At 9am local time on Sunday 17th, Mayor Park Won Soon, currently on a tour of Central and South America, was selected as the next Chair of the WMCCC (World Mayors Council on Climate Change), a world city leaders’ governance gathering held in conjunction with the ICLEI World Congress in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The WMCCC praised Mayor Park Won Soon’s particular interest in and philosophy concerning environmental and ecological problems and his efforts to increase the potential of local government sustainability. Mayor Park will assume his position for two years from October 2012, and will preside over the annual Mayor Adaptation Forum as well as attending various high-level international events as the representative of the WMCCC. Moreover, he will work with some 70 city leaders in developing interesting policies and leading joint efforts. During his two-year term, he will relocate and operate the current WMCCC executive office to Seoul from its current location within the ICLEI world headquarters in Germany.
Furthermore, the city of Seoul was successful in hosting the East Asian headquarters for the world’s largest international environmental organization, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). ICLEI was first established in 1990 at the World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, and is now an international environmental organization in which 70 countries and 1,220 different local governments and united organizations of local governments participate. In the East Asian region some 91 organizations from Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Mongolia are members, and in Korea alone there are 38 participating cities, including Seoul, Busan, Incheon, and Gyeonggi.
Upon signing the East Asia Headquarters MOU agreement, the city of Seoul and ICLEI will establish the East Asia headquarters in Seoul this October. ICLEI has agreed to provide various types of support for Seoul’s energy policies including efforts to reduce Seoul’s dependence on nuclear power.
With the relocation of the WMCCC headquarters to Seoul and the opening of ICLEI’s East Asia headquarters, the city of Seoul expects to gain international prestige as a pioneering city in the field of climate response, serving as a foundation for establishing the city as the next international climate environment capital. During its hosting of the East Asia headquarters, Seoul will regularly hold environmental issue-related forums and operate related educational programs, with the focus on reducing climate change-related damage and achieving sustainable development.
Around the time of the opening of the East Asia headquarters in October, the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) will also be held, while during the Pre-COP18 period, the city of Seoul will host not only the WMCCC conference but also a commemorative forum for the opening of the East Asia headquarters, with ICLEI member cities and WMCCC member mayors in attendance.
Reference: The WMCCC, established in December 2005, is a gathering of the world’s major city leaders which aims to create sustainable cities and come up with measure to combat climate change caused by global warming and environmental pollution. The WMCCC is working hard in various fields including preparing climate change countermeasures at local levels; providing effective multilateral mechanisms for climate protection; sharing responsibility and participating in the promotion of world climate governance; and promoting cooperation among local government leaders in order to achieve the goals of climate-related environmental agreements including the UN Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.