The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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  • Dust and sand storms


    Beijing, People’s Republic of China ( December 13-14. 2003 )

    1. At the invitation ofMr. XIE Zhenhua,Minister of the StateEnvironmentalProtectionAdministration of thePeoples Republic ofChina, Minister KOIKEYuriko of theEnvironment Ministry ofJapan and the MinisterHAN Myeong Sook ofthe Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea visited Beijing, where the threMinisters met for the Fifth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM) onDecember 13-14, 2003. The Ministers also paid a courtesy call to H.E. ZENG Peiyan,Vice Premier of the State Council of Peoples Republic of China, at the Zhongnanhai,Beijing on December 13, 2003.

    2. The Ministers are encouraged by the Joint Declaration on the Promotion of theTripartite Cooperation among the three countries, signed by leaders of the threecountries in Bali last October. In the field of environmental cooperation, they alsorecalled the significance attached to TEMM for its leading role in the regionalenvironmental cooperation by the leaders of the three countries at the 2001Trilateral Summit. They agreed that TEMM should play more important roles instrengthening regional and global environmental cooperation to realize the contentof the Declaration.

    3. The Ministers reflected upon the last informal meeting held on the sidelines of theWorld Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg last year and noted theimportance of integration of economic development, social development and theenvironment protection. Recognizing that healthy environment is a prerequisite tosocial and economic sustainability, they reaffirmed their commitment to contributing to international efforts for sustainable development. They also discussed concreteways to work on the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

    4. The Ministers reviewed the progress made in environmental management in theirrespective countries since the Fourth TEMM.The Ministers also noted with satisfaction the new targets set by the Government ofChina for improving the environment while promoting economic growth, which aimsto increase by fourfold the current level of GDP in the next 20 years. They shared theview that the domestic environmental efforts of the three countries are vital to theenhancement of human society and should be supported by the internationalcommunity. They agreed to step up their concerted efforts for regional and globalenvironmental improvement.

    5. The Ministers highly regarded the achievements of the various TEMM projects andpledged their support for the expansion and continued productivity of these projects.They also attached great importance to childrens environmental education andpromotion of human resources exchange.

    6. Regarding global environmental issues, the Ministers expressed strong concernover their alarming severity and commended the positive steps taken by theinternational community to tackle these issues. The discussion covered, inter alia,climate change, biodiversity, ozone depletion, and acid deposition. The Ministersagreed to further deliberate on these issues when they meet on the occasion of majorinternational conferences.

    7. The Ministers reflected on the outcomes of the ninth session of the Conference ofthe Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC) held in Milan, Italy, on December 1-12, 2003. The Ministers recognizedthat the three countries should exert all possible efforts towards the ultimateobjective of the UNFCCC. They further recognized the importance of Kyoto Protocolin addressing global climate change and strongly urged those countries which hadnot ratified the Kyoto Protocol to do so as soon as possible to ensure its prompt entryinto force and effective implementation thereof. The Ministers noted withappreciation the continuous efforts of the three countries to address climate changewhich is a pressing issue requiring global participation in accordance with theircommon but differentiated responsibilities.

    8. The Ministers noted with pleasure that Korea will be hosting the 8th SpecialSession of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of UNEP(United Nations Environment Programme) which is scheduled to convene in JejuIsland on March 29-31, 2004. Recognizing that this is the first time that theGoverning Council will convene in Asia, they decided to cooperate closely for thesuccess of this session. As an initial step, the Ministers agreed to publish a brochuredetailing the nature of TEMMs work and its results since 1999.

    9. Understanding that TEMM is an action-oriented cooperation body designed tocounter global and regional environmental problems, the Ministers emphasized theneed for TEMMs reinforcement and extended role in global and regionalenvironmental endeavors. To this end, they agreed to make sustained efforts forinstilling the TEMMs guiding spirit- the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect forcollective well-being- to the rest of the Asian region.

    10. Regarding air pollution, the Ministers noted that acid deposition is a seriousproblem faced by China, Japan and Korea, and reaffirmed their commitment toactively promote the activities of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia(EANET) and joint research on Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollutants inNortheast Asia (LTP).

    11. The Ministers paid attention to dust and sandstorms (DSS), which have becomeexacerbated by droughts and land degradation in Northeast Asia. Recognizing thenecessity of capacity building for environmental management as well as promotingmonitoring and early warning network system for DSS, they agreed to make jointefforts to develop related projects.

    12. Concerning the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) led by UNEP with thegoal of preserving the marine and coastal environment of the Northwest Pacific, theMinisters agreed that it is important to establish Regional Co-ordination Unit (RCU)as soon as possible and to further collaborate for active promotion of NOWPAPactivities.

    13. The Ministers concurred that the next TEMM would be held in Japan. The date andvenue will be proposed by the host country and subsequently confirmed by Korea and China.

    14. The Ministers expressed their deep satisfaction with the outcomes ofthis years meeting as well as the friendly atmosphere that prevailed. Minister KOIKEYuriko and Minister HAN Myeong Sook conveyed their gratitude to Minister XIEZhenhua for his warm welcome and hospitality.