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KOR

Press Releases

Outcome of 23rd Meeting of ROK-China Joint Committee and Director-General-Level Meeting on Environmental Cooperation

Date
2019-01-24 14:35:59
Hit
1979

1. The 23rd meeting of the Joint Committee on Environmental Cooperation and a director-general-level meeting on environmental cooperation between the Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China took place at a Lotte Hotel, Seoul, on January 23 and 22, respectively. The meetings covered in depth ways to step up bilateral environmental cooperation, including on fine dust.

 

° The ROK head delegates to the Joint Committee and director-general-level meetings were Director-General for the Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kwon Sei-joong and Director-General for the Climate Change Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Environment Hwang Suk-tae, respectively. The Chinese delegation to the meetings was led by Director-General for the Department of International Cooperation of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment Guo Jing.

 

[Main Results of Joint Committee and Director-General-Level Meeting]

 

2. In the Joint Committee and director-general-level meeting, the two sides shared with each other their respective environmental policies and explored ways to work more closely together on matters of shared interest, including air pollution such as fine dust and yellow dust; preventing and managing water contamination; environmental industry and technology; responding to marine pollution; and stepping up environmental cooperation at the regional and global levels, including through such platforms as the North-East Asian Subregional Programme for Environmental Cooperation (NEASPEC) and the Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among the ROK, China and Japan (TEMM).

 

° The ROK and China agreed to continue working on seven ongoing cooperation projects, including the research on impact of environmental pollution on health, and environmental technology and industrial cooperation. They also agreed to begin three new projects proposed by the ROK side -- information exchanges on air quality forecasting and forecasting technologies; a joint research project on the management of soil contamination in mining areas of the two countries; and a joint research on environmental policy aimed at sustainable development.

 

[Fine Dust]

 

3. In particular, the ROK side brought attention to the ROK people’s growing concern over fine dust amid the level of fine dust lately soaring to a disaster-like one. The ROK delegation went on to stress that the ROK and China should work steadily together to reduce fine dust, which exerts impact on the quality of life and health of the people, to the extent that people can see for themselves that it has been reduced.

 

° In response, the Chinese side mentioned that by implementing a relevant policy in China, China had clearly improved the overall quality of its ecological environment, as could be seen from the improvement in the air quality by more than 40% in major regions since 2013. The delegation went on to suggest that the government and people of the ROK work with China with patience in reducing fine dust, which calls for long-term responses.

 

4. In order to tangibly reduce fine dust in the two countries, the two sides agreed to form a separate expert group session on fine dust and hold its meeting on the occasion of the Joint Committee meeting; launch air quality forecasting information and forecasting technology exchange program (an early warning system regarding fine dust); broaden the scope of the joint research project (Clean Sky Project); and support the expansion of exchanges and cooperation between local governments.

 

° The agreement on air quality forecasting information and forecasting technology exchange program came after the ROK Ministry of Environment proposed setting up a joint early warning system to issue forecasts regarding high levels of fine dust in a more swift and accurate way and thereby to facilitate better responses to such situations.

 

- Relevant details about cooperation and schedule will be discussed at working-level meetings in February and on, and the results of those meetings will be reported at the bilateral Environment Ministers’ Meeting to come on the occasion of the 21st Tripartite Environment Ministers Meeting among the ROK, China and Japan (TEMM 21).

 

° In particular, the two sides agreed to broaden the scope of the Clean Sky Project, which had begun in May 2017, to identify where fine dust occurs and its trajectories.

 

° The environment-related government agencies of the two countries will render strong support to the ROK-China Environmental Cooperation Center, opened in Beijing, China, in June 2018, for it to lead all these projects.

 

5. On the multilateral level, the ROK and China will continue working together for the North-East Asia Clean Air Partnership (NEACAP), launched in October 2018, to become a cooperation mechanism that deals with both science and policy regarding air pollution.

 

° Close consultations between the ROK and China as well as among the two countries and Japan will continue for “a summarized report on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollutants (LTP) in Northeast Asia” to be published on the occasion of TEMM scheduled to take place in Japan in the second half of the year 2019.

 

[Others]

 

6. The ROK and Chinese delegations will visit the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul on January 24 to see for themselves the ROK’s weather and air quality forecasting system and to explore ways to work together in that regard.

 

7. The two sides agreed to hold their next Joint Committee meeting in China in the second half of the year 2019.

 

 

* unofficial translation