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The oceans in peril go to the Expo

South Korea in the forefront on research and innovation also hosts a UN center. The main objective was to raise people's awareness on the topic of protecting the marine environment and developing technology concerning the sea

“The living ocean and coast, diversity of resources and sustainable activities” This was the theme of the international exposition that ended recently in Yeosu, South Korea.

The oceans are in fact indispensable for ensuring the continuity of life on Earth, with more than 70% of its surface covered by water.

The main objective was to raise people's awareness on the topic of protecting the marine environment and developing technology concerning the sea. Even though man has long considered the sea to be an inexhaustible source of resources, we know perfectly well that this is not true. The oceans and seas are already in an alarming state of degradation: unregulated fishing and use of destructive techniques, discharges into the sea, pirate fishing, pollution and climate change are the main causes.

Seabreath, an Italian low environmental impact device that generates energy from ocean waves, was enthusiastically received at the Expo. It is a floating platform with variable geometry that permits the transformation of wave motion into electrical energy, with much lower costs compared to analogous devices and with greater energy efficiency.

Precisely this question was addressed at Yeosu: the “Yeosu Declaration” establishes a common code of conduct and emphasizes the importance of international cooperation in protecting coasts and marine environments. The Expo was also naturally an occasion for presenting ideas and technology for joining forces in facing the challenges of sustainability.

It is not by chance that the Expo was held in South Korea, given that the UN office for sustainable development was inaugurated here in October 2011, and later on, a new research and training center for helping the poorest countries develop their economies in an eco-friendly manner. South Korea today is the seventh-largest global trading power and sixth-largest as regards industrial and manufacturing, while just a few decades ago it was one of the poorest economies on the planet.

The South Korean government, with the "Yeosu project” aims to transfer advanced technologies to developing countries. The countries that will benefit include three Pacific island nations (Figi, Tuvalu, Nauru), four Asian countries (Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka), a small Central American country, Guatemala and an African country, Tanzania.

To bridge the gap between developed and developing countries and start capacity building operations requires the participation of companies and international organizations. The program will also provide training to trainees coming from developing countries and technical assistance to every country to address their ocean-related concerns, and lead to the development of common regional projects for the sea.

The project’s first priority is protecting the marine ecological system, reducing pollution that contaminates the oceans and the development of high-level marine technology. The Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica), a government agency that administrates South Korean international aid programs, will fund these projects.

Source: Planet Inspired (

by S. C.
01 october 2012, Food & Fun > Nature