Press Releases

    UNIS/INF/297
    7 November 2008

    Re-issued as received

    UNIDO to Collaborate with China on Environmental Programmes

    VIENNA, 7 November (UN Information Service) - During his official visit to China this week, the Director-General of UNIDO, Kandeh K. Yumkella met with the Deputy Director-General of the China CDM Fund Management Centre, Chen Huan. The purpose of this meeting was to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation with regards to climate change and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) between the two institutions.

    Under the terms of the Memorandum, signed on 6 November 2008, UNIDO and the China CDM Fund Center will develop and implement a series of joint programmes and projects over the next three years, in line with the Fund's operational programmes and UNIDO's regulations, rules and procedures. The Centre is part of China's Ministry of Finance.

    Activities will focus on capacity building, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, transition to a low carbon economy, corporate social responsibility with regard to climate change, expanding transfer and adoption of technology and CDM.

    On 6 November 2008, Kandeh K. Yumkella also met with the Minister of Commerce of China, Cheng Deming, and the Ambassador of Sierra Leone, Abdul Karim Koroma, to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a small hydropower plant on the Bankasoka River, in Port Loko, Sierra Leone. This agreement was signed at a press conference held on the same day in Beijing, China.

    As the first trilateral technical assistance project of its kind between UNIDO and the Governments of China and Sierra Leone, this project is expected to pave the way for further cooperation under UNIDO's 'Lighting-Up Rural Africa Initiative'. The Memorandum of Understanding itself is the result of a series of negotiations started in 2007. Construction of the 1,000 kW (2 x 500 kW turbine systems) hydropower plant is foreseen to start in December 2008. The plant should be operational by the end of 2009.

    The energy sector in Africa, particularly the rural energy sector, is characterized by lack of access, low purchasing power and over-dependence on traditional fuels, such as biomass, for meeting basic energy needs. UNIDO's 'Lighting-Up Rural Africa Initiative' aims to build a number of small hydropower plants for rural electrification and productive uses in African countries with abundant small hydropower resources and, at the same time, large rural populations, which have yet to be connected to power grids.

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    UNIDO is a specialized agency of the United Nations system that works towards improving the quality of life of the world's poor by helping countries achieve sustainable industrial development. UNIDO views industrial development as a means of creating employment and income to overcome poverty. It helps developing countries and economies in transition to produce goods they can trade on the global market. It also helps provide the tools - training, technology, and investment - to make them competitive. At the same time, it encourages production processes that will neither harm the environment nor place too heavy a burden on a country's limited energy resources. UNIDO has 172 Member States and has its headquarters in Vienna, Austria. Please visit www.unido.org

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    For more information, please contact:

    Sajjad Ajmal
    Representative and Head of UNIDO Regional Office Beijing, China
    Telephone: (+86) 6532 3440
    Email: s.ajmal@unido.org