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Foreign resident employees on eco-tour in Korea

Foreign workers got an opportunity to tour around Korea and learn about environmental protection issues, visiting sites such as the Yeosu Expo as well as several ecological attractions.

The Korean Culture and Information Service (KOCIS) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism organized two sessions for resident employees of international firms stationed in Korea in the third and fourth weekends of July.

The 2012 Korean Cultural Excursion for Resident Employees of International Firms in Korea was organized for the foreign residents to raise awareness of global environmental issues and share the green growth efforts which are part of the new paradigm for national progress*.

The excursion was scheduled for two days, touring Seungcheonbo on the Youngsan River, Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, and Suncheon  Bay Eco Park.

The participants of the eco-tour and the staff pose in front of the Big-O at the Yeosu Expo (photo courtesy of KOCIS).

On the first day, the participants visited Seungcheonbo, a riverside park that has been converted into an environmental-friendly recreational area as part of the government’s Four Major Rivers Restoration Project. The next destination was Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea where they had a chance to rediscover the importance of protecting the oceans and coastal areas and realize the need for the cooperative efforts of the global community on environmental issues.

“Environmental issues are a major concern for our society,” said Loic Desnos, a relationship manager from the French global banking group BNP Paribas. “This trip is very much in line with my views on the importance of protection of the environment.”

The Yeosu Expo started in May with the main theme as “The Living Ocean and Coast,” and it is gaining more popularity both nationally and internationally as the days go by.

The excursion was designed to introduce both traditional and modern Korean culture. The second day’s itinerary included visits to Suncheon Bay Eco Park, a well-known eco-friendly area, and Soswaewon where visitors can experience traditional Joseon culture.

The resident employees walk across a bridge at Suncheon Bay Eco Park (photo courtesy of KOCIS).

In addition, it was an opportunity to share the idea of green growth as a solution to global issues such as climate change, fuel and energy problems, and the financial crisis.

Witold Zukowiski, a deputy general manager at SBN Tech, said, “I am absolutely and deeply connected that there are lots of efforts Korea has done in changing people’s awareness of environmental issues. [The tour was] professionally prepared and [the staff was] friendly towards participants.”

KOCIS plans to continue the excursion program next year by providing customized programs considering the feedback from participants of this year’s tours.

* Korea and green growth
Earlier this year, Korea played an important role in contributing to the systematic dissemination of the new paradigm across the world. Under Korea’s leadership, an agreement was signed to convert the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) into an international body on the sidelines of Rio+20 in June. A month later, the role of the Korean government-initiated GGGI was in the center of attention once again at the APEC environmental ministerial meeting in Khabarovsk, Russia, in assisting with the transition to a green growth economy. For more information, click here.

By Kim Eun-jung Staff Writer

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