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  • The first Seoul – Beijing Agreement for Better Air Quality

  • SMG 1931
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    – On April, 3 (Thurs), Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun announced a joint-declaration to improve air quality.

    – An environment team will be established in the Cooperation Committee. The team will lead the working-level cooperation on the issue and promote specific mutual programs

    – SMG offered Beijing to promote co-programs including CNG buses supply, DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) installation programs.

    – Mutual-studies will be conducted by research institutes of Seoul and Beijing. The ‘Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement’ will be held in September, Seoul.

    – Seoul aims to lay the foundation for private sector exchanges as well as city governments’ exchanges on administrative experience and expertise, and to encourage cities in Northeast Asia to cooperate for better air quality.

    – Mayor Park committed to ‘bringing about real differences in air quality of Northeast Asia through exchanges on a constant-basis’.


     

    On April, 3 (Thurs), Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Beijing Mayor Wang Anshun announced a joint-declaration to improve air quality at 11: 30 am.(local time.) The announcement was made during Mayor Park’s official visit to Beijing at the invitation of the Beijing city government.

    This is the first time for Beijing, China, to announce an cooperation agreement with another city government.

    The two cities will set up a team which will in charge of cooperation for air quality improvement.

    Policies, technology, and experiences regarding air quality will be exchanged between the two cities. In addition, Seoul and Beijing will conduct a joint study on the issue. In coming September, the ‘Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement’ will be held in Seoul, in which best practices and results of relevant policies will be shared.

    The Seoul metropolitan government aims to pave the groundwork for technology and expertise exchanges in private sector as well as for administrative and knowledge exchanges between the city governments.

    An SMG official said that Seoul and Beijing city government saw eye to eye that air pollution is the common problem for Northeast Asia which requires cooperation among cities. The two cities also agreed that they needed to work together to address the issue.

    After the joint-declaration announcement, Mayor Park had a meeting with Mayor Wang, and gave him the policy materials that elaborate main SMG policies on air quality improvement. The booklet of 180 pages offers outlines and in-depth views on the SMG’s policy to promote the city gas, low-emission vehicles and other programs.

    The Joint-Declaration on Air Quality Improvement states that Seoul and Beijing will work closely to improve air quality, which affects the public health directly. To that end, the two cities will share best policies, technology, and information, and promote people-to-people exchanges.

    According to the declaration, the two cities committed to;

    sharing policies, technology, and information, and promote people-to-people exchanges, setting up an environment task force team under the Seoul-Beijing Cooperation Committee, to jointly hosting the Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement.

    The environment task force team, which will be set up under the Cooperation Committee, will lead working-level cooperation and ensure the joint-declaration will be led to the specific joint-programs and initiatives to improve air quality.

    So far, most of the exchanges among municipal governments have been only symbolic gestures and perfunctory. However, by setting up Cooperation Committee, Seoul and Beijing are resolved to make sure that the joint-declaration will produce tangible results and practical and mutually beneficial progress.

    In April, last year, Mayor Park and Wang agreed to establish the committee. The committee has been run and the first Cooperation Committee meeting was held in October, Seoul.

    The SMG made following proposals to Beijing city government, which can be implemented through consultation and discussion among their working-level officials; to supply CNG buses, to initiate DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) installation campaigns on public vehicles, to promote low NOx burner usages, to operate road dusts-absorbing vehicles as a pilot program.

    With the establishment of the environment team, the Seoul-Beijing Cooperation Committee now has one secretariat, four teams(economy, culture, education, and environment teams) Each team will promote exchanges of the relevant area between the two cities.

    In addition, mutual-studies will be conducted by research institutes of Seoul and Beijing such as, Seoul Institute, Public Health and Environment Research Institute of Seoul, Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning & Design, and Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center’. Their research will provide strong support to the environment team, and helps the team to operate in efficient and effective manner.

    In the meantime, the ‘Northeast Asia Forum on Air Quality Improvement’ will be co-hosted by Seoul and Beijing, and will serve as a venue where best policies and best performances of the two cities are shared. Seoul and Beijing prepares to co-host the forum in coming September in Seoul.

    In addition, the agreement declared that the ‘Seoul-Beijing Cooperation Committee’ has brought the sister-city relation onto the next level. Seoul and Beijing will make sure that their initiatives will bring tangible results based on effective and practical cooperation, since deepening and advancing the bilateral relations are in the best interest of their citizens and promote closer relations of their countries.

    In the meantime, Mayor Park visited the air-pollutants monitoring site of Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center, and was briefed on the main 84 initiatives, including ‘Beijing Action Plan for Clean Air’, which was recently announced by the Beijing city government, programs to reduce coal burning, driving, and oil consumption, and initiatives to improve air quality and to cut emissions.

    The ‘Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center’ is a Beijing city-affiliated institute, which was founded March, 1973 in 15,000㎡ size. It is China’s first environment monitoring center, which measures pollutants including pollutants such as ultrafine dust of PM-2. PM-10 and SO2, with data collected from 27 Beijing downtown monitoring posts.

    In addition, an public-private expert symposium was held where Korean and Chinese air quality experts, public officials of Beijing Environment Conservation Department discussed practical ways of cooperation and feasible programs that can be mutually promoted by the two cities..

    At the symposium, Director of Seoul Climate and Environment Department, the president of Public Health and Environment Research Institute, senior official of air quality department, a professor of the University of Seoul met with their counterparts, including Fantao of Beijing Public Health and Environment Institute, Zhang Dawei, official from Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center.

    At the symposium, public officials gave a presentation on their city government policies to improve air quality before experts discussed practical ways of cooperation and feasible programs that can be mutually promoted by the two cities

    Mayor Park Won-Soon said, “With the joint-declaration, the two cities have laid the ground work for sharing experiences and knowledge and making a progress on achieving better air quality. In order to protect the public health of Seoul and Beijing, the two cities will make exchanges on a constant-basis and bring about real differences in air quality of Northeast Asia.”