On 19 March 2018 in the South Korean capital, Mayor Park and Mayor Chen agreed to deepen their bilateral partnership during the third meeting of the Seoul-Beijing Joint Committee, held under their bilateral cooperation mechanism. The mayors highlighted opportunities for cooperation on matters related to the environment, as well as with regards to cultural, economic and educational advancements.
Mayor Park, Mayor Chen and their respective delegations agreed to establish a system to regularly share air quality data and undertake joint research in a bid to develop technologies on reducing fine dust levels. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Seoul Climate and Environment Headquarters and Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau.
The ICLEI East Asia Secretariat took part in the meeting as an observer. The ICLEI East Asia Secretariat is an international partner set to support bilateral environmental cooperation between the two cities going forward. To date, ICLEI East Asia has engaged with both cities in the East Asia Clean Air Cities (EACAC) program to facilitate capacity building and knowledge sharing to support nine East Asian cities with clean air actions.
Likewise, the two cities will partner with ICLEI East Asia for the annual NEA East Asia Air Quality Forum to be held in Seoul, as well as the Metropolis Clean Air Forum in Beijing, designed to facilitate knowledge exchange on air quality. The two sides further proposed to regularly hold a joint Seoul-Beijing forum on air quality and host an environmental training program for city officials. It is the first time that both cities agree on specific details on action plans for joint collaboration, though the two sides have previously pledged to cooperate on environment issues from a broad framework.