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Jonathan Lee named Dokdo envoy

Teenager to campaign on green issues around Korean islets


Young environmentalist Jonathan Lee has been named a goodwill ambassador to promote environmental protection for Dokdo, the easternmost islets of Korea.

The North Gyeongsang provincial government, whose jurisdiction covers the islets, said Wednesday that Jonathan Lee has been selected as the Green honorary ambassador for Dokdo and the nearby island of Ulleungdo and that he will start his duty as publicity envoy this week by visiting the islands for three days.

The 14-year-old Mississippi boy, whose father is Korean and mother is American, has moved into media spotlight for his high-profile environmental activities. He published a children’s story on environment titled “Go Green Man” at a young age of 10, which depicts a superhero’s fight against pollution.

“Jonathan said he’s happy to promote the Korean islets, Dokdo, to the world,” his father Lee Kyung-tae was quoted as saying last Friday in a phone interview with a local media. 
Jonathan Lee
Jonathan Lee

“He also expressed a deep interest in maritime life protection near Dokdo as he learned about the extinction of sea lions from the sea near the islets.”

Jonathan is expected to participate in a variety of environmental events for Dokdo and Ulleungdo, hosted by the provincial government.

“Appointing Jonathan Lee as the goodwill ambassador for Dokdo is part of our efforts to show to the world our willingness to protect the islets securely,” said provincial officials.

“We will step up our efforts to promote the islets on international stage along with Lee.”

Lee also founded the International Cooperation of Environmental Youth in 2009 and has carried out a variety of environmental campaigns including planting a tree for every child every year. He made a rare visit to North Korea last August and sent his personal letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, which proposed the creation of children’s peace forest in the demilitarized zone between South and North Koreas.

His environmental campaigns have received encouragement and support from U.S. President Barack Obama, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and the late former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

By Lee Woo-young  (wylee@heraldcorp.com)
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