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                               10 September 1999

UNU to Sign Environmental Research Project
Agreement with Shimadzu Corp.

The United Nations University (UNU) will sign an agreement of cooperation with Shimadzu Corporation of Kyoto to embark on a three-year (1999-2002) project on “Environmental Monitoring and Governance — EDC Pollution in the East Asian Coastal Hydrosphere.” The primary focus of this project will be pollution by Endocrine Disruptor Compounds (EDCs) in the coastal areas of the East Asian region.

Coastal areas are at particular risk of pollution from land-based sources, which can be many and varied. EDC pollutants are of major concern because they are highly resistant to natural degradation processes and persist in the environment. EDCs include a broad range of chemicals and pesticides that can interfere with the normal functioning of hormones in controlling growth, reproduction and body metabolism in humans and animals.

Partner countries in the project include China, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. Selected research institutions in these countries have been engaged since 1996 in a UNU-managed environmental monitoring and analysis programme, also sponsored by Shimadzu Corporation.

In concept, the project will contribute toward the “Global Programme of Action (GPA) for the Protection of Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities,” implemented by the UN Environment Programme. It is also closely linked to the theme of other ongoing activities at UNU, such as the “Cooperative International Research Project on Marine and Coastal Environment” jointly implemented by UNU, the Iwate Prefectural Government and the Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo.

“Since the late 1980s, we have devoted our energies to regional environmental monitoring, applied research and dissemination of research findings,” said Prof. Hans van Ginkel, Rector of UNU. “This project is a prime example of UNU’s commitment to this field.”

The project agreement will be signed by Prof. van Ginkel and Mr. Hidetoshi Yajima, President and CEO Shimadzu Corporation, at UNU Headquarters in Tokyo on Friday, 17 September 1999, at 10:00 a.m. The signing ceremony will be followed by a question and answer session with the press.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend.

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For further information, please contact:

UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel.: (03) 5467-1243, -1246    • Fax: (03) 3406-7346
Dr. Zafar Adeel, Academic Programme Officer, Environment & Sustainable Development, UNU
Tel.: (03) 3499-2811    • Fax: (03) 3499-2828 • E-mail:

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