Today I arrived in Yeosu. It’s a beautiful coastal city on the southernmost tip of South Korea. It overlooks the ocean and numerous outlying islands. The Yeosu International Expo 2012 will officially open next week May 12, 2012. Its theme is “The Living Ocean and Coast”. The Expo will bring together the global community to address the most pressing issues of the ocean. It will celebrate the beauty and biodiversity of the ocean and feature cutting edged research and technological advancement in ocean sciences. For more information go to: eng.expo2012.kr.
I was moved to see that the Expo has been a national effort. The national and local governments have been working closely together. Moreover, grass-roots volunteer efforts have provided significant support. More than 14,000 Korean citizens have volunteered their time and expertise to ensure the Expo’s success. The Korean Council of Volunteering is responsible for the enormous task of organizing, educating, and preparing all the volunteers. I am happy that Service For Peace Korea could assist. I am here a week before the Expo opens to attend a forum hosted by the Korean Council of Volunteering, The Korean Forum of Volunteerism, and Service For Peace Korea. They saw the Yeosu Expo as the perfect opportunity to discuss the advancement of volunteerism in Korea and its contribution to managing the ocean. Korean volunteers, service organization leaders and professionals all interested in the future of our oceanic resources came together to study and discuss the theme, “Conservation and Regeneration of the Marine Environment.” Starting next week, millions will start coming to Yeosu Expo 2012 from all around Korea and the world. I hope this forum can be a part of building solutions for preserving and managing the ocean and spreading a wave of international volunteerism.