The Living Ocean and Coast: EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea
UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC) is involved with several activities at the EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea: the Expo itself to raise awareness on ocean issues and solutions, the Yeosu Projects to support developing countries in their efforts to cope with marine-related challenges, and the Yeosu Declaration to promote greater stewardship of the marine environment and improved international cooperation.
EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea is the first international exposition focusing on the ocean, coasts and islands in international recognition of their role. The main message of the expo is that the well-being of humankind is linked to that of the ocean, which is under threat: global cooperation is needed. Sea level rise, the loss of biodiversity, acidification and pollution are only a few dangers threatening our seas and coasts. Restoring sustainable life to our marine environment is the responsibility of the entire global community. The Expo will present current knowledge and technology advancements concerning the ocean and coast to a broad audience and identify ways to resolve challenges facing the ocean. Visual displays and live presentations will introduce a selection of UNESCO-IOC activities to the ten million visitors expected to participate in the expo from 12 May to 12 August 2012.
The Ocean and Coasts Best Practices Area, where technologies and systems which contribute to our understanding of the oceans and coasts will be displayed, includes a presentation of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). Through the exhibit, visitors will be able to appreciate the essential need for ocean measurements and the excitement of the new technologies utilized by GOOS. This exhibit includes a display of the Korean coastal observation system and was created with the kind support of the Government of Korea and Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI).
GOOS is the overarching coordination tool for the observation systems, implemented jointly by UNESCO-IOC and WMO. It provides accurate descriptions of the present state of the oceans, including living resources; continuous forecasts of the future conditions of the sea, and the basis for forecasts of climate change, as well as observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide.
UN Pavilion ‘Oceans and Coasts: Connecting Our Lives, Ensuring Our Future- The Choice is Yours’
As one of the main UN agencies dedicated to ocean and marine matters, UNESCO-IOC provided significant inputs for the concept and content of the UN Pavilion. It features a vibrant "blue world" - the oceans and coasts that are so crucial for human well-being and for a smoothly functioning global economy. The displays highlights the invaluable services and ecosystem functions provided by oceans and coasts - from the food we eat to the oxygen we breathe. There will be film showings, painting competitions and lecture series aimed at raising public awareness and promoting creativity and individual action for healthier oceans and coasts. Visitors can also meet with various UN staff and discuss issues of interest to them.
The Pavilion also showcases the joint efforts of 24 UN agencies, funds, programmes and international organizations to protect the beauty and bounty of the marine environment. It will feature a two-week exhibit showcasing UNESCO’s activities, created with the kind support of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO.
The Yeosu Declaration
The legacy of Expo 2012 will be the Yeosu Declaration. UNESCO-IOC is participating in the review process of the declaration and will have an active role in the Yeosu Declaration Forum in August 2012. The Yeosu Declaration aims to promote greater stewardship of the marine environment, sharing knowledge and understanding of how oceans and coastal resources can be enjoyed in a sustainable manner for present and future generations. One of its key messages to the global community is the importance of marine resources to a new green economy. The declaration calls for cooperation among the international community in marine environment conservation efforts worldwide.
UNESCO-IOC is also organizing substantial science and coordination meetings in parallel to the EXPO:
- Ninth Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific
8 - 12 May 2012, Busan, Korea
- Second International Symposium Effects of Climate Change on the World’s Oceans
15 – 19 May 2012, Yeosu, Korea
- Fourth Session of the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology
23 - 31 May 2012, Yeosu, Korea