The Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting

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    Environment Ministers of Korea, China and Japan to discuss Joint Response to Transboundary Air Pollution
    Press Release
    Environment Ministers of Korea, China and
    Japan to discuss Joint Response to
    Transboundary Air pollutants



    The 15th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among Japan, Korea and China (TEMM15) is to be held in Kitakyushu, Japan on 5-6 May 2013. The Korean minister will suggest China to jointly address transboundary air pollution issue. In the event, Korea's new environmental vision of Environmental Welfare will be introduced and promoted. Meanwhile, the TEMM Environment Awards for outstanding contribution to the tripartite environmental cooperation will be presented for the first time. Private sector cooperation will also be discussed at back-to-back Business Forum and Youth Forum.

    YOON Seongkyu, the Minister of Environment of Korea is to attend the 15th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM15) held on 5-6 May in Kitakyushu, Japan. Since it launched in 1999 by Korea's proposal, Korea, Japan and China have taken turns hosting this annual ministerial meeting.

    As this year's TEMM is held amid mounting public concerns on air pollution from China, Korea will put particular stress on transboundary air pollutant issue and make suggestion on the cooperative measures and joint response against the problem.

    On Sunday 5th May, Minister Yoon is to meet with China's Vice Minister LI Ganjie prior to the tripartite meeting. (The Vice Minister is to represent China at TEMM15 in place of the Chinese Minister, who is unable to attend the meeting owing to domestic urgency). At the bilateral meeting, the Korean Minister will propose to China to jointly develop and operate an air quality forecast system through sharing real-time data on pollutants such as PM10, PM2.5 and Ozone. Having a regular director general level meeting between Korea and China will also be suggested for sharing air quality policy of each country and exploring the way of improvement.

    The Minister will also have a bilateral meeting with Japan in the morning on 6th May and discuss on strengthening cooperation in addressing environmental challenges including air pollutants from China and global climate change.

    In addition, Minister Yoon will ask for support from the two neighbors with regard to early launch of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and success of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12) in 2014.

    At the tripartite ministers meeting on Monday 6th May, the three leaders are to give presentations on both internal and external environmental policies in each county and have discussion on the issues. Minister Yoon will introduce Korea's new environmental policy vision of High Quality Environmental Welfare to realize the happiness of all people. Creating safer living environment, providing higher quality of environmental services and enhancing sustainability for the future will be presented as the three major strategies which consist of Korea's national environmental policy. In respect to international issues, Korea's presentation will cover the nation's current efforts to deal with dust and sandstorms (DSS), conserve biodiversity and prepare the launch of GCF.

    Nobuteru ISHIHARA, the Minister of the Environment of Japan is expected to introduce Japan's national environmental policies including air pollution control, up-to-date climate measures, the post-Fukushima crisis restoration, as well as the nation's environmental policy vision. Transboundary air pollutants including PM2.5, global climate change, DSS, environmental industry and technology related issues will be among the subjects of Japan's international policy briefing.

    LI Ganjie, the Vice Minister of Environmental Protection of People's Republic of China is reportedly to introduce the country's environmental vision of Ecological Civilization, reduction of major pollutants, harmony between economy and the environment, pollution control in major rivers and water sheds, ecosystem protection, environmental protection in rural areas and nuclear and radioactive safety. Through its presentation on international environmental policy, China is expected to urge the other two nations to expand collaboration regarding green economy, green technology, ABS, transboundary movement of e-waste and air pollutants.

    The three Ministers are to review the progress of and future plan for the Joint Action Plan for Ten Priority Areas of TEMM Cooperation adopted at TEMM12 in Japan. The ten areas are:  Environmental Education, Environmental Awareness and Public Participation,  Climate Change,  Biodiversity Conservation,  Dust and Sandstorms (DSS),  Pollution Control,  Environment-Friendly Society / 3R / Sound Resource Recycle Society,  Transboundary movement of E-Waste,  Sound Management of Chemicals,  Environmental Governance in Northeast Asia, and  Environmental Industries and Technologies.

    In the meantime, youth group and business officials of each country will gather respectively at the TEMM Youth Forum and the TEMM Business Forum. Each country is to send five students and five business leaders for each of the two private sector forum. The theme of the Business Forum is reported as International Cooperation for expanding Green Market and stimulating Green Economy, while youth group discussion will be made under the subject of Our Environmentally Sustainable City. The outcomes produced from the two forums will be reported to the Ministers at TEMM.

    The first ever TEMM Environment Awards will be presented to those who made outstanding contribution in the area of Korea-China-Japan environmental cooperation. Dr. CHUN Youngsin of the National Institute of Meteorological Research will be awarded for his significant contribution to combating DSS, together with the other two winners from China and Japan.

    After the closing of TEMM, the Joint Communiqué, which was adopted by the three ministers as the outcome of the meeting will be released. This document is expected to reaffirm the three countries' commitment to their joint cooperation on regional and global environmental challenges such as air pollution, DSS, climate change and biodiversity. Among the contents reported to be included in the Joint Communiqué are: establishment of the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution and environmental safety network, upgrade of DSS governance for sustainable finance and supports for the early launch of GCF.
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