The 16th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among Korea, China and Japan (TEMM16) is to be held in Daegu, Korea on 28-29 April 2014. The Korean minister will emphasize the urgent need to reduce air pollution in the Northeast Asian region while proposing air quality improvement as a priority area for future environmental cooperation among the three countries. In the mean time, the ministers of Korea and China will discuss the revision of their environmental cooperation MOU for the purpose to facilitate cooperative activities to combat find dust together.
Yoon Seongkyu, the Minister of Environment of Korea is to host the 16th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM16) among Korea, China and Japan on 28-29 April in Daegu Metropolitan City, Korea. Li Ganjie, the Vice Minister of Environmental Protection of China and Ishihara Nobuteru, the Minister of the Environment of Japan will come to Daegu to discuss environmental cooperation among the three countries. (The Chinese vice minister is to represent China at TEMM16 in place of the Minister, whose attendance is unavailable due to domestic urgency.) Every year since its launch led by Korea in 1999, TEMM has been held in rotation among the three members serving as the highest level environmental cooperation platform in Northeast Asia.
Korea is expected to introduce its national policies to address transboundary air pollution including particulate matter (PM, find dust) and suggest to take coordinated actions against PM among the three countries. Korea will present recent progress in domestic environmental policies including chemicals control, water environment management, environmental damage relief, environmental industry and technology promotion, and comprehensive environmental management as well as its efforts to meet global environmental challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss. China and Japan will also introduce their policies and measures for environmental issues at national, regional and global scale.
The outcomes of this meeting are to be stipulated in the Joint Communiqué, which the three ministers will adopt and sign on to. Through the document, Korea will stress the compelling need of tackling air pollution caused by particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3) and other pollutants in a prompt and effective manner, and call for further strengthening of joint efforts in the prevention and control. The Joint Communiqué will also state the three countries commitment to cooperation for the success of the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12) to be held in Pyeongchang in October this year. The three countries will reaffirm their willingness to enhance the tripartite collaboration regarding a wide range of environmental challenges including water pollution, marine litter, dust and sandstorms, chemicals risks, climate change, and biodiversity loss.
As the host of TEMM16, Korea is to take the lead in the determination of "Future Priority Areas for Cooperation" for the next five years. A total of nine areas will be suggested for the adoption including "air quality improvement" pushed forward by Korea. With the adoption of "air quality improvement" as a priority area, concrete cooperative measures to improve regional air quality will be developed and endorsed at TEMM17 hosted by China in 2015.
A day ahead of the tripartite plenary session, Minister Yoon is to separately meet with Chinese and Japanese minister at bilateral meetings scheduled on Monday 28. At the Korea-China Bilateral Meeting, the ministers will talk over the revision of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on environmental cooperation signed by the two governments in 2003. The revised MOU is expected to specify the two countries' future cooperation activities with respect to PM such as sharing air pollutant monitoring data, conducting joint research on air pollution forecasting model, and promoting people-to-people exchange in the field of environmental science.
"This year's TEMM16 hosted by Korea will be a great opportunity to formulate the three countries' joint actions to address shared environmental challenges such as PM," said the Korean Minister of Environment.
In the meantime, youth and business representatives from each country will gather at the TEMM Youth Forum and the TEMM Business Forum which are held in parallel on 28. The theme of the Business Forum is reported as Active role of Environmental Industry in Environmental Cooperation in the Northeast Asian region, while youth group discussion will be made under the title of Youth aspiration for sustainability: the creation of initiatives. The outcomes produced at the two forums will be reported to the Ministers at TEMM on the following day.
In addition, the 2nd TEMM Environment Awards will be presented to those who made outstanding contribution to Korea-China-Japan environmental cooperation. Together with the other two winners from China and Japan, Dr. Chang Limseok, National Institute of Environmental Research will be awarded for his significant contribution to the Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollutants in Northeast Asia (LTP) project and the test operation of national PM forecasting system.