First Bilateral Project on Mercury Between Norway and China

 With the support of the on-going Sino-Norwegian Competence Building Project, a national training session on mercury monitoring technology was held in Beijing on December 28-29, 2010. The training was part of the bilateral cooperation on environment between China and Norway.

Advanced mercury (Hg) monitoring technologies and standards, including sampling and analysis, were introduced in details to the nearly 100 participants from the environmental protection bureaus and environmental monitoring stations of 31 provinces/ autonomous regions/municipalities and six national power groups of China, including Huaneng and Datang.

The training session was opened by Director Wen of Ministry of Environmental Protection’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Center and the Norwegian ambassador Svein Sæther.

Presentations were also given on the global atmospheric mercury emissions, monitoring and control policies/measures in Europe and Norway, the scenario of China’s atmospheric mercury emissions, and the Chinese government’s current emphasis on controlling Hg emissions from the coal-fired power plants.
Experts from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences (CRAES) are the main trainers for this important training. The cooperation between the two countries on mercury has been referred to in their presentations.

Norway and China started the first bilateral project on mercury in 2006, using Guizhou Province as the case study. NIVA, Tsinghua University, CAS and CRAES have been the main institutions involved. The project was finalized in 2009 and important findings have been made, which include: quantification of mercury emissions, improved emission estimates, a much better overview of the mercury levels in the environment, to what extent people are exposed, and scenarios for the future mercury emissions if nothing is done, versus large potential for reduction within realistic frames.

The second phase of the mercury project started in June of 2010, with a particular focus on working out concrete policy and technological measures for controlling mercury emissions in four priority sectors: coal combustion, zinc smelting, mercury mining and industrial use of mercury.

The training session is part of the mercury module, one of the five modules presently developed under the Competence Building Project, the biggest bilateral project between China and Norway so far on environment, with the agreement signed in 2009. By drawing on experiences from previously accomplished cooperation projects, the project delivers trainings on environmental inspection, water quality management, sector coordination in biodiversity conversation, mercury management, hazardous and waste management with co-processing in cement industry.


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