The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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  • Dust and sand storms


    Seoul, Korea, October 22(Sat.)-23(Sun.)

    1. At the invitation of Minister LEE Jae Yong of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, Minister XIE Zhenhua of the State Environmental Protection Administration of the People's Republic of China and Minister KOIKE Yuriko of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan visited Seoul, where the three Ministers met for the Seventh Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM) on October 22-23, 2005.


    2. The Ministers shared their views on the recent progress in each country regarding environmental management after TEMM 6. They welcomed the outline of China's next five-year plan that clearly expresses the intention to establish an environmentally-friendly society based on the concept of scientific development. The Ministers recognized that TEMM had played an important role for promoting regional environmental cooperation and achieving sustainable development in Northeast Asia. They assured that the three countries would continue to work together on various regional issues.


    3. The Ministers reaffirmed that building a sound material-cycle society is essential in achieving sustainable development in Northeast Asia. The Ministers recognized that the three countries are building sound material-cycle and environmentally-friendly society through various efforts. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the accomplishments of the Tripartite Symposium on Circular Economy held on September 8-9, 2005 in Beijing, which was a good opportunity to share experiences of the three countries. They also welcomed the Ministerial Conference on the 3R Initiative held in April in Tokyo. The Ministers concurred that the three countries take turns holding joint seminars or workshops on sound material-cycle society and/or circular economy and 3R activities for the next three years as important TEMM activities to strengthen trilateral cooperation on this issue.


    4. The Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol this February, reconfirming its importance as a first step toward achieving the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this context, they reaffirmed that the global community should take further actions to address the climate change problem. They expressed their expectation for positive outcomes that can lead to the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and further global efforts to tackle climate change at the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 11) of the UNFCCC and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP1), which would be held from November 28 to December 9 of this year in Montreal. The Ministers confirmed that the three countries should enhance domestic efforts as well as international cooperation especially in the fields of public awareness raising and technology development, deployment and transfer based on the principle of common but differential responsibility. In this regard, the Ministers shared the view that 'COOL BIZ' campaign could be effective in promoting energy saving by encouraging people to wear lighter clothes in business occasion. They also welcomed the launch of the New Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which is consistent with and contribute to the three countries efforts under the UNFCCC, and will complement but not replace the Kyoto Protocol.


    5. The Ministers paid attention to dust and sandstorm (DSS) issues in North East Asia. They recognized the necessity of capacity building for environmental management and monitoring as well as the necessity of promoting a monitoring network and information sharing of data obtained through national monitoring and related bilateral projects. They welcomed the outputs of the ADB-GEF DSS regional technical assistance (RETA) project in the North East Asia region and agreed to make joint efforts to develop related projects to take further actions. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the result of the first expert meeting on design of regional network for Prevention and Control of Dust and Sandstorms in Northeast Asia held in August in Tsukuba, Japan and the adoption of the arrangement on ground monitoring and information exchange for DSS between Korea and China in June to provide the basis for further action.


    6. The Ministers noted that acid deposition is a serious problem for the three countries, and reaffirmed their commitment to promote the activities of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) and joint research on Long-range Trans-boundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP), recognizing the importance of the participation of the three countries in the discussion on the future development of EANET and LTP.


    7. The Ministers recognized TEMM projects had been outcome-oriented and being implemented effectively and efficiently. Therefore, the Ministers commended the achievements of TEMM projects, especially latest activities to start the promotion of 'Green Purchase', to harmonize criteria for eco-labeling and the publication of joint educational material for children.


    8. The Ministers acknowledged that the first working group was held on July 14-15, 2005 in Jeju Island in order to review the state of environmental management of the Northeast Asian region and to seek ways to improve the role of TEMM in the region. The Ministers expressed their expectation for further activities of the working group on this issue. They also expected the Working Group to facilitate the effective implementation of the outcome of TEMM and requested the Working Group to make a plan on the future cooperation activities with regard to the outcome of TEMM 7 including EIA on FTA and e-waste.


    9. The Ministers shared the recognition that the three countries need to make joint efforts toward further collaboration within the framework of the Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP), including on the issue of various marine litter, to preserve the marine and coastal environment of the Northwest Pacific. They also shared expectations towards the promotion of NOWPAP activities through the Regional Coordination Unit (RCU).


    10. The Ministers confirmed that the three countries would continue to take concrete actions to preserve biodiversity, including the development of a regional framework on conservation of habitats for migratory waterbirds throughout East Asian Australian Flyway. The Ministers expressed their interest of increasing cooperation in information exchange on invasive alien species within the framework of Convention on Biological Diversity to ease the damage caused by them.


    11. The Ministers recognized the importance of cooperation among the three countries in conserving and managing water environment in the region. In this regard, the three Ministers acknowledged the information provided through Water Environmental Partnership in Asia (WEPA), which aims to strengthen governance and capacity building in water environmental management by providing an information platform on water environment conservation.

    12. The Ministers recognized that it was important to cooperate with the requirement for Stockholm Convention, whose objective is to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The Ministers noted the usefulness of information sharing on POPs under the framework of Stockholm Convention.


    13. The Ministers recognized the need for the promotion of collaborative research in Northeast Asia to help address regional environmental problems. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the progress of collaborative research promoted by the Tripartite Presidents Meeting (TPM) among the National Institute of Environmental Research in Korea, the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences and the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan. The Ministers recognized that further collaboration will come from the three research institutes at the 3rd TPM, which will be held in Korea next year.


    14. The Ministers shared the view that the outcome of TEMM should be input to other regional and global environmental meetings such as the ASEAN+3 Environmental Ministers Meeting. They commended Korea's successful hosting of the fifth UNESCAP Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED) held in March in Seoul. The Ministers reaffirmed to support the concept of 'Green Growth' and expressed their willingness to cooperate in implementing the follow-up measures of the Seoul Initiative.


    15. The Ministers of China and Japan welcomed Korea's efforts to host the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (RAMSAR Convention) COP 10 in 2008 including Korea's campaign to host the COP 10, which will take place at the RAMSAR Convention COP 9 held in November in Uganda.


    16. The Ministers concurred that the next TEMM will be held in China. The date and venue will be suggested by the host country and subsequently confirmed by Japan and Korea.


    17. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the positive results of this year's meeting, which was held in a friendly atmosphere. Minister Xie and Minister Koike extended their deep gratitude to Minister Lee and the host country of Korea for their warm welcome and hospitality.


    LEE Jae Yong
    Minister, Ministry of Environment
    Republic of Korea



    XIE Zhenhua
    Minister, State Environmental Protection Administration
    The People's Republic of China



    KOIKE Yuriko
    Minister, Ministry of the Environment