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Korea to train environmental officials from developing countries

Yoon Seung-joon, chief of the state-run KEITI
Yoon Seung-joon, chief of the state-run KEITI
Korea will train government officials from under-developed and developing countries to help them embrace green ideas in policymaking, a senior Seoul official said.

The state-run Korea Environmental Industry and Technology Institute is currently in talks with the United Nations Environmental Program for the launch of the program, Yoon Seung-joon, chief of the state-run KEITI, said.

“A memorandum of understanding is likely to be inked (between the KEITI and the UNEP) in January, regarding that matter,” he said.

The move follows a proposal from the U.N. body that Korea help other countries to build capacity for the implementation of the 10-Year Program for Sustainable Consumption and Production, which was adopted at a United Nations environmental meeting in June.

The program, arguably one of the most important outcomes of the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, calls for governments around the world to come up with roadmaps to shift their energy and resources-gobbling society toward a greener one based on sustainable consumption and production.

“It requires effort from all sectors of society. What Korea plans to do, as part of the envisioned MOU, is to help government officials build capacity in the field,” Yoon explained.

Korea is an aspiring leader in the sustainable development field, after it proclaimed in 2008 “low-carbon, green growth” as a new national development strategy. It has since allotted 2 percent of its annual gross domestic product to policies to reduce the local economy’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels, increase the use of alternative energy and nurture green industries.

“Korea, having pulled off a rapid economic catch-up, had to deal with subsequent environmental problems ― again in such a short period of time. Through the training program, I hope that Korea’s experience can be a guide to other countries,” Yoon said.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)
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