On June 2, the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) held an open concert for Jeju residents and visitors that took place at the International Convention Center Jeju in Jungmun, Seogwipo City, to help celebrate the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) World Conservation Congress (WCC) that will take place on Jeju Island Sept. 6 to 15. Leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies, and social organizations will gather together to discuss, debate, and decide solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues.
The IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network and includes more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. Held every four years, the IUCN and the WCC aims to improve how we manage our natural environment in order to safely promote human, social and economic development in an environmentally conscious way.
This open concert, also called D-100, was one of many celebrations over the weekend recognizing the 100-day countdown to the WCC event. It also celebrated an important milestone for Korea since this WCC event will be the first to be held in Asia and with over 9,000 environmental experts in attendance, is expected to be one of the biggest events yet.
In an opening statement prior to the concert by Yoo Young Sook, Minister of the Environment, Yoo stated that the Korean government “will try to ensure that the IUCN Congress will serve as an opportunity to broaden the horizon of Korea’s conservation policies” further stating that “the Korean government will make all-out efforts to prepare green congress for 100 days before the Congress.”
▲ Yoo Young Sook, Minister of the Environment. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
Despite the well intentions of the concert organizers, the beginning of the show stalled due to some technical difficulties. However, once the opening act, 2AM, came on to the stage, all was well and the rest of the show ran flawlessly.
▲ Fans before the concert at ICC Jeju, Jungmun. Photo by Douglas MacDonald
The first song of the night titled “ Let’s Go Green Together” was written and performed by the famous Korean pop group 2AM and sang of the necessity to protect our environment and was well received by the audience. In response to 2AM’s performance local Jeju resident Rachael Darden gushed, “I thought their performance was amazing.”
Also on the roster were Miss A who sang two of their most popular songs “Bad Girl Good Girl” and “Touch,” established Hip Hop and R&B artist Bobby Kim, Korean icon So Chan Hwee, as well as Kim Jung Min, Kim Hye Lim, and Shin Hyung Won. The performances were brief but the audience didn’t seem to mind. When asked about how the concert went Wendy Grace, a local Jeju resident, smiled and said, “I thought the concert was fantastic.”
Overall the event was a great success and was attended by over 3,000 Jeju citizens, residents and relevant officials, including Lee Hong Koo, chairman of the KOC; Yoo Young Sook, Minister of Environment; Woo Keun Min, governor of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province; and Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of IUCN.
To help promote the event, 30 college students — 20 from Jeju and 10 from the mainland — were brought on board to promote the world conservation congress and corresponding events through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter and other online outlets. Out of 100 applicants, 30 were selected based on a rigorous interview process along with their enthusiasm for the environment and online promotion. All students came from a diverse background of majors and included three students who had participated in the promotion of the previous event.
Photos by Douglas MacDonald
In anticipation of the event’s success, Dr. Kim Chong Chun, secretary general of the Korean Organizing Committee (KOC) stated, "This D-100 event will serve as a spur to step up our efforts to promote the Congress at home and abroad, raise public awareness and encourage participation. Your greater support will be appreciated to make the Congress a big success."
In addition to the Open Concert,the KOC also held a variety of events, such as an essay contest for students, a photo exhibition, a welcoming ceremony for online supporters, and a bicycle ride to help celebrate this important milestone and the natural beauty of Jeju.
Currently, the Korea Organizing Committee is finalizing its sponsors, agendas, and plans as thousands of academics, politicians, and activists prepare to attend the September World Conservation Congress.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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