Korean, Chinese and Japanese Ministers of Environment Agreeing to Cooperate in Response to Disaster-Caused Environmental Damage at TEMM13
The 13th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM13) was held in Busan, Korea on 28-29 April, 2011 where Korea presented Low Carbon, Green Growth policies, three countries agreed to cooperate to respond disaster-caused environmental damage and continued DSS cooperation and student and business representatives explored joint cooperative measures through presentation and discussion.
; Due to pending issues related to earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Japanese Vice Minister Kondo Shoichi of the Environment attended TEMM13
Minister Maanee Lee of the Environment, Republic of Korea, joined the 13th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM13) held in Busan, Korea on 28-29 April, 2011 and discussed with the Chinese and Japanese Ministers current environmental issues and cooperative measures among the three countries.
Serving as a venue for the highest-level dialogue for environmental cooperation in North East Asia (NEA), TEMM has been held every year by Korea, China and Japan in rotation. Since its inception at the initiative of Korea in 1999, the meeting has aimed at making joint response to global and regional environmental issues and enhancing a sense of environmental community among the three countries.
At TEMM13, the three Ministers presented major environmental policies and responsive measures for global and regional environmental issues followed by open discussion.
Korea introduced low-carbon, green policies to realize the vision of Green Korea, such as green card, Me-First movement and GHG emissions target management system; Four Major Rivers Restoration Project; environmental policies for daily life such as noise, indoor air pollution, artificial light, odor and asbestos management.
As its major policies to address global and regional environmental issues, Korea shared climate change response including national GHG emissions reduction target, climate change adaptation measures and its bid to host the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP18); environmental industry and technology development in the areas of Eco-Innovation projects, dissemination of waterworks and sewerage technology to developing countries and support for the establishment of master plan; Dust and Sandstorms (DSS).
China explained its environmental achievement during the 11th Five-Year Plan period from 2005 to 2010, environmental improvement targets of the 12th Five-Year Plan from 2011 to 2015, emissions reduction indices of major pollutants including SO2 and so forth.
Japan noted the damage from earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March, 2011 and its countermeasures as well as major environmental policies on Green Innovation, technological development to address global warming, enactment of environmental impact assessment act and so forth.
The three Ministers examined and assessed the progress of the Joint Action Plan for ten priority cooperative fields under TEMM adopted at TEMM12 held in March 2010 in Japan, confirmed consistent progress made through tripartite cooperation and agreed to further strengthen tripartite cooperation by securing more budget.
In particular, a Special Session was organized in this TEMM where the outcome of Students and Business Forums on 28 April, 2011 was reported to the three Ministers.
Considering that proactive participation from the private sector as well as of the governmental organizations is highly important in responding to environmental issues such as climate change, the three Ministers appreciated the participation of students and entrepreneurs in Students and Business Forums at TEMM 13.
Furthermore, the three Ministers adopted a Joint Communiqué indicating their agreement to further strengthen joint cooperation to address current environmental issues in NEA and across the world such as climate change, green growth, biodiversity, DSS and waste.
The Joint Communiqué consists of 24 provisions covering climate change, biodiversity, DSS and environmental cooperation for the countermeasures against disasters.
Taking note of huge impact of massive earthquake and tsunami in the Northeastern part of Japan in March this year and subsequent radioactive pollution, the Joint Communiqué contained cooperative measures such as information sharing and capacity building with a view to preventing and overcoming environmental damage originating from such disasters.
Bilateral meetings between the three Ministers were held on 28 April, 2011 on bilateral cooperative measures. Korea introduced its Low Carbon, Green Growth policy, Four Major Rivers Restoration Project and so forth and suggested enhancing cooperation particularly in biodiversity and water industry. Besides, Korea requested support to China and Japan for the hosting of COP18 and 2012 World Conservation Congress (WCC).
Japan expressed regret for having negatively affected Korea as earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 have resulted in nuclear incidence and subsequently diffusion of radioactive substance. Korea suggested Japan to host workshops regarding managing radioactive substances surrounding nuclear power plants in case of accident, in order to disseminate relevant information to the international community.
Minister LEE remarked that the meeting provided an important opportunity to come up with cooperative measures in order to prevent and address possible environmental damage caused by various disasters in NEA.
With a view to overcoming global environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss and resolving major environmental issues in NEA including DSS and illegal movement of waste, Minister Lee emphasized that Korea, China and Japan should cooperate actively within the framework of TEMM.