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UNEP to co-ordinate project on financing environmentally friendly technology in five developing countries

Oslo/Nairobi, 3 September 1998 - Recognizing the importance of financing cleaner and safer production investments in developing countries towards achieving sustainable development, the Government of Norway is supporting a three-year project in five countries: Guatemala, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Viet Nam.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been charged with coordinating the project, in cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

At the launching of the project today in Oslo, State Secretary, Mr Leiv Lunde, stated: "I am convinced that Norway's support to this project will highly contribute to pollution prevention, eco-efficiency, and resource productivity, which are necessary in all parts of the world. UNEP, which launched the Cleaner Production Programme in 1989 as well as the banking initiative, is particularly well placed to coordinate the project, and to disseminate the lessons and experience learned."

During the past ten years, UNEP has developed the Cleaner Production Programme and built networks involving a wide range of stakeholders in governments, industry and non governmental organizations (NGOs). Progress worldwide is reviewed at the occasion of high-level seminars held every two years - from Canterbury in 1990 to Korea in September 1998. A key achievement of the programme is the setting up of UNIDO/UNEP National Cleaner Production Centres in a number of countries.

"There is today a greater awareness of the need for cleaner production investments. But barriers remain and in particular public and private bankers are not yet convinced of the economic benefits that cleaner production can bring. We have, however, clear evidence that returns on cleaner production investments are often extremely short," said Ms Aloisi de Larderel, Director of the Industry Division.
She was representing Mr. Klaus Toepfer, UNEP's Executive Director.

UNEP Industry and Environment centre in Paris will now actively implement the project in the five selected developing countries which have different degrees of industrialization and face different environmental problems. Projects in these countries will demonstrate how the financing of cleaner production investments can be facilitated, both in existing industrial facilities as well as in new industrial establishments.

For more information, please contact:
Mr Uno Abrahamsen,
Cleaner Production, UNEP IE, Paris,
Tel: +33 (1) 44 37 14 22, Fax: +33 (1) 44 37 14 74,
or Francoise Ruffe,
Information Assistant,
Tel: +33(1) 44 37 14 37.

UNEP News Release 1998/87

Thursday 03 Sep 1998
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