In what is being called “the warm-up to the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2012,” the World Local Governments Summit, a meeting by leaders of local governments and other officials, will be held from Sept. 4 to 6 at the International Convention Center Jeju, in Seogwipo City.
Organized by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), and ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), and hosted by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the theme of the summit is the role of local governments for sustainable future cities.
Some 300 local government leaders from Korea and abroad, as well as officials from the IUCN, UNEP, and other NGOs, will be in attendance to share “information on policies aimed at sustainable development and environmental conservation,” stemming from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, according to an IUCN press release.
“The road to sustainability is through cities,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a speech at the Rio+20 Global Town Hall, part of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this past June.
“Local is global and global is local,” Ban stressed. “The country is the sum of cities. If cities do not work, then countries cannot work.” According to a UN report, seven out of 10 people in developing countries live in cities.
“The road to sustainability runs through the world’s towns and cities. By building sustainable towns and cities, you will build global sustainability,” Ban said.
The goal of the World Local Governments Summit on Jeju is to bring local leaders together to discuss various topics as climate change, the challenges and successes of the implementation of Korea’s local green growth policies, and “the need for a new model (global environment model city) for constructing combined environmental, social, and economic systems.”
There will also be a roundtable discussion with experts and government officials, keynote speeches, expert sessions, and presentations given by local leaders and government officials who are working towards the common goal of improving the quality of life of their people through conserving their local environments.
Once the summit has wrapped up on the morning of Sept. 6, the opening ceremony of the WCC will follow in the afternoon.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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