1. At the invitation of Minister ZHOU Shengxian of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Peoples Republic of China, Minister HOSONO Goshi of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan and Minister YOO Young Sook of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, visited Beijing, where the three Ministers met for the Fourteenth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM14) on 3-4 May, 2012.
Progress of Environmental Policies of the Three Countries
2. The Ministers shared the recent progress in each country regarding environmental policies after TEMM13. They welcomed the statements that introduced the main environmental efforts in 2011 and key environmental tasks in 2012 by China, titled Latest Domestic Environmental Policies in Japan by Japan and Distribute Fruits of Green Growth Policy to the Entire Society: Major Environmental Policies in 2012 by Korea, which all stressed the importance of integrating environmental protection into economic and social development.
Major Policies for Addressing Global and Regional Environmental Issues
3. The Ministers exchanged their views on global and regional environmental issues such as illegal transboundary movement of e-waste, biodiversity including access and benefit sharing of genetic resources (ABS), green economy, green growth and low-carbon development, cooperation on disaster response, transboundary air pollution, and DSS response policy and so forth. The Ministers agreed that tripartite cooperation is essential in addressing these global and regional environmental challenges and also recognized that TEMM played an important role in promoting regional environmental cooperation in Northeast Asia.
Review of Progress on Tripartite Cooperative Projects Under Ten Priority Areas
4. The Ministers noted with satisfaction of the progress of tripartite cooperative projects under the ten priority areas approved during TEMM 11 in June 2009. They called for continued implementation of the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation 2010-2014 adopted during TEMM 12 in May 2010. They understood that these cooperative projects had helped facilitate common understanding among the three countries.
Environmental Education, Environmental Awareness and Public Participation
5. The Ministers spoke highly of the progress on improving environmental education, raising environmental awareness and promoting public participation. They appreciated the substantial achievements of joint environmental education activities among the three countries over the past years, including environmental training programs and Tripartite Environmental Education Network (TEEN). They welcomed the outcomes of the 12th TEEN workshop held in October 2011 and joint environmental training in November 2011 in Korea. The three Ministers agreed to continuously cooperate on developing Environmental Education Readers in accordance with Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation. The Ministers also agreed to strengthen administrative support for the TEEN in order to set long and mid-term objectives of environmental education and carry out joint projects, bearing in mind the need for developing networks of wide-range of stakeholders.
6. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of COP17/CMP7 and agreed to work constructively together towards a positive outcome at COP18/CMP8 in Qatar at the end of 2012. The Ministers recognized the importance of Pre-COP 18 to be held in Korea at the second half of this year, and expressed their willingness to cooperate with each other for the success of Pre-COP 18.
7. The three countries reaffirmed their commitment to the objectives and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, and will work together to realize the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol.
8. The Ministers recognized the importance of climate change adaptation measures to minimize climate change-caused damage along with greenhouse gas emissions reduction. In addition, in order to strengthen cooperation for climate change mitigation and adaptation, they will cooperate to promote exchange of information, knowledge, best practices and transfer of climate-friendly technologies in regard to the three countries policies and experiences and facilitating joint research among experts, keeping in mind the outcome of East Asia Low Carbon Growth Partnership Dialogue held in Japan in April.
9. The Ministers viewed the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as one of the fundamental foundations to tackle climate change for developing countries. Both Chinese and Japanese Ministers took note of the Korean governments willingness to host the secretariat of the GCF.
Green Economy, Green Growth and Low-Carbon Development
10. The Ministers recognized that green economy, green growth and low-carbon development would help reduce carbon emissions, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. They reaffirmed the importance of green economy, green growth and low-carbon development in promoting green production, green consumption and green life style. Also, the Ministers voiced that they would continue to support cooperation on green economy, green growth and low-carbon development through joint research, workshops or other forms as agreed by the three countries. The Ministers noted the expectation of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) to be transformed into an international organization.
11. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote biodiversity conservation and take concrete actions based on the outcomes of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD/COP10). They also appreciated the efforts made by three countries in implementing the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. The Ministers agreed to work together to help generate successful outcomes in CBD/COP11 to be held in Hyderabad, India in October 2012 and both Chinese and Japanese Ministers welcomed the Korean governments willingness to host the COP12 in 2014. The Korean Minister proposed to hold Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Biodiversity in order to conserve biodiversity in Northeast Asia and both the Chinese and Japanese Ministers welcomed the proposal to hold a policy dialogue in Korea before TEMM15.
12. The Ministers reaffirmed the COP10 decision X/1 on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS). In this regard, they recognized the importance of cooperation among China, Japan and Korea toward the early entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol on ABS. They also instructed the responsible department/bureau in charge of biodiversity within each Ministry to strengthen information sharing and cooperation on ABS. The Ministers welcomed the decision on the establishment of Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem service (IPBES) in its plenary meeting held in April, 2012 in Panama. They hoped IPBES will contribute to the international effort to halt the unprecedented loss of biodiversity by strengthening the interface between science and policy.
13. The Ministers reaffirmed the COP10 decision X/32 on sustainable use and recognized the importance of promoting the Satoyama Initiative related activities under the International Partnership for the Satoyama Initiative.
14. The Ministers confirmed to cooperate with each other for the success of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) to be held in Jeju, Korea in September 2012. The Ministers agreed that it is of great importance to find solutions to manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.
Dust and Sand Storms
15. The Ministers shared their understanding that the three countries would take further measures to respond to dust and sand storms (DSS) which have been recognized as one of the common concerns in this region. The Japanese and Korean Ministers appreciated the long-term DSS control efforts made by China.
16. The Ministers noted with satisfaction the organization of the 4th Working Group I Meeting in China and the 4th Working Group II Meeting in Japan in 2011, and welcomed the progress of joint cooperation such as data sharing, early warning network, restoration of ecosystems made under both working groups. They also appreciated the outcome of the 7th Tripartite Directors General Meeting on DSS held in Beijing, China on 6 April 2012, including the discussion aiming at the development of the Mid-term Strategies for Working Groups I and II, which will guide the cooperative activities on DSS up to 2014. The Ministers shared the common views on the need of strengthening cooperation on DSS.
17. The Ministers recognized the importance of cooperation among the three countries in conserving water environment in the region. They appreciated the activities of the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA), including the holding of WEPA international workshop and annual meeting in the Philippines in September 2011 and the publication of WEPA Outlook on Water Environment Management in Asia 2012.
18. The Ministers expressed their concern over air pollution problems and recognized the need to enhance cooperation on this area. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the 4th Tripartite Workshop on Scientific Research of Photochemical Oxidant held in November 2011 in Japan, taking note of the cooperative research initiatives promoted by experts, and agreed to have further discussion on the future activities. They also appreciated the progress of Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) whose 13th Inter-Governmental Meeting was held in November and December 2011, welcomed the operationalization of the Instrument for Strengthening the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia and reaffirmed their continued participation to the activity under the EANET. The Ministers welcomed the progress of the Long-range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP), and expressed their expectation for a fruitful outcome from the ongoing discussion on the achievements and future plan of the LTP.
19. For marine litter issue, the Ministers expressed gratification for 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). They were pleased to know that the financial resources of NOWPAP were getting more stabilized, and that NOWPAP has been making efforts to improve the quality of its technical reports.
Transboundary Movement of E-waste
20. Considering the environmental pollution and health risks caused by the environmentally unsound management of e-waste, the Ministers agreed that the three countries should enhance their cooperation of e-waste management through information exchange and capacity building, etc. The Ministers appreciated the achievement made on combating illegal transboundary movement of waste, including e-waste and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the tripartite hotline mechanism in this regard. Minister ZHOU Shengxian suggested to conduct joint research on comparative studies of management policies on e-waste of the three countries. The Ministers encouraged working level to discuss how to enhance the cooperation among three countries.
Management of Chemicals
21. The Ministers acknowledged the achievement of the Policy Dialogue on Chemicals Management among the three countries. They encouraged the three countries to make better use of the effective platform of the Policy Dialogue and push forward cooperation on chemicals management, GLP, policy information exchange and comprehensive research on testing methodology.
22. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the 11th Tripartite Roundtable Meeting on Environmental Industry held in Nagoya, Japan on 9-10 November 2011. They confirmed the importance of further boosting cooperation on environmental industry among the three countries. The Ministers were aware of the existing tripartite cooperative mechanisms on environmental industry and felt the need for integrating some of these mechanisms in a proper way to maximize efficiency in the long term.
23. The Ministers welcomed the authorities of ecolabelling in each country signed on Agreement on Multifunctional Devices Common Certification Rule of Ecolabelling among China, Japan and Korea, Agreement on MRA-based Certification Procedure of Ecolabelling among China, Japan and Korea and Operation Rules of Mutual Recognition among China, Japan and Korea at the occasion of TEMM14.
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD; Rio+20)
24. The three countries supported the success of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Ministers shared a consensus that governments should make their utmost efforts for a more comprehensive, positive, pragmatic outcome of UNCSD, and the three countries will strive to contribute to the international discussions. The Ministers called upon the Seoul Outcome which was adopted in the Asia and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in October 2011 to be fully reflected in the outcome of the UNCSD.
Cooperation for the countermeasures against disasters
25. Minister ZHOU Shengxian and Minister YOO Young Sook welcomed Minister HOSONO Goshis offer that Japan will host the Seminar on countermeasures against disasters in 2012, based on the agreement at TEMM13 held in April 2011 in Busan, Korea.
TEMM Environmental Awards
26. Minister HOSONO Goshi proposed that the three Ministers will commend people who contributed to environmental cooperation among three countries in Japan next year, and the Ministers encouraged the working level to discuss the detailed awarding procedure.
Student and Business Forum
27. The Ministers recognized that the discussions among student and business representatives from the three countries were very meaningful. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the student forum themed Youth and Their Green Behavior, and Youth and Their Role in Promoting Sustainable Development and Green Economy and the business forum themed Establish and Improve Market Schemes to Develop Environmental Service Industry, and Promote Environmental Service Industry by Enhancing International Cooperation. They encouraged more exchanges among the students and the business sector in the future.
28. The Ministers decided that the TEMM 15 will be held in Japan in 2013. The date and venue will be suggested by the host country and subsequently confirmed by China and Korea.
29. The Ministers praised the idea of being in the same boat, benefit sharing and joint preservation regarding environmental cooperation among three countries put forward by Minister Zhou Shengxian. The Ministers expressed satisfaction with the fruitful outcome of the TEMM14. Minister YOO Young Sook and Minister HOSONO Goshi extended their deep appreciation to Minister ZHOU Shengxian and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Peoples Republic of China for hosting the meeting and the great hospitality accorded to all participants.
Minister, Ministry of Environmental Protection
Peoples Republic of China
Minister, Ministry of the Environment
YOO Young Sook
Minister, Ministry of Environment
Republic of Korea