By 2008, provincial and municipal stations will reach the national standards and the same standards will be applied to town stations by 2010. Meanwhile, Guangdong environmental monitoring central station will develop an emergency information system for contamination incidents, including a hazard specialist system, emergency reaction, support and evaluation system; it will be capable for emergency monitoring support and management functions. Moreover, Guangdong is planning to further enhance its acid rain monitoring network, building a full coverage of provincial acid rain monitoring network by setting up 102 town level observation stations.

One Factory-One Year-One Environmental Project (1-1-1 Program)

With an aim to reduce and to roll back pollution that is affecting residents in Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) is embarking a company-wide green campaign, the 1-1-1 programme to sharpen the focus on what needs to be done in Hong Kong and the PRD in South China, the world’s factory land and home to 70,000 factories from and funded by Hong Kong. The 1-1-1 project is to encourage the industry to implement environmental program and systems in related to energy conservation, water management, waste discharge reduction & treatment, recycling of resources, air emissions, noise abatement and green management. The Federation is now looking towards industry-wide participation on both sides of the boundary. For further information, please visit FHKI website:


Batteries with Excessive Mercury Restricted

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) indicates that from Sept 1, manufacturers and importers of dry cell batteries must submit testing reports showing that mercury levels are below 5 ppm before they manufacture or import batteries. Manufacturers, importers and vendors may not sell or give away batteries for which EPA approval documents have not been obtained. Apart from source controls of manufacturers and importers, the EPA also carries out random inspections of mercury content in designated batteries for sale. If inspections reveal mercury content over 5 ppm, the manufacturer or importer will be required to recall the product and be fined.

Recycling and Zero Waste Goals Completed

As Taiwan’s “Environmental Protection Three-Year Action Plan” comes to an end in 2006, the subplan to “Complete Sorting of Garbage for Zero Waste Plan” has attained recycling and waste reduction goals ahead of schedule. The recycling rate has increased from 17.89% to 26.35% and food waste recycling rate from 2.19% to 7.15%. Average per capita daily garbage collection volume has decreased from 1.143 kg in 1997 to 0.620 kg in June 2006, making a new record for waste reduction in Taiwan. All data indicates that this policy is showing initial signs of success. This will reduce the need for building new garbage treatment facilities and will steer Taiwan on the right track to sustainable development.

EPA Promotes International Cooperation in Environment Protection

To strengthen international cooperation in the area of environmental protection, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) is offering an opportunity for employees of foreign enterprises (located outside of Taiwan) to discuss environmental concerns with local agencies and experts on their business trip to Taiwan. The EPA can help with meeting arrangement upon request and 14-days notice is required prior to meeting. For details, please contact Dr. James Meng-Shiun Wei, Office of Science and Technology Advisors, EPA (email: or Ms. Angela Lu, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (

For general inquiries on the environment industry in China, write to: (English), or (French).

Excerpts from “China Environment E-Newsletter: The Canadian Trade Commissioner’s Bimonthly Bulletin on China’s Environment Sector”, January 2007.

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