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Pavilion Showcases UN’s Work on “Living Ocean and Coast” at Expo 2012

12 May 2012: The UN Pavilion has opened at the International Exposition 2012 (Expo 2012) in Yeosu, Republic of Korea, under the theme "Oceans and Coasts: Connecting Our Lives, Ensuring Our Future—The Choice is Yours." The Expo is the first international exposition focusing on ocean, coasts and islands in international recognition of their role, and is organized around the overall theme "The Living Ocean and Coast: Diversity of Resources and Sustainable Activities."

The UN Pavilion, coordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will highlight the work of 24 UN bodies and international organizations through a "space tunnel," quizzes, film screenings, workshops and a diverse calendar of exhibitions and events. The UN Pavilion will raise visitors' awareness on such issues as: marine pollution from oil; marine litter; deep seabed marine biodiversity; over-fishing; and the impacts of climate change on oceans and coasts.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Expo could contribute to a positive outcome at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The UN Pavilion highlights the contributions of healthy seas and coasts to the transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient green economy, according to UNEP. Amina Mohamed, co-Commissioner General of the UN Pavilion and UNEP Deputy Executive Director, expressed hope that the Pavilion would inspire visitors to take individual actions in support of sustainable development, after realizing the sustainability impacts of seafood consumption and marine waste.

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) are holding an exhibition under the theme “Our Ocean, Our Life, Our Future,” which encompasses GEF activities on international waters, fisheries, coastal areas, marine biodiversity, climate change, and the interconnections between land degradation, the coast and oceans.

GEF, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are presenting a joint project, GloBallast, which focuses on invasive aquatic species carried in the ballast tanks of ships that can invade new waters and cause severe environmental, economic and public health impacts.

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO-IOC) and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU) are holding an exhibition titled "One Planet, One Ocean," which offers a comprehensive understanding of the primary domains of UNESCO programmes, including the World Heritage Marine Programme and IOC activities, through seven exhibit panels.

The Expo expects over 11 million visitors in three months. [GEF Press Release] [Website of the UN Pavilion at Expo 2012] [UNEP Press Release] [UNESCO Press Release]