China has shut down the last production line of Dicofol, symbolizing the complete termination of Dicofol production in China, according to Deputy Director Chen Liang of Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of Ministry of Environmental Protection.
On 17th May 2014, during the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Forum & the 9th National Academic Seminar on POPs held in Kunming, Chen Liang pointed out that the termination was a significant step towards China fulfilling obligations under the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) signed by the international community. In June 2004, the Convention was approved on the 10th meeting of the 10th Standing Committee of National People’s Congress.
POPs refer to organic compounds that resist environmental degradation and persist in the environment. The toxic elements travel long-ranges and accumulate in food chains, negatively impacting human health and the environment. POPs can often cause disorders of endocrine system, reproductive system, and immunological system, resulting in cancers and neurological diseases.
In April 2009, a joint announcement was made by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Agriculture to ban production, circulation, usage, import and export of DDT and other pesticides that contain POPs.
To immediately offset the negative impacts of POPs on agricultural production, China permitted the use of DDT in the enclosed production of Dicofol temporarily in 2009. In the same year, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Agriculture initiated a demonstration programme highlighting alternative technologies to Dicofol. On a USD $1 million budget, the programme successfully promoted Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technologies, establishing community schools to provide technical training for farmers. With USD $300,000, the programme also construction prediction centers for mite prevention and control, promoting capacity-building efforts. Through IPM, agriculture production has become less Dicofol-dependent and use of pesticides has reduced.
China’s preemptive measures to combat POPs and fulfill its obligations to the Convention is widely recognized by the international community. In her interview with Xinhua News Agency in Global Environmental Facility headquarters, Washington D.C., the Chairperson and CEO Dr. Naoko Ishii commended FECO as one of the most capable partners of GEF for making historical progress in promoting environmental protection in China.