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H.eco Forum to share ocean warnings

Annual forum will discuss ‘Climate Crisis and the Ocean’ this year

By Im Eun-byel

Published : May 2, 2022 - 14:53

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Our oceans, which play a pivotal role in supporting life on Earth, are at risk.

Covering up 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, oceans hold about 96.5 percent of Earth’s water. All living organisms on Earth depend their lives on the sustainability of the oceans.

The oceans, however, are at a breaking point, consistently pushed to the brink by environmental threats, such as global warming, overfishing, pollution, marine litter and more.

In light of the oceans at risk, this year’s H.eco Forum will discuss the imminent environmental issues impacting the ocean and the expected outcomes, under the theme of “Climate Crisis and the Ocean.”

The forum, set to take place at Multipurpose Hall Forest on Nodeulseom in Seoul on May 26, will feature an impressive lineup of speakers from scholars to activists, delivering speeches on the current condition of oceans and the related dangers.

The H.eco Forum is an annual event that invites environment experts in and out of Korea, shedding light onto environmental issues that we face. Last year, the forum was held under the theme “We face the ‘Climate Clock,’ contributing to the active response from individuals and groups. 


Sylvia Earle, President and Chairman of Mission Blue (Todd Richard/ Synergy Productions) Sylvia Earle, President and Chairman of Mission Blue (Todd Richard/ Synergy Productions)
Anote Tong, former president of the Republic of Kiribati Anote Tong, former president of the Republic of Kiribati

After welcoming remarks by Herald Corp. CEO Jeon Chang-hyeop, keynote speeches from Sylvia Earle, president and chairman of Mission Blue and Anote Tong, former president of the Republic of Kiribati. Each will give a speech, resepctively titled “Blue Hope: Exploring Earth’s Magnificent Oceans” and “The Climate Crisis and Small Island Nations.”

Axel Timmermann, Director of the IBS Center for Climate at Pusan National University Axel Timmermann, Director of the IBS Center for Climate at Pusan National University
Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs from the Kingdom of Netherlands Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs from the Kingdom of Netherlands
Kadir Van Lohuizen, photojournalist and co-founder of NOOR Kadir Van Lohuizen, photojournalist and co-founder of NOOR

The forum consists of three sessions. The first session explores the dangers of the “Rising Sea Levels,” joined by the speeches from professor Axel Timmermann who is the director of the IBS Center for Climate at Pusan National University, Henk Ovink who is Special Envoy for International Water Affairs from the Netherlands and photojournalist Kadir Van Lohuizen who is the co-founder of NOOR.

The second session “Changing Marine Ecosystems” will highlight how the marine and coastal environments have been changing abruptly to adjust to the climate change. 

Chun Seung-Soo, professor emeritus of Chonnam National University Chun Seung-Soo, professor emeritus of Chonnam National University
Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric

Chun Seung-soo, professor emeritus of Chonnam National University, who played an important role in having “gaetbeol,” or Korean tidal flats, inscribed onto UNESCO’s world heritage list last year.

Activists from Greenpeace Korea, including associate professor Nam Sung-hyun from Seoul National University and Ocean campaigner Kim Yeon-ha, will round out the second session.

For the last session, Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric and Britta Denise Hardesty, senior principal research scientist of CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere are to take the podium, discussing “Humanity and the Ocean.”

Young ocean entrepreneurs Byeon Su-bin, President of Diphda Jeju and Won Jong-hwa, CEO of Foresys, will also speak.

The winners of the H.eco Awards 2021, recognized for environmentally friendly activities, will also be present, discussing how they are working to deliver environmental justice. Kim Won-ho, chairman of the board of Corporation Ecopeace Asia, Charle Lim, CEO of Coffee Cube and Chang Sung-un, CEO of YOLK are to share their thoughts as panel members. Gim Ji-yun, representative of Green Environment Youth Korea, will be the moderator of the talk.

Those who wish to join the forum can now pre-register on the H.eco website, heraldeco.com.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)