The 1st ASEZ WAO Environment Forum

Are you doing well in responding to climate change?

South Korea

July 10, 2022 1162 Views

ASEZ WAO, World Mission Society Church of God Young Adult Worker Volunteer Group, has been taking the lead in encouraging workers to participate in protecting the environment through “Green Workplace” project. On July 10, they held an environment forum to search for the measures that workers can take in order to improve the environmental conditions; they listened to the experts’ advice on climate crisis which brings about direct and indirect impacts on the environment and society.

More than 1,100 people, including the young adult worker members in the metropolitan areas and citizens who are interested in environmental issues, attended the 1st ASEZ WAO Environment Forum held at the New Jerusalem Imae Temple. The event was broadcast live on YouTube, and more than 4,000 people put their heads together to discuss how to deal with the common issue of the international community.

At around noon, opening ceremony was held. Kim Yong-gap, the Secretary General of ASEZ WAO, said in his opening speech, “Since the industrial revolution, the average global temperature has risen by 1.09℃ to this day. It is very important to make every effort to reduce the effects of climate changes before the average global temperature increases by 1.5℃, the tipping point. For this, it is crucial to talk about the problems, take action, and cooperate to solve it.” He also requested that young adults should take the lead in environmental issues. Influential figures from the world, such as Roger Wolens (Founder and CEO of The Green Organization), Edna Vázquez Pérez (Court judge of Puebla, Mexico), and Reginald Allen Greenwell (Principal SecOps Engineering Manager, Microsoft) sent congratulatory and encouraging messages to ASEZ WAO through a congratulation video.

The second part of the forum was opened by the Church of God choir. The choir sang original songs on the themes of ASEZ WAO’s “No More GPGP” and “Mother’s Forest,” expressing the young adult workers’ determination to improve the environmental conditions.

Next, ASEZ WAO activists explained about “Green Workplace” project and encouraged participation and interest from the people, saying, “It is impossible for an individual to deal with climate changes, but we are able to effectively combat climate changes if all the workers, half of the total population of the world, take action together.”

Then, presentations from experts were followed. Han Seon-mi, a member of the Seongnam Mayor Transition Committee, explained the seriousness of the climate crisis and emphasized actions to overcome it, and she answered the questions from the participants. After finishing her lecture in a friendly atmosphere, she encouraged the attendees, saying, “You are already environmentalists who are working hard for the global environment and a better future. I hope you are proud of this fact and cheer on one another.”

Choi Hyeon-sik, the Secretary-General of the Korea Sustainable Campus Association, encouraged the participants, saying, “There are many environmental clubs in universities, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an organization in which office workers from various fields participate. The attendees seem to have the ability to act as professional environmental leaders who will cultivate an eco-friendly culture in their workplaces.” In his lecture, he said young adults’ practical ability is important in this age when people opt to invest in the companies that respect the Environmental Social Governance [ESG].

Abel Paxe, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Angola, introduced Angola’s climate crisis-related policies such as the “Cafu Water Channel” project for resolving droughts and “Sonangol Blue Carbon” project for restoring Mangrove forest to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions; and he showed his expectation that ASEZ WAO would play an active role in Angola, too. Lastly, the participants all watched a video lecture by Professor Helena Hodge, a Swedish ecological environmentalist. She emphasized that young adults needed to look at the bigger picture to deal with issues related to food scarcity caused by environmental problems.

Meanwhile, ASEZ WAO held additional events such as panel display and eco-friendly handkerchief making, and helped the participants check the facts of the climate crisis and understand the role that people need to play in this age in an easy and fun way. Tanuj Sharma from India, who works as a senior researcher in the field of eco-friendly pharmaceutical design in Incheon, said, “The climate crisis has become a serious problem and we can feel it every day. Above all, it requires participation from a lot of people to resolve the problem. I really hope that this event will greatly help with bringing about positive impacts on all the member countries of the global village, such as Korea and India, in response to climate changes. Jang Eun-byeol, an employee of a public company related to the environment, said, “Even though I work in a related field, the topic of environment often felt difficult and heavy to me, but after I interacted with the lecturers today, it becomes clear to me as to what I can do. If young adult workers like me take action together, we can bring about meaningful changes.”