The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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    Seoul, Republic of Korea (January 13, 1999)


    1. At the invitation of CHOI Jae-wook, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Minister XIE Zhenhua of the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) of the People's Republic of China and Minister MANABE Kenji of the Environment Agency of Japan visited Seoul, Korea, where they held the China-Japan-Korea Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM) on 13 January 1999. The Ministers also paid a courtesy call to H.E. President KIM Dae-jung at Chong Wa Dae.


    2. The ministers expressed their concerns about ongoing environmental degradation in the Northeast Asian region resulting from the dynamic development of the region, despite individual nation's efforts to prevent environmental pollution. The ministers recognized that, as China, Japan and Korea are playing important roles in economic and environmental cooperation in the Northeast Asian region, close cooperation among the three nations is indispensable to sustainable development in Northeast Asia.

    3. The ministers shared the view that the following areas of cooperation should be given priority: raising awareness that the three countries are in the same environmental community; activating information exchange; strengthening cooperation in environmental research; fostering cooperation in the field of environmental industry and on environmental technology; pursuing appropriate measures to prevent air pollution and to protect the marine environment; and strengthening cooperation on addressing global environmental issues such as biodiversity and climate change. They also expressed their intention to cooperate to tackle there issues.

    4. The ministers reached common recognition that it is desirable to make use of the existing frameworks to maximum extent to implement the results of the meeting. However, they also resolved that, if the existing frameworks are inadequate, either forming working groups or designating contact points would be appropriate for setting up action plans to implement the results of the meeting.

    5. The ministers decided to promote raising awareness of the countries' environmental community and fostering information exchange among the environmental agencies as the first initiatives of the TEMM, and they expressed their intention to actively promote: the exchange of personal and the enhancement of communication measures among the three environmental agencies, exchanges and cooperation between NGOs and research institutes, and exchanges and cooperation between local governments. The Ministers also expressed their intention to designate contact points for promoting these initiatives.

    6. The Ministers shared views on the significant importance of addressing the issue of climate change and ensuring the early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol through the widest possible cooperation by all countries. For this purpose, the Ministers reached common recognition to strengthen their domestic actions to the maximum possible extent, in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities, and their social and economic conditions.


    7. The Ministers decided that they would hold the Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting every year in turn, and that they may meet in the hosting country or on the occasion of international forums attended by the three ministers. It was decided that the host for the second TEMM in 2000 would be determined at a later date through mutual consultation, and that the host country would notify the other countries of the time and venue. The Ministers confirmed that the agenda for the 2nd TEMM would be adopted after mutual consultation.

    8. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the friendly atmosphere and fruitful outcome of the first meeting, which has greatly contributed to strengthening environmental cooperation among the three countries. Minister XIE Zhenhua and Minister MANABE Kenji expressed their gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by the hosting country.