The Korea Herald


Korea Maritime Institute to hold forum on Yellow Sea and importance of oceans

Experts to put heads together on preserving marine resources

By Yim Hyun-su

Published : Dec. 7, 2020 - 15:33

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The official poster for the 2020 Sustainable Development Forum for the Yellow Sea The official poster for the 2020 Sustainable Development Forum for the Yellow Sea
The Korea Maritime Institute will hold a forum on the Yellow Sea and the important role of oceans in achieving the UN sustainable development goals, in Seoul on Thursday.

The 2020 Sustainable Development Forum for the Yellow Sea will see a group of environmental experts -- including Ban Ki-moon, former secretary-general of the United Nations and current chair of the National Council on Climate and Air Quality of Korea -- put their heads together to discuss the challenges facing oceans, particularly the Yellow Sea -- a marginal sea located between the Korean Peninsula and mainland China.

Ban will deliver a keynote speech titled “The SDGs and Climate Changes: Challenges and Opportunities,” during which he will share his insight into the challenges that South Korea faces in tackling climate change, growing international pressure to achieve the goals, and the importance of the marine environment in that endeavor.

Other speakers include Young Su-gil, the chief of UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Korea, as well as Claire Jolly, head of unit at the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. Jolly will take part via a live video chat.

In line with the event’s theme, the forum will take place in a hybrid format, both online and in person. Given the recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Korea, the organizers said in-person participation will be restricted only to those who were invited and have registered in advance. But the forum will be livestreamed in its entirety on the institute’s official YouTube channel.

A live Q&A session will also take place during the event as participants at home and abroad will be able to put questions to speakers, who will answer them in real time.

The online event is co-hosted by the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology as well as Pyeongtaek University.

Presidents Chang Young-tae and Kim Woong-seo of the two host organizations -- the Korea Maritime Institute and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, respectively -- will kick off the forum with speeches during the opening ceremony, which will take place at Four Seasons Hotel Seoul with a small number of invited guests.

Their remarks will then be followed by a series of video messages, including those from Lim Ki-tack, secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization, a UN agency that specializes in regulating shipping; as well as Ariel Troisi, chairman of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission; and Haiming Xing, Chinese ambassador to Korea.

The organizers say the forum will be a “meaningful venue to discuss progresses and challenges in implementing UN SDGs in the Yellow Sea and explore ways to enhance cooperation between Korea and China.”

In a statement, the organizers explained the backdrop against which the event is being held.

“As the UN designated the next decade between 2021 and 2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the importance of marine environment in achieving sustainability only intensifies,” the organizers said.

“In this critical juncture, the forum is expected to offer a valuable opportunity to have in-depth discussion on Korea-China cooperation with experts around the world,” they added.

In thematic lectures scheduled for 2:25 p.m. (Korean time), consisting of four presentations by experts from around the world, the circumstances and challenges surrounding the promotion of sustainable cooperation in the Yellow Sea will take center stage.

The first two presentations will be delivered by Young Su-gil, who will discuss this year’s report, focusing on Korea’s performance in pursuing the sustainable development goals; and Claire Jolly, who will talk about the blue economy and the goals.

Yinfeng Guo, the technical adviser of the United Nations Office for Project Services, will then present an overview of the Yellow Sea’s marine ecosystem. Yoo Sin-jae, a principal research scientist at the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology, will wrap up the session with a presentation on the ocean knowledge-action network.

For more information, visit the official website or search for “SD Ocean” on YouTube.

By Yim Hyun-su (