Beijing Water

Ecology institute plan for Shanghai

South China Morning Post
January 19, 2006

Shanghai’s Tongji University and the United Nations are to jointly run an ecology and sustainable development institute, scheduled to open in October. Among other projects, it will monitor the environmental impact of the Three Gorges dam.

Shanghai’s Tongji University and the United Nations have agreed to jointly run an ecology and sustainable development institute. The institute will oversee projects ranging from monitoring the environmental impact of the massive Three Gorges Dam to testing methods for fighting the sandstorms that present a long-range threat to Beijing’s future as the Chinese capital, a Tongji administrator said. The UN’s environment programme and Tongji aimed to make the UNEP-Tongji Institute for the Environment and Sustainable Development a national centre for environmental protection, training, research and information, said Chen Qian, an administrator at Tongji’s environmental science and engineering school. The sustainable development institute was part of efforts by Tongji to improve participation in global efforts to protect the Earth’s future and resources, said Ms Chen. She said the institute, jointly founded by UNEP, the university and China’s Ministry of Education, would open by October. It is already working on a Three Gorges monitoring station that will measure the effects of what will be the world’s largest dam. The station, to be based in southwestern Chongqing, “will mainly keep track of air and water pollution as the dam begins operating”, Ms Chen said. She added that UNEP official Klaus Toepfer “has proposed that the new institute start studying the sandstorms that now threaten Beijing, especially in light of the fact that Beijing is set to host the 2008 Olympics”. Mr Toepfer, who is visiting Shanghai, was quoted in the Shanghai Daily as saying his office would help attract funding for the new institute and its projects from the World Bank and global environmental protection groups. “We expect the institute will contribute not only to China, but also worldwide,” he said

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