The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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  • Dust and sand storms


    Toyama, Japan (December 4-6, 2007)

    Joint Communique

    The Ninth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

    among Korea, China and Japan

    December 4-6, 2007, Toyama, Japan

    1- At the invitation of Minister KAMOSHITA Ichiro of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan, Minister LEE Kyoo-Yong of the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea and Vice Minister LI Ganjie of the State Environmental Protection Administration of the People's Republic of China visited Toyama, where the three Ministers met for the Ninth Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM) on December 4-6, 2007.

    2- The Ministers shared their views on the recent progress in each country regarding environmental management after TEMM 8. They welcomed the Environmental Strategy for the 21st Century put forward by Japan, the National Strategy for Sustainable Development by Korea, and strategic thought of applying Scientific Outlook on Development to build up an environmentally friendly society by China, all three of which clearly express the intention to integrate environmental protection into economic and social development.

    3- The Ministers noted the Declaration for Environmental Partnership in Toyama made on Dec. 4th. In this regard, they shared the view that cooperation among local governments, academia and private entities in Northeast Asia is important.

    4- The Ministers exchanged their views on global and regional issues of common concern and reached a consensus on some important issues.

    5- The Ministers agreed that UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol have paved a legal basis for international communities to respond to climate change which has identified the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The Ministers stressed that all countries should play a role in addressing the common challenge of climate change, based on the above principles, and that developed countries should continue to play a leading role. The Ministers committed to the common goal of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in the long run, at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. They also agreed to support the work to achieve a common understanding on a long term aspirational global emissions reduction goal to pave the way for a more effective post 2012 international arrangement. Appreciating the initiatives such as Low Carbon Society and noting the efforts in proposing a long term global goal, the Ministers reiterated their support for the successful outcome of the 13th session of the COP to the UNFCCC and the 3rd MOP to the Kyoto Protocol. They concurred to promote a cobenefits approach, which addresses environmental pollution and climate change simultaneously.

    6- They concurred that the three countries will enhance their collaboration to implement the Basel Convention to meet the objectives set out therein. In addition, the Ministers welcomed the tripartite meeting on ewaste management held in Beijing in June 2007 and recognized the need to address illegal trans boundary movement of hazardous waste, especially ewaste, with the joint efforts by three countries.

    7- The Ministers stressed the importance of sharing a vision of a sound material cycle society/an environmentally friendly and resource efficient society and improving resource productivity in each country as well as in East Asia as a whole. The Ministers also recognized that priority in this field should be put on efforts for sound waste management and the 3Rs within each country to reduce environmental impacts as well as to prevent illegal trade of wastes.

    8- The Ministers recognized that it is important to cooperate to meet the requirements for Stockholm Convention, and noted the usefulness of information sharing on POPs at policy level under the framework of the Convention. Also, the Ministers welcomed the progress of information exchange on chemicals management as well as the outcome of the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Chemicals Management among China, Japan and Korea held in Tokyo in November 2007. They recommended exploring of areas of further cooperation and harmonization in chemicals management through this dialogue, including responses to the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), and information sharing on chemicals used in products.

    9- During the Special Session for Dust and Sand Storm (DSS), the Ministers recognized that dust and sandstorms in Northeast Asia is a common concern for countries in this region. The Ministers appreciated the outcome of the two Tripartite Directors General Meetings on DSS held in March in Korea and in September 2007 in Japan. Also, they welcomed the efforts to implement the ADB GEF DSS Regional Technical Assistance (RETA) project which is to facilitate capacity building, and monitoring data sharing for the regional DSS monitoring in Northeast Asia They concurred to hold the first Steering Committee to discuss important matters such as Terms of Reference of Working Groups in Japan in January 2008 and to start joint research on DSS in a cooperative manner in order to establish the monitoring and early warning network on DSS and promote measures to mitigate DSS in the region, subject to the availability of financial resources. Furthermore, they agreed to hold a Working Group meeting in the first half of 2008 to decide joint research projects in detail, thereby initiating joint research on DSS from 2008.

    10- The Ministers confirmed that the three countries will continue to take concrete actions to conserve biodiversity and to achieve the 2010 biodiversity target. In this regard, they reaffirmed that they will facilitate to cooperate for the success of the 10th Conference of the Parties to the RAMSAR Convention to be held in Korea in 2008, and appreciated Japan's bid to hold the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity in 2010. The Ministers also recognized the necessity of sharing information on biodiversity including information on national biodiversity strategies and action plans as well as protected areas, and concurred to cooperate closely for possible joint activities accordingly with a view to conserving the biodiversity in the East Asian region at large.

    11- Regarding regional air pollution, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to promoting 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). With regard to the issue of photo-chemical oxidant, the Ministers agreed to cooperate in scientific research, e.g. sharing existing findings as appropriate, which could help analyze the mechanism of ozone pollution and facilitate the formation of common understandings.

    12- In the area of marine litter, the Ministers appreciated the joint efforts made by the three countries within the framework of Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP) and its Marine Litter Activities (MALITA). They also recognized the importance of further collaboration on marine litter activities, in an effective and practical manner, as well as on marine and coastal environment protection of the Northwest Pacific under NOWPAP.

    13- Concerning water management, the Ministers recognized the importance of cooperation among the three countries in conserving and managing water environment in the region. The Ministers appreciated the activities of the Water Environment Partnership in Asia (WEPA) for providing an information platform and capacity building on water environment conservation, with the aim of strengthening governance in water environmental management through international WEPA forums and WEPA workshops.

    14- The Ministers recognized the importance of the promotion of collaborative environmental research in Northeast Asia to help address regional environmental issues. The Ministers welcomed the progress of collaboration promoted by the Tripartite Presidents Meeting (TPM) among the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Japan, the National Institute of Environmental Research in Korea and the Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences.

    15- The Ministers recognized that TEMM projects had been outcome-oriented and are being implemented effectively and efficiently. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the final report on Ecological Conservation in North-west China. They reaffirmed the importance of the Tripartite Environmental Education Network (TEEN) and confirmed that they would start the exchange of information with a view to enhancing cooperation on environmental education policies and programs with particular emphasis on higher education in the three countries through the TEEN. They applauded the four latest activities, namely organizing an exposition on green purchasing, strengthening the work of building common criteria of eco-labeling, undertaking communication in the area of corporate environmental management and promoting environmental industry and technology.

    16- The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to TEMM and envisioned that TEMM would play more active role in promoting regional environmental cooperation and achieving sustainable development in Northeast Asia. Furthermore, they shared the common view that TEMM could contribute to ASEAN+3 and the East Asia Summit. In this regard, they reaffirmed that they will follow-up on the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment.

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

    18- The Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the fruitful results of this year's meeting. Minister Lee and Vice Minister Li extended their gratitude to Minister Kamoshita, the host country of Japan and Toyama Prefecture for the hospitality.



    Lee Kyoo-Yong

    Minister, Ministry of Environment

    The Republic of Korea



    Li Ganjie

    Vice Minister, State Environmental Protection Administration

    The People's Republic of China



    Kamoshita Ichiro

    Minister, Ministry of the Environment