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Multilateral Environment Diplomacy
Cooperation with GGGI
The Korean government has endeavored to spread the green economy agenda and to contribute to the international community’s cooperative efforts toward a green economy. The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), an international organization established under the leadership of the Republic of Korea, expanded its membership to 28 states with the accession of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 2017. GGGI is now assisting approximately 25 developing countries; including Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia, Ethiopia, and Rwanda; in 33 projects in the 2017-2018 Work Program such as establishing and implementing green growth strategies and capacity building. GGGI has also developed projects that enabled the establishment of green funds and promoted investments.
The Korean government actively engaged in GGGI’s efforts to improve its project implementation and governance through GGGI meetings and frequent consultations with the Secretariat and member states. In particular, Korea supported GGGI’s efficient decision- making and transparent organizational management as Vice-chair of the Assembly and the Council of GGGI, Chair of the Management and Program Sub-Committee, and Audit Contact Point in 2017. Meanwhile, GGGI has improved its competence by implementing the revised (2017) mid- and long-term strategic plan (2015-2020), and has been supporting developing countries in its adaptation to the changing international environment with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. In addition, GGGI hosted the second Global Green Growth Week, under the theme “Unlocking Africa’s Green Growth Potential,” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2017 while, during the same week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a seminar on “African Countries’Nationally Determined Contributions Implementation and Cooperation with Korea ” to seek ways for Korea to contribute to Africa’s implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Green Round Table to Enhance Cooperation Among Environment Stakeholders
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the “Green Round Table” in November 2016 to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation and synergies among international organizations and domestic agencies related to green economy concerns. In 2017, two rounds of the round table were held.
At the second Green Round Table held on March 15, 2017, climate resource mechanisms and their operation trends were introduced to the domestic audience as well as overseas opportunities utilizing climate finance. In celebration of GGGI’s fifth anniversary as an international organization, the third Green Round Table held on December 1, 2017 served as an opportunity to review the progress GGGI made thus far and discuss ways for GGGI and Korean small and medium-sized enterprises in the environment sector to collaborate in successful overseas business opportunities.
Strengthening International Cooperation for Environmental Protection
Global environmental issues cover a wide range of areas including air, ecosystems, ocean, and hazardous waste and chemical substances. More than 160 international conventions are in effect with the support of the UN and OECD.
Korea has acceded to a number of leading international conventions on the protection of the environment and has taken part in the discussion of, and response to, such global environmental issues as the protection of biodiversity and sustainable use of resources and protection of marine ecosystems, international management of chemical and toxic substances through these conventions. In 2017, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was ratified by the National Assembly and came into force on 17th of August.
The Republic of Korea actively participated in the discussion of global cooperation on environmental protection and conservation such as the Conference of the Parties of the Basel·Rotterdam·Stockholm Convention (April, Geneva), UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (July, New-York), and Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment jointly hosted by UN-ESCAP and UNEP (September, Bangkok). In particular, Korea attended the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly (December, Nairobi) which was held to pave the way “Towards a Pollution-Free Planet” and shared our continuous efforts to address the environmental challenges while stressing the need for international cooperation to tackle trans boundary air pollution.