Report on the Conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding for Joint Research and an Intellectual Information-Exchange Seminar with NIER and NIES

March 29, 2024
National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan

   The National Institute for Environmental Studies (hereinafter referred to as "NIES") and the National Institute for Environmental Research (hereinafter referred to as "NIER") of the Republic of Korea recognized the importance of close collaboration in terms of waste recycling and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter referred to as "MOU") for joint research in March 2024.
   At the seminar, we introduced each other's research and had a lively exchange of views on the recycling of incinerator ash and plastic waste, as well as on the possibility of new research on the proper management of waste. It was agreed that under this MOU, we will continue to hold mutual discussions and exchange information for policy formation in the future.


1. Background

Both Japan and Korea heavily rely on imports for their mineral resources. This makes it crucial for both countries to enhance their efforts in securing their valuable resources by promoting resource recycling domestically. In recent years, it has become evident that many resources, including precious metals, are contained in waste that is being disposed of as final waste. Given the difficulty of constructing new final disposal facilities, extending the lifespan of such facilities is also a major challenge for both countries.
Therefore, NIES and NIER have decided to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint research, aiming to hold seminars and other mutual discussions to develop research that can contribute to solving the aforementioned issues. This will involve sharing and exchanging views on the issues and research being undertaken in both countries.

2. Contents of the MOU


Mutual discussion on information exchange and joint research with the aim of providing recommendations for policy formation from the perspective of waste recycling.


1.Exchange of technical information and documents. 2.Mutual exchange of experts, educational programs, and training in the measurement, analysis, and evaluation of waste management policymaking. 3.Collaborative research and cooperation for policy making in terms of waste management. 4.Mutual visits to relevant facilities. 5.Collaborative annual report on comparison between both countries related to waste management. 6.Other activities for the cooperation on the principles of mutual benefit, equality, and reciprocity.


The study will be conducted from March 19, 2024, to March 31, 2029.
Extension beyond this period may be considered with the mutual consent of the Parties in writing.

3. Intellectual Information-Exchange Seminar

Researchers from the NIER visited the NIES on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. On the day of the event, a tour of the Research Laboratory of Material Cycles and Waste Management was conducted to introduce the experimental plant and the research activities in preparation for future joint research. Afterwards, a commemorative photo was taken with the MOU signed by Dr. Osako, Director of the Material Cycles Division of NIES, and Dr. Tae-Wan Jeon, Director General of the Environmental Resources Research Department of NIER.
After the commemorative photo, the researchers in charge presented their research and exchanged information for future collaboration.

photo after the MOU was signed by the division directors
Group photo after the MOU was signed by the division directors
March 19, 2024, Group photo after the MOU was signed by the division directors.
 (photo No.1) Facility tour of the Research Laboratory of Material Cycles and Waste
 (photo No.2) Facility tour of the Research Laboratory of Material Cycles and Waste
 (photo No.3) Facility tour of the Research Laboratory of Material Cycles and Waste
Facility tour of the Research Laboratory of Material Cycles and Waste
photo of Intellectual Information-Exchange Seminar
Intellectual Information-Exchange Seminar

Future Prospective

During the Intellectual Information-Exchange Seminar, information was shared on specific issues faced by both countries, such as the incineration of fly ash and plastic waste. It is anticipated that the two countries will continue to host seminars regularly to facilitate close information exchange, consequently leading to the initiation of specific joint research projects. Furthermore, it is hoped that this type of exchange between research institutions specializing in waste and resource recycling in countries with close geographical proximity and similar backgrounds will foster a strong cooperative relationship. This collaboration aims to generate more precise policy proposals not only domestically but also on the international stage when new issues arise in the future.

Contact Information

【Contact for this research】
Hirofumi Sakanakura
Material Cycles Assessment Research Section
Material Cycles Division
National Institute for Environmental Studies

【Contact for this press release】
Planning Division, Public Relations Office
National Institute for Environmental Studies
Email: kouhou0 (at) nies. go.jp