The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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  • Dust and sand storms


    Joint Communique
    The 12th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting
    among Korea, China and Japan
    22-23 May 2010, Hokkaido, Japan

    1. At the invitation of Minister Sakihito OZAWA of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, Minister ZHOU Shengxian of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China and Minister LEE Maanee of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea visited Hokkaido, where the three Ministers met for the Twelfth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM12) on 22-23 May 2010.
    Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation

    2. The Ministers confirmed that TEMM was of vital importance in promoting environmental cooperation and achieving sustainable development in Northeast Asia. We observed that considerable progress has been made under TEMM, such as Tripartite Environmental Education Network (TEEN), Circular Economy/3R/Sound Material Cycle Society Seminar, Joint Research on Dust and Sandstorms (DSS), environmental industry, etc.

    3. The Ministers noted the commitment made by our leaders in the Joint Statement on Sustainable Development among the People's Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea at the Trilateral Summit in Beijing, China in October 2009, and adopted the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation, which states the goals and joint actions among the three countries from 2010 in the following ten areas.
    - Environmental Education, Environmental Awareness and Public Participation
    - Climate Change;
    - Biodiversity Conservation;
    - Dust and Sandstorms (DSS);
    - Pollution Control;
    - Environment-Friendly Society/3R/Sound Resource Recycle Society;
    - Transboundary Movement of E-Waste;
    - Sound Management of Chemicals;
    - Environmental Governance in Northeast Asia;
    - Environmental Industries and Technologies

    4. The Ministers committed to steadily implement the agreed actions for achieving the goals stated in the Plan in accordance with the vision and scope, the strategic approaches and the implementation arrangement stated in the Joint Action Plan. They also agreed to oversee the progress and achievements of the Action Plan as a whole and provide guidance under TEMM.
    Progress of Environmental Policies in Korea, China and Japan

    5. The Ministers shared their views on the recent progress in each country regarding environmental policies after TEMM11. They welcomed the statements by each country on Domestic Policy Progress on Global Warming Countermeasures and Measures toward Integrating the Environment into Economy by Japan, Accelerating the Shift of Economic Development Pattern and Exploring A Chinese New Road toward Environmental Protection by China, and Koreas Green Growth Policies by Korea. The three Ministers shared their recognition that these measures meet the important direction of clear intention to integrate environmental measures into economic and social development, and become a driving force for solving environmental problems in Northeast Asia as well as on the globe.
    Environmental Cooperation for Global Challenges
    Climate Change

    6. The three countries reaffirm their commitment to the objectives and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, in particular, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and will work together to promote the full and effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.

    7. The three countries welcome the outcome of the COP15/CMP5, and agree to work constructively together towards a positive outcome at the COP16/CMP6 in Cancun at the end of 2010.

    8. Recognizing the scientific view that the increase in the global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius, on the basis of equity and sustainable development, the three countries should take cooperative action to promote the exchange of information on policies and actions among them on mitigation and adaption to climate change, share knowledge and best practices, promote the joint development and the transfer of climate-friendly technologies, facilitate cost-effective, project-based, and mutually-beneficial cooperative activities that contribute to greenhouse gas emission reductions, and evaluate the effects of the cooperative projects on emission reductions in an appropriate manner.

    9. The three countries will exchange information, starting from 2010, on each nations policy and experience on a co-benefits approach, which aims to address both climate change and environmental problems, utilizing existing international networks whenever appropriate.

    10. The three countries will make efforts towards the realization of Green Growth and a Low-Carbon Society and will promote green and low-carbon development based on each countrys national circumstances, such as (i) a Green Economic Policy seminar in 2010 hosted by China and (ii) commencing joint research on Green Growth and a Low-Carbon Society.

    11. The Ministers confirmed to cooperate for the success of the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP10), scheduled to be held in Nagoya City, Aichi, Japan in October 2010; and to support the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, which will be held at Jeju Island, Korea in 2012. The Ministers agreed that it is important to utilize scientific information on the status and future trends of biodiversity in order to assist the decision-making process. The three Ministers recognized that a global interface between science and policy on the issue of the biodiversity is important. The Ministers noted that UNEP/Korea will host the third conference of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) to be held in Busan city, Korea in June and look forward to the outcomes of this conference. And, three countries will send their delegations respectively to actively join this conference. The Ministers confirmed that they will formulate and promote trilateral joint actions such as cooperative research on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity through collaborative initiatives in international and regional platforms such as the Satoyama Initiative, and the East and Southeast Asia Biodiversity Information Initiative (ESABII) etc. to utilize such platforms to deepen cooperation in the area of biodiversity conservation.

    Environmental Cooperation for Regional Challenges
    Integrate the Environment into Economy

    12. The Ministers confirmed their common understanding that integrating environmental perspectives into economic and social activities will contribute to achieving a new 21st century form of economic growth by making potential demand evident, strengthening competitiveness, and developing infrastructure for sustainable development. The three confirmed that they will cooperate toward the achievement of green growth and a low-carbon society through means such as holding a Green Economy Policy seminar in China in 2010 and initiating joint research on green growth and low-carbon society, while considering the circumstances of each country.
    Dust and Sandstorms

    13. The Ministers stressed the need to further promote measures to prevent and respond to Dust and Sandstorms (DSS), taking into consideration that DSS has become one of the high priority common challenges in the region. They also appreciated the efforts made by the Tripartite Director General Meeting on DSS among Korea, China, and Japan held in Sapporo, Japan on 13 March 2010, and confirmed that they will strengthen cooperation toward promoting the establishment of DSS monitoring and early warning networks, and DSS prevention and control measures. The three Ministers recognized the importance of DSS prevention and control, welcomed that the tripartite working group meeting on DSS prevention and control will be held in China, and confirmed their willingness to advance necessary cooperation. Furthermore, the Ministers confirmed the importance of providing and sharing relevant data, and the participation of experts on DSS forecasting models to further promote these joint activities, and welcomed that the working group meeting on DSS monitoring and forecasting models will be held in Korea.
    Pollution Control

    14. The Ministers stressed the need to further promote appropriate measures to prevent air pollution and to protect the water and marine environment in the region. Relevant joint scientific research projects were encouraged on early warning, pollution prevention and control, such as photochemical oxidants, water and marine environment.

    15. Air Pollution: The Ministers recognized the importance of prevention and control of photochemical oxidants (Ox) and agreed to cooperate to develop concrete joint research through a tripartite workshop, which will be held in China. With a view towards strengthening the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and promoting its future development, the Ministers also welcomed its Twelfth Inter-Governmental Meeting which will be held at Niigata, Japan in November 2010.

    16. Marine Litter: The Ministers appreciated the joint efforts made by the three countries within the framework of Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) including the progress of Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) containing the coastal clean-up activities and agreed to cooperate closely, involving the remaining country, to enhance RAP MALI activities, inter alia, to strengthen joint-workshops and activities to raise awareness and promote research cooperation for sharing the scientific knowledge, including that which would improve the understanding of all countries in the region regarding the marine litter generation mechanism, with a view to managing the generation of marine litter. The three Ministers noted that an appropriate management of waste and relevant materials in land and coastal areas in each country plays a crucial role in addressing the problems of marine litter. The Ministers also recognized the need to enhance such joint efforts with a view to enhance concrete measures in each country to prevent outflow of marine litter including appropriate management of wastes and relevant materials.
    Transboundary Movement of E-Waste

    17. The Ministers took notice of the environmental pollution caused by the transboundary movement of e-waste. They expressed their eagerness to cooperate regarding e-waste management, especially the prevention and control of illegal e-waste transboundary movement. They agreed to explore the possibility of 1) establishing a cooperation mechanism among the three countries to strengthen e-waste management and regional policy coordination, 2) setting up a focal point contact in each country to facilitate information exchange, and 3) promoting cooperation on capacity building, exchange of experts and training.
    Sound Management of Chemicals

    18. The Ministers encouraged the progress of dialogue and cooperation on chemicals management. They recommended making continuous efforts for further cooperation on chemicals management and policy information exchange.
    Environmental Education, Environmental Awareness and Public Participation

    19. The Ministers placed high value on environmental education, raising environmental awareness and promoting public participation. They appreciated the substantial achievements of joint environmental education activities accumulated for 10 years cooperation among the three countries including the environmental training of officials, development of the Tripartite Environment Education Network (TEEN) and its activities. They agreed to collaborate on the creation of the Environmental Education Readers from 2010, with reference to the Environmental Education Readers developed by China, and also on the promotion of information exchange on education materials developed in each country.
    Outreach of TEMM

    20. Three Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen environmental cooperation in East Asia. They emphasized that TEMM should play an important role in promoting regional cooperation through regional frameworks such as East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN+3, noting the vision of an East Asia community and Asia Integration Process, understanding that environmental conservation is one of its key elements. They concurred that they will work toward achieving synergies between various initiatives, efforts, and ideas such as a low carbon East Asia community, and a green Asia. The Ministers will cooperate to outreach the green growth efforts of the three countries through events such as the UNESCAP preparatory meeting for the Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development which will be held from 5-9 July 2010 in Muju, Korea.

    21. The Ministers decided that TEMM13 will be held in Korea. The date and venue will be suggested by the host country and subsequently confirmed by China and Japan.

    22. The Ministers agreed to invite students and business representatives from the three countries to contribute their knowledge and experience to the TEMM.

    23. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the fruitful results of this years meeting. Minister LEE Maanee and Minister ZHOU Shengxian extended their gratitude to Minister Sakihito OZAWA, the Japanese government, Hokkaido, Chitose city, and Tomakomai city for the hospitality.

    Hokkaido, 23 May 2010.
    Sakihito OZAWA
    Minister, Ministry of the Environment
    LEE Maanee
    Minister, Ministry of Environment
    Republic of Korea
    ZHOU Shengxian,
    Minister, Ministry of Environmental Protection
    Peoples Republic of China