Seoul/Bangkok, 17 August 2006 - A new centre to strengthen civil society networks in Asia Pacific and enhance leadership skills for the conservation and restoration of the environment was launched today in Seoul, Republic of Korea.
The United Nations Environment Programme Eco-Peace Leadership Centre (UNEP-EPLC), a joint initiative of the Eco-Peace Leadership Centre Foundation (EPLCF) and UNEP, was inaugurated at a signing ceremony at the Seoul NGO Forum on the Environment organized by EPLC and UNEP. More than 80 participants, including 20 civil society representatives from 7 countries in Asia Pacific, government officials and representatives from institutions and private sector participated at the event.
“One of the primary aims of the UNEP-EPLC is to develop and provide environmental education programmes to strengthen research, technical and managerial skills of civil society in developing countries in the region. This is particularly relevant to civil society members and environmental leaders who can benefit from exposure to state-of-the-art technology as well as environmental research by institutions like the Korean Kangwon National University which supports the EPLC Foundation“ said Dr. Choi Hyun-sub, President of Kangwon National University and UNEP-EPLC.
The Seoul NGO Forum on the Environment on the theme, The Circular Society in the 21st Century and the Role of Sectors, is one of the activities planned this year under the umbrella of the EPLC. The Centre will also support environment projects, conferences and workshops, scholarships as well as research and demonstration projects. Civil society representatives attending the event were also consulted on the EPLC’s programme and planned activities.
“The EPLC will support civil society networks, particularly networks in the five UNEP sub-regions in Asia Pacific: North East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific,” said Mr. Choi Yul, Board member of UNEP-EPLC and Representative of Korea Green Foundation.
“We will provide the financial support to civil society in the field of environmental sector. In addition, EPLC will serve as a domestic and regional centre for training, scientific research and information exchange,” said Dr. Moon Kook Hyun, Board member of UNEP-EPLC and CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly.
The Eco-Peace Leadership Centre Foundation was established in 2006 as a collaborative effort of universities, civil society organizations, government and enterprises to promote a healthy environment and peaceful community in Asia Pacific.
“The EPLC provides a platform where civil society in Asia Pacific can constructively engage in dialogue and exchange information. It will foster greater knowledge and leadership skills to encourage environmentally sustainable development, a much needed focus in a region with some of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” said Mr. Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNEP.
Notes To Editors
The Eco-Peace Leadership Center Foundation was established to promote the realization of a clean environment and peaceful community in the Asia Pacific region by setting up a civil society network in the field of the environment and by supporting educational activities for leadership training as well as field activities such as conservation and restoration of the natural environment.
The Foundation was also established under the common interest of various participants including universities, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Government Organizations (GOs), and enterprises, with the aim of strengthening partnerships amongst all stakeholders in the field of environment education.
The Foundation has a deep interest in capacity building and technology transfer of GOs and CSOs in Asian Pacific countries and the intention to enhance international cooperation in the field of the environment and in this context, affirms its strong intention in working together with UNEP to fulfill the objectives of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building.
The objectives of EPLC are:
1. To disseminate the experiences and expertise of the Korean people in the civil society sector, towards the implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan of Technology Support and Capacity Building;
2. To provide support for a regional civil society network in the field of the environment in the Asia Pacific region;
3. To support capacity building for CSOs through education and re-education of professional environmental activists;
4. To support capacity building through projects and international conferences related to environmental issues in the Asia Pacific region;
5. To implement a scholarship progamme to train NGO activists in the field of environment and sustainable development
Functions of the EPLC are to:
1. Implement the plans for talent cultivation, scientific research and international conferences as set by the Foundation;
2. Participate in regional environmental assessments, particularly in the civil society dimensions of this, and, upon invitation, participate in other related initiatives and projects organized and coordinated by UNEP, including the Global Civil Society Forum;
3. Assist the decentralized sub-regional civil society networks in the five sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific, viz. Northeast Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific;
4. Conduct research on global and regional environmental issues;
5. Organize seminars and workshops on global and regional environmental issues;
6. Provide research results to UNEP, and offer scientific and technical advice for global and regional environmental protection, peace and environment cooperation, urban ecology environment, water and dam management, recycled energy, combating desertification and deforestation, local community revival, and environmental culture;
7. Disseminate results, in coordination with the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea, on best practices and technology development;
8. Provide support to the UNEP programme of work, especially related to civil society, at global and regional levels, and participate in capacity building programmes, particularly for developing countries in Asia and the Pacific.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Satwant Kaur, UNEP Regional Information Officer, Tel: + (66 2) 288 2127; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. DongKyun PARK, Secretary General of EPLC, Tel: +(82 33) 257 7129; C.P: 82-18-234-3550; Email: email@example.com
UNEP ROAP News Release 06/05