Yeosu Expo Poised to Greet Korean, Int'l Spectators

Global exhibition opens on May 12



The countdown has begun for the opening of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea on May 12, which will showcase humankind¡¯s new ocean frontiers during the 90-day expo period that will end Aug. 12.
Expo 2012 Yeosu will give new insights into solutions to such problems as climate change and the use of the ocean.
Preparations for opening the Expo have been seamless as progress on the construction of the Expo site¡¯s facilities is 99 percent complete as of April 20, less than one month before the opening of the exposition.
The global attention paid toward the Expo has mounted as the number of countries participating in the extravaganza event has reached 106, surpassing the initial goal of attracting 100 countries.
The Expo will have 10 pavilions including the Korea Pavilion, the Theme Pavilion, the Sub-theme Pavilion, the International Pavilion, the Corporate Pavilion, and the Local Government Pavilion.
Here is a look at major must-see pavilions of the Expo that will feature fascinating things ranging from maritime architecture to marina blockbusters combining advanced technologies and exciting contents.
The Korea Pavilion will showcase exhibits of the country¡¯s vision to project the ocean and coastal areas as a new growth engine. Many exhibits in the pavilion will feature the event¡¯s theme and the excellence of Korean culture and high-end information technology at the same time. Designed with a taegeuk motif, the pavilion offers spectators an opportunity to watch video footage documenting the development of Korea¡¯s marine industry and the future of maritime research in a Circle-Vision 360¡Æ?theater.
Among the attractions spectators cannot miss are the Big-O, which is the first ever waterfront stage at an expo, where more than 3,200 performances, cultural events, and other entertainment events will take place during the festival, as well as the Expo Digital Gallery (EDG), which is an open-format, 600-meter-long exhibition hall that links the high-speed KTX train station with the expo venue.
True to the theme ¡°The Living Ocean and Coast,¡± the Theme Pavilion, the world¡¯s first off-shore exhibition facility, will help shed light on humankind¡¯s knowledge and advancement of technology concerning the ocean and coast and identify ways to resolve challenges facing the ocean. The Theme Pavilion will house the Ocean and Coast Best Practice Area (OCBPA), which will feature the most innovative technologies, methodologies, and polices related to enhancing and preserving the oceans.
Since the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea went into effect in 1993, the ocean has emerged as an important element in resolving various problems humankind faces, including those related to resources, food, space, and the environment. However, industrial activities have damaged the marine ecosystem and subsequently reduced fish stocks. As a result, the ocean faces a severe crisis. A damaged marine ecosystem, global warming, and natural disasters are not limited to a certain country or region, but are issues that have global implications. Thus, Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea will pave the way for reaffirming the global effort to resolve such issues.
The Expo¡¯s theme, ¡°The Living Ocean and Coast,¡± was divided into three sub-themes: Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast, New Resources Technology, and Creative Marine Activities. These sub-themes have been further developed into six thematic groups: Climate & Environment, Marine Life, Marine Industry & Technology, Marine City, Marine Civilization, and Marine Arts, each of which will be demonstrated in the respective sub-theme pavilions.
Development and Preservation of the Ocean and Coast: This sub-theme aims to inspire a new level of cooperation in the international community so as to combat climate change and create a paradigm where development and preservation find a better balance. The last few decades have witnessed severe environmental degradation caused by the reckless use and excessive development of natural resources by humankind.

Views of the Korea Pavilion (left) and the 'Big O,' the first-ever water front stage in an Expo (right).

Kang Dong-suk, chairman of the Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea

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