The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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    Joint Communique
    The 19th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting
    Among Korea, China, and Japan
    24-25 August 2017, Suwon, Korea


    1.  At the invitation of Minister KIM Eunkyung of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Minister LI Ganjie of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China and Minister NAKAGAWA Masaharu of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, visited Suwon, where the three Ministers met for the 19th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM19) on 24-25 August 2017.
    Latest Development of Environmental Policies in Three Countries 
    2.  The Ministers shared recent progress in environmental policies in each country since TEMM18. Minister KIM presented “Major Environmental Policies of the New Government”, Minister LI presented “Strive to Win the Tough Fight for Environmental Protection and Accelerate the Creation of Green Development Pattern and Lifestyle”, and Minister NAKAGAWA presented “Latest Development of National Environmental Policies”. The Ministers welcomed the progress and shared the view that these environmental policies would contribute to the sustainable development in Northeast Asia, and would lay the foundation for solving regional and global environmental challenges.
    Major Policies to Address Regional and Global Environmental Issues 
    3.  The Ministers exchanged views and policies on addressing regional and global environmental issues, specifically, “Korea’s Response to Regional and Global Environmental Issues   Implementation and Support for SDGs ” by Minister KIM, “Strengthening Environmental Cooperation and Jointly Promoting Green Development” by Minister LI, and “Key Policies for Global and Regional Environmental Issues” by Minister NAKAGAWA.
    4.  On achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Ministers appreciated that China issued the National Plan on Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2016, Korea established the Third National Basic Plan for Sustainable Development 2016-2035, and Japan issued SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles as the national strategy to implement the 2030 Agenda in 2016. They welcomed that three countries expressed their commitment to actively participating in Voluntary National Reviews to the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and recognized that the three countries should cooperate to facilitate the global efforts in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
    5.  The Ministers welcomed the early entry-into-force of the Paris Agreement and expressed appreciation of three countries’ global leadership and contribution to this end. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to uphold and faithfully implement the Paris Agreement. They took note of the progress made at the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change which took place in November 2016 in Marrakesh, Morocco and expressed their willingness to work in cooperation towards the completion of the work program under the Paris Agreement by 2018. In addition, the Ministers confirmed that three countries commit to establish long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies.
    6.  The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the twenty-eighth Meeting of the Parties. The Ministers expressed their intention, and also encouraged other Parties to the Protocol, to take necessary domestic steps for the early ratification of the Amendment with a view of achieving its universal ratification. Ministers recognized the importance of implementing concrete measures to minimize emissions throughout the lifecycle of HFCs and other fluorocarbons.
    7.  The Ministers welcomed the decision of China to host the 15thConference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Japan, as the host of the COP10 and Korea, as the host of the COP12, expressed their willingness to share experiences and cooperate with China for the success of the COP15.
      The Ministers welcomed that G20 launched two new initiatives; “G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue” and “G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter” to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and to reflect their commitment to sustainable development.
    Review of Progress on Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation (2015-2019) 
    8.  The Ministers reviewed the progress of the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation 2015-2019 adopted at TEMM17 in April 2015 in Shanghai, China. They confirmed the progress of the tripartite cooperative projects under the nine priority areas contained in the Plan, and committed to continue the cooperative efforts among the three countries.
    Environmental Cooperation in Each Priority Area
    I.  Air Quality Improvement
    9.  The Ministers expressed their concern over the risks posed by ambient air pollution on human health and the environment, and recognized that air pollution is one of the most urgent environmental issues in Northeast Asia. They shared the view that the joint tripartite collaboration is a necessary mechanism to address the regional challenge and agreed to further strengthen this cooperation.

      The Ministers acknowledged the significant role of the on-going tripartite cooperative activities including the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution (TPDAP) in improving the regional air quality. Thereby they re-confirmed to promote the tripartite cooperation for regional air pollution control through sharing good political efforts and practices and scientific research results, particularly under the umbrella of the TPDAP.

      The Ministers welcomed the outcome of practical collaboration in the 4th TPDAP held on 23-24 February 2017 in Hangzhou, China, including the agreement to expand the scope of information sharing of air quality policies and on the need to exchange emission sources inventories. The Ministers also recognized the significant results of the meetings of the two Working Groups of TPDAP which were held on 22 February 2017 back-to-back with the 4th TPDAP, including the work of the Working Group I (WGI) to share experiences in VOCs control incentives and penalties, and petrochemical management, and the work of the Working Group II (WGII) to exchange information on air quality monitoring, forecast and inventories based on their work plans. The Ministers acknowledged the items to be discussed including the exchange of up-to-date VOCs control policy experiences in printing and coating in the WGI, and the sharing of methodologies for calculating emission factors of off-road mobile sources in the WGII.
    The Ministers noted that the WGI and WGII meetings and the 5th TPDAP will be held on 6-8 February 2018 in Seoul, Korea. They emphasized the compelling need of the active role of TEMM in improving the regional air quality and thereby called for further action to intensify the tripartite cooperation.
    The Ministers welcomed the progress achieved in cooperative activities of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP) for the regional air quality improvement. They expected that the LTP will successfully publish the upcoming summary report for policy makers and share its outcomes at the next TEMM Directors General Meeting. The Ministers also appreciated the activities of the Northeast Asian Sub-regional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC), especially noting the continued consultation on the North-East Asia Clean Air Partnership (NEACAP) with its member governments and relevant mechanisms. They recognized the need for further cooperation in strengthening technological capacity for air quality monitoring and emissions source inventory.
    10.  Understanding the significance of the Dust and Sandstorms (DSS) issue as a major environmental challenge in the region, the Ministers urged to strengthen collaboration in the field of the DSS. They appreciated the progress made at the Working Group I (WGI) Meeting held in November 2016 in Jeju, Korea, at the Working Group II (WGII) Meeting held in November 2016 in Kunming, China, and at the 2ndJoint Workshop between the WGI and the WGII for Joint Research on the DSS held in February 2017 in Seoul, Korea.
    The Ministers recognized that the data exchange of WGI promoted the improvement of DSS research and model development in the three countries, and the joint survey of WGII in Hulunbeier contributed to assessing the DSS prevention effect of vegetation restoration. They welcomed that the 3rd Joint Work shop will be held in 2018 in China for closer collaboration between the two working groups, and encouraged smooth implementation of the Mid-Term Action Plan (2015-2019) of each group.
    II.  Biodiversity
    11.  The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promote work towards fulfilling the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), i.e. conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

      The Ministers welcomed the ongoing work towards the achievement of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the three countries and confirmed their willingness to continue the endeavor.

      The Ministers welcomed the 3rdTripartite Policy Dialogue on Biodiversity held in April 2016 in Nanjing, China. They noted that the 4thPolicyDialogue will be held between 31 August and 1 September, 2017 in Shizuoka, Japan.

      The Ministers shared the recognition that invasive alien species pose an urgent issue in East Asia, and confirmed to share within the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Biodiversity the current status of invasive alien species, their countermeasures and their impact in each country, as well as the best practices of the countermeasures which are learned from there.

      They noted the importance of information sharing to prepare for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing (ABS) and decided to continue such cooperation.

      The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the CBD COP13 held in December 2016 in Cancun, Mexico and committed to continue efforts to mainstream biodiversity in development policies in their respective countries.

      The Ministers confirmed to promote tripartite 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, the Asia-Pacific Biodiversity Observation Network (AP-BON), and the East and Southeast Asia Biodiversity Information Initiative (ESABII), and Bio-Bridge Initiative (BBI) to deepen cooperation in the area of biodiversity conservation.
    III.  Chemical Management and Environmental Emergency Response
    12.  The Ministers recognized the outcomes of the 10th Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Chemicals Management among Japan, Korea and China held in October 2016 in Tokyo, Japan including the exchange of latest national policies and international trends in chemical management. They welcomed the adoption of the Tripartite Action Plan on Chemical Management up to 2019 which would enhance tripartite activities in this area and encouraged successful implementation of the plan. The Ministers confirmed that the 11th Policy Dialogue will be held in 2017 in Korea.

      The Ministers appreciated that the result of the joint research on fish acute toxicity tests was reported at the Expert Meeting on Joint Research for Chemicals held in October 2016 in Tokyo, Japan for seeking harmonization of the toxicity test methods among the three countries. They encouraged continued cooperation among researchers in the area including on harmonizing chronic toxicity test methods.

      The Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the Minamata Convention. They shared the view that proper management of mercury is critical to protecting human health in Northeast Asia. They welcomed Japan and China’s ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and Korea’s progress on its national process for ratification. They agreed to strengthen communication and cooperation for the implementation of the Convention.
    13.  The Ministers took note of the information exchange about ongoing discussion on the possible collaborative research activities on the risk assessment of environmental disasters at the 13th Tripartite Presidents Meeting among CRAES, NIES and NIER (TPM) in Kunming, China in November 2016.

      The Ministers welcomed that information on waste management of recent disaster cases in Japan was shared among three countries and also welcomed that Japan would prepare an opportunity to share experience and know-how on disaster waste management in 2017 with participation of stakeholders.
    IV.  Circulative Management of Resources/3R/Transboundary Movement of E-Waste
    14.  The Ministers shared the recognition that promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns and pursuing the transition to a circular economy/sound material-cycle society in Northeast Asia would significantly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at global level.
    15.  The Ministers welcomed that the 10th Sound Material Cycle Society/Circular Economy/3R/Transboundary Movement of E-waste Seminar held in November 2016 in Beijing, China, exchanged latest information on waste management policies of the three countries including policies relating to E-waste management. They confirmed that the 11th Seminar will be held in 2017 in Japan.
    16.  The Ministers recognized the importance of sharing the information on transboundary movement of e-wastes in trust building and informed decision making in the Northeast Asian region. They reaffirmed their willingness for continued cooperation, including promoting the hotline mechanism, developing brief report for information, establishing information exchange platform about the E-waste transboundary transfer problem.
    V.  Climate Change Response
    17.  The Ministers recognized the immediate need for concerted response to climate change at regional and global level and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation to this end.
    18.  The Ministers welcomed that China would hold the Tripartite Seminar on Climate Change Response in 2017. They expected that this seminar would lead to substantial progress in tripartite cooperation on climate change. 
    19.  The Ministers recognized the importance of pursuing greenhouse gas mitigation through market mechanisms, and noted the three countries’ efforts in this respect including the Emission Trading Schemes being operated in Korea, the national emission trading system started in 2017 in China and the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) initiated by Japan.
    VI. Conservation of Water and Marine Environment
    20.  The Ministers shared the recognition that they would endeavor to promote sampling the policy issues that are suitable for sharing information and discuss the specific efforts from the point of view of promoting the recognition about water environment management and the tripartite cooperation including underground water.
    21.  The Ministers welcomed that 2nd TEMM-NOWPAP Joint Workshop on Marine Litter held in September 2016 in Russia shared the results of marine litter studies and related policies of the three countries. They decided to accelerate the exchange of each country’s policies on marine waste and related research results under the TEMM framework through the Joint Workshop and working level meetings. The Ministers confirmed that the 3rd Joint Workshop will be held in 2017 in Japan to seek efficient and effective solutions for marine litter.
    VII.  Environmental Education, Public Awareness and Corporate Social Responsibility
    22.  The Ministers acknowledged that enhancing environmental education, raising public awareness and encouraging public participation are essential to promote environmental protection. They welcomed the substantial outcomes of the 17th Tripartite Environmental Education Network (TEEN) symposium and workshop held in September 2016 in Shenzhen, China with the theme of “Strengthening engagement for environmental education and sustainable development”. They confirmed that the 18th TEEN will be held in October 2017 in Suwon, Korea.
    They also welcomed that the 16th Tripartite Environmental Training held in 2016 in Japan, with the theme of “circulative management of resources/3R”, had provided a good opportunity for information exchange on the environmental policies of the three countries. They confirmed that the 17th training will be held in October 2017 in Korea. 
    23.  The Ministers welcomed the results of the Consultation Meeting on General Public Awareness held in June 2016 in Seoul, Korea in collaboration with the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS). They expressed appreciation to the TCS for supporting the arrangement of the Consultation Meeting and implementing the Trilateral Teachers’ Exchange Program on Public Awareness. The Ministers encouraged continued efforts of the three countries and TCS in implementing publication of a promotional booklet.  
    24.  Having noted the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on the environment, the Ministers agreed to promote cooperation on environmental CSR at the TREB in the future.
    VIII.  Rural Environmental Management
    25.  The Ministers recognized the importance of rural environment quality improvement and took note of the ongoing domestic efforts of the three countries that are Model Region of Regional Revitalization of Japan, Eco Energy Town of Korea and Eco Village of China. They welcomed that the 2nd Tripartite Rural Environment Policy Dialogue will be held during the second half of 2017 in Japan.
    IX.  Transition to Green Economy
    26.  The Ministers reaffirmed the crucial role played by cooperation in the field of environmental industry and technologies for the transition to green economy.
    27.  The Ministers recognized the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and agreed to launch the Tripartite Joint Research on the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals from environmental dimension.
    28.  The Ministers took note of the willingness of Suwon, the host city of TEMM19, to initiate the discussion on the launch of the Trilateral Forum on Sustainable Cities among local governments in the three countries.

    29.  The Ministers welcomed that the first joint exhibition and the first environmental technology seminar were held in June 2017 in Korea during ENVEX 2017 and take place every year in the host country of TEMM. They also welcomed further discussion on the work mechanism and formulation of work plan on implementing the Tripartite Cooperation Network for Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies including website construction and the joint exhibition, and called for continued efforts of the three countries to implement the activities.
    30.  The Ministers welcomed the 2nd Green Finance Seminar to be held in October 2017 in Beijing, China. They also appreciated that tripartite cooperation under the framework of APEC Green Supply Chain Network has been conducted through activities including annual conferences and capacity building workshop.
    Youth Forum and the Tripartite Roundtable on Environmental Business
    31.  The Ministers recognized that the discussions among business and youth representatives from the three countries are very meaningful. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the Tripartite Roundtable on Environmental Business themed “Social Responsibility of Environmental Industry for Improving Green Economy Performance” and the Youth Forum themed “Bio-Cultural Diversity and Youth Participation”. They encouraged more communications and exchanges respectively among the business and the youth sectors in the future.
    TEMM Environmental Awards
    32.  The Ministers congratulated and praised the awardees of the TEMM Environment Awards ceremony. Mr. LEE Seongbong, Mr. ZHANG Lei, and Dr. YOSHIKAWA Ken, were awarded for their contributions to the environmental cooperation among the three countries.
    33.  The Ministers decided that TEMM20 will be held in 2018 in the People’s Republic of China. The date and venue will be suggested by the host country and subsequently confirmed by Japan and Korea.
    34.  The Ministers encouraged exchange of ideas to celebrate the 20th anniversary of TEMM at TEMM 20 in 2018 such as commemorative publication and special events.
    35.  The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the fruitful outcome of TEMM19. Minister LI Ganjie and Minister NAKAGAWA Masaharu extended their deep appreciation to Minister KIM Eunkyung, the Korean Government and Suwon City for hosting the meeting and the great hospitality accorded to all participants.
    25 August 2017, Suwon, Korea




    KIM Eunkyung
    Ministry of Environment
    Republic of Korea


    LI Ganjie
    Ministry of Environmental Protection
    People’s Republic of China


    NAKAGAWA Masaharu
    Ministry of the Environment