The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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  • Dust and sand storms


    Daegu, Korea(28-29 April 2014)
    Joint Communique
    The 16th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting
    Among Korea, China and Japan
    28-29 April 2014, Daegu, Korea

    1. At the invitation of Minister YOON Seongkyu of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Vice Minister LI Ganjie of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China and Minister ISHIHARA Nobuteru of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan visited Daegu, where the three Ministers met for the Sixteenth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM16) on 28-29 April 2014.

    2. The Chinese and Japanese Ministers conveyed their condolences and sympathy to Korea for the large number of lives lost as a result of an accident involving the sinking of a passenger vessel occurred off the coast of Jindo Island in April 2014 and expressed their willingness to provide necessary assistance.

    Progress of Environmental Policies in Korea and China and Japan

    3. The Ministers exchanged the recent progress in each country regarding major environmental policies after TEMM15. They welcomed the statements of the three countries that are Realizing sustainable environmental welfare and creating new value from the environment by Korea, Strengthening environmental legal system and promoting ecological civilization to make new achievements with an emphasis on air pollution treatment by China and Comprehensive measures on PM2.5 and development of climate change mitigation by Japan. The Ministers noted that the measures contribute to environmental welfare for the people in this region and lay a solid foundation for solving regional and global environmental issues.

    Major Policies for Addressing Global and Regional Environmental Issues
    4. The Ministers exchanged the major policies of each country to address global and regional environmental issues such as transboundary air pollutants including PM2.5, dust and sandstorms (DSS), climate change, biodiversity and access and benefit sharing, transboundary movement of E-waste, green transition, marine litter, mercury, and low carbon sustainable development. They recognized the pressing need of cooperation among the three countries in overcoming the challenges of air pollution.

    Review of Progress of Tripartite Cooperative Projects Under Ten Priority Areas
    5. The Ministers reviewed the progress regarding the implementation of the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation (2010-2014) adopted at TEMM12, and expressed their satisfaction with the advancement of cooperative projects under the ten priority areas contained in the Joint Action Plan.

    Adoption of Future Priority Areas for Cooperation (2015-2019)
    6. Reflecting the Joint Research for Review of the Implementation of TEMM Action Plan and taking into consideration of the need to respond to newly emerging issues and common interests, the Ministers adopted the new priority areas for tripartite environmental cooperation for the period from 2015 to 2019 as following:

    (1) Air Quality Improvement
    (2) Biodiversity
    (3) Chemical Management and Environmental Emergency Response
    (4) Circulative Management of Resources/3R/Transboundary Movement of E-Waste
    (5) Climate Change Response
    (6) Conservation of Water and Marine Environment
    (7) Environmental Education, Public Awareness and Corporate Social Responsibility
    (8) Rural Environmental Management
    (9) Transition to Green Economy

    7. The Ministers highlighted the necessity of the tripartite cooperation in the new priority areas to resolve national, regional and global environmental problems. In addition, they agreed to adopt a new Joint Action Plan for the 2015-2019 period at TEMM17 through consultation among the three countries.

    Environmental Cooperation for Regional Challenges
    Pollution Control
    8. The Ministers recognized the need to further strengthen the management of air, water and marine environment in the region and highlighted the importance of appropriate measures to prevent air pollution. They encouraged joint projects including scientific and policy research regarding the prevention and control of pollutions.

    9. Air Pollution: The Ministers shared the concerns of the risks posed by air pollution on human health and the environment, and underscored the compelling need of tackling air pollution caused by fine particulate matters, ozone (O3), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants in a prompt and effective manner. They agreed on further strengthening of joint efforts in prevention and control of air pollution in this region.
    The Ministers welcomed the First Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution held in Beijing on 20-21 March 2014. They supported specific areas of future cooperation identified in the dialogue, including exchange of experience regarding control and management of VOCs and off-road vehicle pollution. They also agreed on concrete cooperative measures such as sharing air pollution control policies, exchanging best practices, control technologies and assessment methodologies. Recognizing the dialogue as an effective platform for sharing information and fostering partnership, they agreed to hold the dialogue on a regular basis and promote further development. In addition, they concurred in reporting the dialogues' summary to Directors General Meeting (DGM) for TEMM. They noted that the next meeting will be hosted by Korea in 2015.
    The Ministers acknowledged the progress achieved in ongoing cooperative activities in this field, such as Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP) project and recognized the need to further expand and intensify the collaborative activities of these mechanisms. They recalled to cooperate on further utilization of the existing regional programs for air quality management and noted the efforts made by United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and other relevant international organizations in prevention and control of air pollution in this region. They welcomed collaboration among various stakeholders including local governments, businesses and research institutions and encouraged to strengthen and facilitate such partnership to promote implementation of effective measures.

    10. Water Pollution: The Ministers recognized the importance of cooperation among the three countries in conserving water environment in the region. They appreciated the activities of the second phase of the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA), including the holding of the annual meeting and WEPA seminar in Japan in January 2014, and recognized the importance to continue the activities of the third phase of WEPA from 2014 in anticipation of formulating Sustainable Development Goals for water from 2015.

    11. 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. They confirmed the importance of continued promotion of the joint activities in the area including NOWPAP RAPMALI to protect the marine and coastal environment in the region from marine litter. They also agreed to cooperate to hold joint-workshops and promote activities to understand the situation and subjects of marine litter on surrounding sea area in each country and construct a database within the framework of NOWPAP. They also noted the importance of promoting the implementation of NOWPAP.

    Dust and Sandstorms
    12. Understanding the significance of DSS issue as a major environmental challenge facing the region, the Ministers welcomed the progress made at the Working Group I (WGI) Meeting held in Incheon, Korea in November 2013 and at the Working Group II (WGII) Meeting held in Xian, China in October 2013. They also appreciated the results of the joint field survey conducted by WGII in Hulunbeier, China in July 2013.
    The Ministers noted the importance of researching the measures to control DSS generation from desertified areas and identifying the paths of DSS, and encouraged to exchange relevant data, including hourly PM2.5 monitoring data. For early DSS warning, they agreed to link each country's DSS forecasting website to the TEMM website. They also encouraged the publication of the significant outcomes produced throughout the cooperation process and the collaboration between the two WGs to enhance the two groups' research activities and create synergetic effects.
    The Ministers welcomed the efforts of developing the Proceedings of WGI for Joint Research on Dust and Sandstorms among the three countries, and adopted the Mid-term Strategy for WGII Joint Research on Dust and Sandstorms among the three countries established for environmental improvement in DSS source regions as the guideline for the future joint research of WGII. They also welcomed that Korea will take the role in drafting mid-term joint research action plans (2015-2019) for WGI and WGII.

    Transboundary Movement of E-Waste
    13. The Ministers recognized the importance of exchanging relevant information and policies in each country to build up capacity for controlling transboundary movement of e-waste. They also agreed to ensure smooth operation of the tripartite hotline to combat illegal transboundary movement of waste, and continuously work on the control of transboundary movement of e-waste.

    Sound Management of Chemicals
    14. The Ministers reviewed the outcome of the Seventh Policy Dialogue on Chemicals Management held in November 2013 in Kyoto, Japan, and encouraged continuous efforts for further cooperation in the field of chemical management such as conducting joint research on ecotoxicity and sharing information on chemical risk assessment.
    Environmental Industry and Green Technology
    15. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the 13th Tripartite Roundtable Meeting on Environmental Industry held in Incheon, Korea in October 2013 and shared the recognition that the three countries need to further promote the cooperation on environmental industry and green technology to ensure sustainable development.

    Environmental Education, Environmental Awareness and Public Participation
    16. The Ministers appreciated the promotion of environmental education, awareness raising and public participation. They welcomed the outcomes of the Tripartite Environmental Education Network (TEEN) workshop held in October 2013 in Beijing, China and joint environmental training programs held in November 2013 in Tokyo, Japan. The three Ministers agreed to further strengthen the tripartite communication and cooperation on environmental education and public participation. They welcomed the outcome of Joint Reader of Environmental Education-Phase I.
    Environmental Cooperation for Global Challenges
    Climate Change
    17. The three countries will work together to enhance the full effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol. The three countries also welcomed the outcome of COP19/CMP9 and agreed to work constructively for the success of COP20/CMP10 to be held in Peru in December 2014.

    18. The Ministers shared the view on GCF as an important mechanism to tackle climate change and move forward to a climate-resilient society. They confirmed the need to keep cooperating so as for GCF to take into its stride at an earlier time. In particular, they agreed to support the efforts of GCF in utilizing the Climate Summit 2014 scheduled to be held in New York in September 2014 as an important momentum in raising the fund.
    19. The Ministers noted the importance of pursuing greenhouse gas mitigation through market mechanisms. They noted the three countries' ongoing efforts in this respect, including the Emissions Trading Schemes pursued in Korea and China and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) implemented by Japan.

    20. The Ministers shared the recognition of the importance of climate change adaptation measures to minimize damage associated with climate change along with greenhouse gas mitigation, and welcomed the progress on the efforts to develop domestic adaptation plans in the three countries. Understanding the importance of strengthening cooperation to further enhance the climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts of each country, they agreed to further promote exchange of information, knowledge and best practices in regard to their policies and experiences.
    21. The Ministers noted the need of information sharing and joint research on the control techniques and policies regarding short-lived climate forces with the purpose to promote co-control of air pollutants and greenhouse gases so as to create co-benefits. They also recognized the need to strengthen the cooperation on carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.

    22. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Minamata Convention on Mercury at Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Minamata Convention on Mercury held in October 2013, Kumamoto, Japan. With the objective of early entry into force of the treaty, they confirmed that they would proceed with the domestic preparations for ratification of the treaty.
    23. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote work towards fulfilling the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). They agreed to cooperate towards the success of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD COP12) scheduled to be held in 2014 in Pyeongchang, Korea.

    24. The Ministers confirmed to 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, Asia-Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network (AP-BON), and East and Southeast Asia Biodiversity Information Initiative (ESABII) to deepen cooperation in the area of biodiversity conservation.

    25. The Ministers welcomed to hold the Second Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Biodiversity in association with the CBD COP12 which will be held in Pyeongchang, Korea. They agreed to strengthen cooperation on restoring endangered species, access and benefit sharing (ABS) and other biodiversity issues. They also agreed to reinforce network of research institutions such as AP-BON and/or biodiversity center network and facilitate the cooperation and/or information sharing in the common areas discussed in the Dialogue.

    United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
    26. The Ministers acknowledged the significance of the ongoing international discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) following outcome of the Rio+20 and welcomed the progress made through the Open Working Group (OWG).
    27. The Ministers shared the recognition that integrated approach is essential in developing the SDGs in the context of the three pillars of sustainable development. They expressed their commitment to actively participate in and contribute to the international discussion on the SDGs.

    Issues Related to Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat
    28. The Ministers welcomed the participation of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat to the TEMM16. They urged working level to discuss future collaboration with Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, considering that environmental protection is one of the important topics of trilateral cooperation.
    Business and Youth Forums
    29. The Ministers recognized that the discussions among tripartite business and youth representatives were very meaningful. They welcomed the outcomes of the business forum themed Active Role of Environmental Industry in Environmental Cooperation in the Northeast Asian region and the youth forum themed Youth Aspiration for Sustainability: Be Creative and Initiative. They encouraged more exchanges among the youths and the business sector on the environment in the future.

    TEMM Environment Awards
    30. The Ministers congratulated and praised the awardees of the Second TEMM Environment Awards ceremony. Dr. CHANG Limseok, National Institute of Environmental Research of Korea, Dr. MENG Fan, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences of China and Dr. NISHIKAWA Masataka, Environmental Safety Center, Tokyo University of Science of Japan were awarded for their contribution to the environmental cooperation among the three countries. 

    31. The Ministers decided that TEMM17 will be held in China. The date and venue will be suggested by the host country and subsequently confirmed by Japan and Korea.

    32. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the fruitful results of TEMM16. Vice Minister LI Ganjie and Minister ISHIHARA Nobuteru conveyed their gratitude for the hospitality extended by the Korean government, Ministry of Environment of Korea and Daegu Metropolitan City.

    Daegu, 29 April 2014

    YOON Seongkyu
    Minister, Ministry of Environment
    Republic of Korea

    LI Ganjie
    Vice Minister, Ministry of Environmental Protection
    People's Republic of China

    ISHIHARA Nobuteru
    Minister, Ministry of the Environment