Forum Highlights ESD City-Wide Initiatives Within Dobong, South Korea

The Dobong ESD Forum, hosted by the Dobong Metropolitan Government, was held from 29-30 October, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea. This event was the first ESD forum hosted in Seoul focused around cross-sectoral engagement with ESD through an RCE model. While RCEs have been present in many smaller South Korean cities for a number of years, this is the first time such an event has been held in the capital and population centre of the country.

The two-day forum consisted of learning tours and lectures, whereby participants were led through tours of eco-schools and child-care centres within Dobong, as well as community gardens, nature reserves, and heritage sites.

Lectures and presentations were conducted by ESD practitioners and researchers from both Dobong and the wider Asia-Pacific region, including UNU-IAS Research Fellow Dr. Philip Vaughter, who gave a lecture on the history of ESD within the UN system, and outlined ways forward for formal and non-formal educators to work together on education and outreach over the coming years.

With over 300 community members in attendance, as well as members from RCE Kitakyushu, RCE Tongyeong, and RCE Changwon, participants were able to learn about Dobong’s city-wide initiatives that have been planned around ESD and the SDGs. Group discussions and panels also provided a good opportunity for members of the Dobong community to express their priorities for sustainable development, whilst members from the local metropolitan unit were also able to dialogue with representatives from the national government as well as the United Nations system.

(Photo credits: Ms. Lee Yong eun, Dobong-gu Office)

South Korea