The Yeosu Ocean Forum 2016 was organized on 25 October 2016 by the EXPO 2012 Yeosu Korea Foundation/Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST), and sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF). Entitled “Fulfilling Yeosu Declaration through Ocean Science and Technology for Sharing Prosperity and Security”, this Forum aims to serve as an effective platform for sharing the challenges faced by developing countries/regions, taking stock of past achievement in Yeosu projects, and exploring further cooperation in marine science and technology in the future with a view to fulfilling the Yeosu Declaration which was announced on the occasion of Yeosu Expo in 2012.
The Yeosu Expo 2012 “Living Ocean and Coasts” attracted 8.2 million visitors from around the world, highlighting the importance of the ocean, with a legacy to promote global commitment to conservation and sustainable development of oceans for humanity’s future. This commitment was culminated through the adoption of the Yeosu Declaration. WESTPAC was invited to endorse the Declaration at its ninth Intergovernmental Session (9-12 May 2012), prior to the grand opening of the Yeosu Expo 2012, with all of their participants having witnessed this extraordinarily wonderful ocean festival.
At the Yeosu Forum 2016, representatives from several small island developing states in the Pacific, ASEAN countries, and UNESCO/IOC Headquarter and regions were invited to present their perspectives towards the future development of Yeosu Forum. Following the opening, two keynote addresses were provided respectively by the Prime Minister, Tuvalu, and the Executive Secretary of IOC/UNESCO. These two keynotes further highlighted the importance of ocean to human, and stressed the need for advancing our knowledge and promoting marine science cooperation to underpin the sustainability of marine and coastal resources.
Three sessions were conducted subsequently, dealing with: i. The current issues of maritime affairs and status of marine science and technology in developing countries; ii. Achievement of and future direction after the Yeosu Project; and iii. Cooperation in ocean science and technology with regard to Yeosu Project.
Along with other distinguished speakers, WESTPAC gave a talk on ocean issues in Asian Coastal Countries and current efforts in marine science development and cooperation in the region. This talk was well received with positive comments by a lot of participants. Some research institutions in Korea expressed their strong intention to establish cooperation with WESTPAC.