SEOUL, Mar. 26, 2015 – The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced that it will provide the guideline for Yellow dust and Ultrafine Particles (UFP) Warning to 12,000 foreign students and teachers at 22 international kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools in Seoul from April to minimize the health effects on students by recommending schools to avoid outdoor activities and shorten school hours.
Currently, in case of the Yellow Dust and Ultrafine Particles Warning, Seoul provides the contents of the warning and guidelines to about 7,000 teachers at 2,210 Korean schools in Seoul. From now on, the service, sending the warning alerts with air quality data, will be expanded to the foreign residents.
The SMS text message will be immediately sent to about 70 foreign teachers whenever a Yellow Dust or Ultrafine Particles (UFP) Warning is issued. Depending on the level of the Warning, the schools will be advised to avoid outdoor activities or shorten classes, and even close down for the day when it affects students’ health.
When they receive the text message, teachers may consider all the means to protect the health of students including restricting or avoiding outdoor activities, shortening school hours and even closing the school for the day.
Seoul will distribute the standards and guidance for the air quality warning/alert in six languages (English, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Mongolian) to every schools. Seoul also recommends that teachers should take the action they need in advance according to the level of the warning.
In 22 foreign schools in Seoul, six languages are officially used. The number of schools using English was 14 which is the largest while Chinese was three, French was two and rest of three schools used German, Mongolian and Japanese respectively.
Furthermore, Seoul also will provide English leaflets about the air quality warning to foreign participants and foreign residents of Seoul at the ICLEI World Congress 2015 which will be held from April 8 (Wed) to 12 (Sun) at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and Seoul Plaza in front of Seoul City Hall.
The ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) World Congress 2015 which is the largest network between cities will take place for 5 days from April 8 (Wed) to 12 (Sun) in Seoul. More than 2,000 people from 164 cities of 61 countries including Budapest of Hungary, Montreal of Canada and Bogota of Colombia will take part in the discussion on sustainable development at global level.
15 international figures will participate the Congress as a speaker including the president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Yolanda Kakabadse and the Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Yvo de Boer. Given the fact that the result of the ICLEI World Congress 2015 will be presented at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015, the Congress will be a meaningful event as a transitional moment for global action.