Minister Yoon stresses the significance of biodiversity at the 2013 World Biodiversity Day anniversary event
Environment Minister Yoon Seong-kyu gives his speech at the 2013 International Day for Biological Diversity anniversary event at the Word Cup Park in Sangam-dong, Seoul on May 22.
The nation held a ceremony to mark the 2013 International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day) at World Cup Park in Sangam-dong, Seoul, on May 22 to enhance public awareness of biodiversity. The anniversary event was the fourth of its kind since 2010.
Among the roughly 600 people who assembled for the anniversary event at the Peace Plaza of the World Cup Park were Environment Minister Yoon Seong-kyu; Neil Pratt, senior environment program officer at the Outreach and Major Groups department for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat; and Rep. Shin Geh-ryoon, chairman of the National Assembly Environment and Labor Committee.
Minister Yoon said in his commemorative speech, “Now is an essential time for the nation to rally behind the successful hosting of the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP12) in which some 15,000 people, including chief government delegates of 190 countries and representatives from international organizations and NGO bodies will attend.” UNCBD COP12 is slated for Oct. 6-17, 2014 in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province.
Yoon said the UN’s 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook report released in 2010 showed that 31 percent of the wild vertebrates on the earth disappeared due to reckless poaching, development, and climate change over the past 30 years, and if this trend continues, an additional 25 percent of the total living species will be in danger of extinction within 20 to 30 years.
The international community has made strenuous efforts to preserve biodiversity since 1992 when countries signed the United Nations’ Convention on Biological Diversity. Each country has been engaged in diverse activities in accordance with global tasks, agreed during the CBD COP 10, Yoon said.
Yoon said Korea is joining in the international community’s bid for the protection and preservation of biodiversity by revamping systems and carrying out diverse activities. He went on to say that Korea is now working on the fundamental management of the national ecosystem by designating areas with rich biodiversity as Biosphere Reserves and international preservation areas and national parks, and the nation is implementing a biodiversity restoration program on the restoration of species now in danger of extinction, including the Asian black bear, which inhabits Mt. Jiri.
Pratt read a message wishing for Korea’s successful hosting of the CBD COP12 on behalf of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The anniversary event, held under the catchphrase “A happy future filled with the sound of water and the smell of grasses in our hand,” also coincided with a performance of floating environmentally-friendly balloons made with water and biomass.
18th Environment Day Anniversary
The nation will hold an official ceremony to mark the 18th anniversary of Environment Day at the Daegu Arboretum on June 5.
Approximately 1,500 people from the government and political circles, environmental groups, and other walks of life will assemble for the anniversary event to be held under the theme “Environment Welfare State in the New Era of Hope!”
Pavilions for publicizing policies on the recycling of wastes, new and renewable energy sources, and the restoration of the ecosystem will be open for spectators from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the same day. There will be also an exhibition of works under the theme of environment and an environment experience corner.
Each country around the world marks World Environment Day on June 5 to raise public awareness toward the environment. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your “foodprint.” According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, one in every seven people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.