Environment Ministers of Korea, China and Japan to Discuss Solutions to Fine Dust and Environmental Challenges
· The 18th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among Korea, China and Japan (TEMM18) is to be held in Shizuoka, Japan on 26-27 April 2016.
- The three environment ministers will discuss cooperation in preventing and controlling air pollutants such as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sharing information on environmental industry and technology, and managing rural environment.
· On a bilateral basis, Korea and China are expected to sign a Letter of Intent with a view to establish a Korea-China Environment Cooperation Center and a regular policy dialogue at director general level.
Yoon Seongkyu, the Minister of Environment of Korea is to visit Shizuoka, Japan to attend the 18th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM18) among Korea, China and Japan on 26-27 April. Minister Yoon will join with Marukawa Tamayo, the Minister of the Environment of Japan and Chen Jining, the Minister of Environmental Protection of China to discuss environmental cooperation among the three countries.
Since it was initiated by Korea’s proposal in 1999, TEMM has been held every year in rotation among the three parties and serving as the highest level environmental cooperation mechanism in Northeast Asia that comes up with and facilitate joint actions to address regional environmental challenges including fine dust.
As a part of the three countries’ joint efforts to effectively respond to fine dust problem which is one of the most interested regional environmental issues, TEMM18 will approve five-year work plans of two working groups under TEMM’s air pollution cooperation platform, the Tripartite Policy Dialogue on Air Pollution. The work plans are to specify concrete cooperative activities including sharing of monitoring data on fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3) and exchange of policies and technologies for managing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with a view to help China enhance air quality management capacity.
In the meantime, the three countries will conclude a Memorandum of Understanding on Tripartite Cooperation Network for Environmental Pollution Prevention and Control Technologies on the occasion of TEMM18. The MOU has been developed in response to the call for dialogue and cooperation on pollution prevention and control technologies stated in the Joint Declaration of the 6th Trilateral Summit among Korea, Japan and China last November in Seoul. In accordance with the MOU, each of the three countries will designate an implementing agency and start to develop and promote cooperation programs such as holding technology exhibition and building a website.
The three Ministers will also share information and ideas relating to rural environment and local development issues including Eco Energy Town of Korea and Eco Village of China. Active intergovernmental exchange on rural environment issues is anticipated to pave the way for Korean policies and technologies towards Chinese market.
At the plenary session to be held on Wednesday 27 April, the three ministers will introduce their national policies to respond to domestic, regional and global environmental challenges. Minister Yoon will present Korea’s ongoing policy efforts to realize advanced and science-based environmental management (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control, relief from environmental damage, etc.) and clean and safe environmental services (chemical safety, environmental health for vulnerable groups, etc.), as well as those to contribute to sustainable development at regional and global level (Global Environment Scholarship Program for officials from developing countries, etc.).
A day ahead of the tripartite plenary session, the Korean Minister is to separately meet with Chinese and Japanese minister at bilateral meetings. At the Korea-China Bilateral Meeting, Minister Yoon and Minister Chen Jining are to sign a Letter of Intent that confirms the two countries’ shared intentions to establish a Korea-China Environment Cooperation Center and a regular policy dialogue at director general and jointly develop a five-year cooperation plan. The two ministers will also discuss ways to further existing cooperation between the two ministries including exchange of air pollution monitoring data, joint research on air pollution and joint project on air pollution prevention technologies in steel industry.
At the Korea-Japan Bilateral Meeting, Minister Yoon is expected to suggest establishing a regular director general level dialogue between the two ministries while broadening the scope of the bilateral environmental cooperation to promising new areas such as construction of resource cycle complex.
As side events of TEMM18, the TEMM Youth Forum and the Tripartite Roundtable on Environmental Business are to be arranged. Fifteen youth representatives from the three countries will gather in Shizuoka on the twenty-sixth and discuss “Nature’s Benefit to People”. The business Roundtable is to be held for two days on 25-26 under the theme of “Active Role of Environmental Industry in the Regional Transition to Green Economy.” The outcomes produced at the two forums will be reported to the Ministers at the ministers’ plenary.
In addition, the TEMM Environment Awards will be presented to those who made outstanding contribution to regional environmental cooperation. Together with the other two winners from China and Japan, Dr. Ko Taewon, Korea Environment Industry and Technology Institute will be awarded for his significant contribution to the development of common standards and mutual recognition of environmental labeling.