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Environmental Monitoring and Governance in the Asian Coastal Hydrosphere

In co-operation with Shimadzu Corporation, UNU-ISP has been conducting a capacity building initiative that provides ten developing Asian countries with the scientific knowledge and technology to monitor pollutants in the environment to better manage chemical pollutants. In the current phase (Phase V, 2008-2011); the project focuses on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which are subject to control under the Stockholm Convention on POPs.

An international training workshop on ‘Environmental Analysis of PBDEs (Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers) in the Sediment’ was organized by UNU-ISP in cooperation with Shimadzu Corporation during April 2010 in Kyoto. Ten researchers from each of the partner organizations in 10 countries participated in this capacity building workshop on analytical technologies of chemicals. The participants successfully completed the training courses and will use their skills to monitor chemicals in their own countries. The results of the Project was introduced at the ‘4th Workshop on Reduction of Unintended POPs in East Asian Countries’ held in December 2010 in Japan.

UNU-ISP has signed contracts with ten partner organizations on the monitoring of PBDEs in sediments, under which the partner organizations conduct sampling, analysis and reporting to UNU-ISP. The research results were presented at an international conference organized by UNU-ISP in co-operation with the Sino-Japan Friendship Center for Environmental Protection in China in March, 2011.

A project meeting on Environmental Monitoring and Governance in the Asian Coastal Hydrosphere (Phase V 2009–2011) was held on 8 March, 2011 in Shanghai, China, hosted by UNU-ISP in co-operation with Shimadzu Corporation and National Research Center for Environmental Analysis and Measurement, China (CNEAC). National Project Coordinators of ten participating countries presented the results of the measurement of PBDEs in the Sediments for 2010. Discussions on issues such as monitoring techniques, difficulties encountered were held and Prof. Masotoshi Morita, Ehime University summarized the major issues. Suggestions on future directions of the UNU-ISP project which focuses on biota monitoring and monitoring of highly-polar and high molecular chemicals such as PFOS were made at the end of the meeting.

On 9 March 2011, an International Symposium on Existing and Emerging Chemicals in the Environment was held in Shanghai, China, organized by UNU-ISP and CNEAC. There were more than 80 participants and invited lectures from five countries. The purpose of the symposium was to provide a platform for the leading researchers from China and the Asian region to present their most recent research on the subject of POPs.

On the occasion of the 5th Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, UNU-ISP hosted a side event entitled “Stockholm at 10: Achievements of 10 years of efforts to protect human health and the environment from POPs”, and made a presentation on “a partnership for capacity building for POPs monitoring in Asia” based on the results of the project. The benefits of co-operation between business and academia were well recognized by participants.