Environment Ministers of Korea, China and Japan to Discuss Environmental
Cooperation for Next Five Years
◆ The 17th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among Korea, China and Japan (TEMM17)
is to be held in Shanghai, China on 29-30 April 2015.
◆ The meeting is expected to set a foundation on which the three countries together
will carry out cooperative activities towards regional environmental improvement in areas
including air pollution, biodiversity and climate change.
◆ The three countries will adopt Mid-term Joint Action Plans (2015-2019) for joint research
on dust and sand storms (yellow dust) aiming to improve the forecasting accuracy and
effectiveness of yellow dust prevention activities in source areas in China.
Yoon Seongkyu, the Minister of Environment of Korea is to visit Shanghai, China to attend the 17th Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting (TEMM17) among Korea, China and Japan on 29-30 April. Minister Yoon will join with Chen Jining, the Minister of Environmental Protection of China and Mochizuki Yoshio, the Minister of the Environment of Japan to discuss environmental cooperation among the three countries.
The meeting is expected to lay a foundation of environmental cooperation among the three countries for the next five years by adopting the Tripartite Joint Action Plan on Environmental Cooperation which specifies concrete joint activities including air pollution control technology cooperation, collaboration on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol, and information exchange on climate change adaptation.
Lists of specific joint activities will be produced under nine priority areas, which were determined by the three countries at TEMM16 last year. The nine priority areas of tripartite environmental cooperation include: air quality improvement; biodiversity; chemical management and environmental emergency response; circulative management of resources/3R/transboundary movement of e-waste; climate change response; conservation of water and marine environment; environmental education, public awareness and corporate social responsibility; rural environment management; and transition to green economy.
In an effort to proactively respond to the growing problem of dust and sand storms (DSS, yellow dust) in Northeast Asia, the three countries will set directions of future joint research on yellow dust. The Mid-term Joint Action Plans for Joint Research on DSS, which will be presented at TEMM17 to be endorsed by the three Ministers, define specific research subjects and targets of two Working Groups on DSS (established in 2008). In accordance with the Mid-term Action Plans, experts of the three countries will work together to improve DSS forecasting accuracy and to develop measures of vegetation restoration in DSS source areas in China.
At the plenary session to be held on Thursday 30th, the three environment ministers are expected to introduce their national policies to respond to domestic, regional and global environmental challenges. Minister Yoon will present Korea’s recent policy efforts to address fine dust, algae bloom in rivers, chemical safety, climate change and other important environmental issues.
The outcomes of this meeting are to be stipulated in the Joint Communiqué, which the three ministers will adopt and sign on to. The document will recognize the accomplishments made in environmental cooperation among the three countries while stating visions and future plan.
A day ahead of the tripartite plenary session, the Korean Minister is to separately meet with Chinese and Japanese minister at bilateral meetings scheduled on Wednesday 29th. At the Korea-China Bilateral Meeting, Minister Yoon and Minister Chen Jining will discuss ways to strengthen joint efforts on major environmental concerns shared by the two countries such as fine dust and yellow dust.
"The meeting will be a great opportunity for the three Northeast Asian neighbors to enhance cooperation in various environmental issues such as yellow dust, fine dust and chemical accidents. This will contribute to bringing a safer, healthier and more pleasant life to Korean people, which President Park Geun-hye has been stressing as one of the top priorities of the administration," 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 Tripartite Roundtable on Environmental Business to be held alongside the ministerial meeting. The theme of the Business Forum is reported as “Strengthen the Exchange and Cooperation in Environmental Technology and Industry, Promote the Development and Transformation of Regional Green Economy,” while youth group discussion will be made under the title of “Building Connections with Nature.” The outcomes produced at the two forums will be reported to the Ministers at TEMM.
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. Chu Jangmin, Korea Environment Institute will be awarded for his significant contribution to the tripartite cooperation including the study for establishing environmental governance in Northeast Asia.
Since its launch led by Korea in 1999, TEMM has been held every year in rotation among the three parties and serving as the highest level environmental cooperation platform in Northeast Asia.