One-hundred countries and 8 international organizations are expected to participate in Yeosu 2012 in South Korea, under the theme “The living ocean and coast: diversity of resources and sustainable activities.” Among the exhibitors being welcomed is Seychelles who has already been assigned a pavilion. The Seychelles’ nonresident Ambassador to Korea, Mr. Philippe Le Gall, said is of particular relevance to Seychelles.
Yeosu 2012 will be held in the city of Yeosu, approximately 400 km south of Seoul. The expo will run from May 12 through August 12, 2012, and is the next big international exhibition after Shanghai 2010.
The exhibition targets 8 million visitors, mainly from Korea, China, and Japan, and will get large media attention around the world, exactly 10 years after the Johannesburg UN Summit.
A 2nd International Planning Meeting for the exhibition took place in Seoul on April 5-7. Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives were the only Indian Ocean islands states represented on that occasion, and Seychelles, Kenya, and Tanzania the only three countries representing the southern and eastern part of Africa. Seychelles is also only the third African country having confirmed its participation in Yeosu, confirmed since June 2009.
The Seychelles pavilion will be located in the Indian Ocean cluster of the international pavilion and should cover 80 to 90 sqm. Two other clusters will focus on the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Ambassador Le Gall, who is based at the Seychelles Embassy in Beijing, China, attended the meeting and the site visit of Yeosu, in his capacity as Commissioner for the Seychelles pavilion. He was also accompanied by Seychelles Honorary Consul General to Korea, Mr. Jeong, who is the Deputy Commissioner.
During his official visit to Korea in October 2010, Seychelles President James Michel met with the Yeosu 2012 Chairman, Mr. Kang Dong-seok, and confirmed Seychelles’ intention to play an active role in the organization of such a timely and useful exhibition, especially for island states like Seychelles.
The sea occupies 71% of the Earth’s surface, and it is home to more than 10 million species, which accounts for about 90% of all life on Earth. Also, around 40% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas, within 60 km from the coastlines.
The Yeosu Expo will strive to urge for the sustainable and wise use of the oceans and search for a common solution to the challenges currently facing the world, namely the depletion of marine resources and climate change. Amb. Le Gall said that the recent tragic events in Japan have stressed the importance of better coordinated global policies to address such issues.
Seychelles’ pavilion will highlight the challenges the country is facing and its achievements, as well as Seychelles’ pro-active stance regarding the need for more international cooperation. It will also showcase Seychelles’ competitive advantages as an eco-friendly tourist destination.