NATIONAL

ASEAN-Korea youth workshop in Seoul ends

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : Jul 7, 2017 - 18:48
  • Updated : Jul 7, 2017 - 18:50

The South Korean part of the annual youth network workshop organized by the ASEAN-Korea Centre ended Friday, with a closing ceremony attended by some 80 students from Korea, China, Japan and ASEAN countries.

The second part of the 2017 ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop will continue in Malaysia from Saturday to Wednesday.

Under the theme of “Promoting Clean and Green Environment through the Establishment of Environmentally Sustainable Cities,” the students took part in lectures, field trips and cultural activities from Monday to Friday.

(ASEAN-Korea Centre)

At the closing ceremony, videos that students made to promote a sustainable environment were played, speeches on their experience in Korea were made and cultural performances by students from Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia were staged.

“When I was in Seoul’s Energy Dream Center, I was astonished to find that a zero carbon emitting building actually exists,” Christian Cabatay from the Philippines said.

Christian Cabatay (ASEAN-Korea Centre)

“This means that someday the whole ASEAN community can learn how Korea took on challenges of climate change seriously,” he said. 

“Personally, I felt emotional to realize how big the gap in technology here and in the Philippines. But that doesn’t stop me from believing that we can do what Korea did.”

A Korean student, Yu Ah-ran, said that she had learned about the importance of collective efforts to make cities sustainable and her generation’s role as a youth.

“All in all, the program raised awareness of the environment we are currently living in. Not only that, I think it could help other countries to be inspired by Korea’s efforts in dealing with environmental issues,” she said.

The workshop in Korea was jointly organized with the United Nations ESCAP North-East Asia Office and Incheon Metropolitan City.

The students visited facilities such as a sewage treatment plant and a tidal power plant. They received lectures on ASEAN-Korea relations and sustainable development from experts. They also engaged in cultural activities including a tour to historic sites.

“It makes me sad that we are closing doors to the dynamic exchange of ideas, to interesting activities, and bid farewell to our newly-found friends,” said Hong Sung-wook, head of the development planning and general affairs unit at the ASEAN-Korea Centre.

“I am glad, knowing that through this workshop, we have been able to forge strong networks and inculcate knowledge,” said Hong, expressing hope for a continued friendship between Korean and ASEAN students.

In Malaysia, some 70 students from ASEAN member states and Korea will visit Melaka, Putrajaya, and Kuala Lumpur to get a glimpse into how environmentally-friendly cities are run during the five-day workshop.

They will take part in activities such as a wetland experience in Putrajaya, tree-planting and the cleaning of a river in Melaka, and visit the Melaka Green Technology Corp. and Melaka World Solar Valley. 

The ASEAN-Korea Centre, an intergovernmental organization to enhance social, economic and cultural exchanges between ASEAN countries and Korea, has held an annual youth workshop on environmental issues since 2013.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)