Congratulatory Remarks

by Jin-Ho Park

President of KOSEF

Seoul, Oct. 13, 1998

Distinguished delegates, Ladies and gentlemen!

It is my honour to be here with all of you at the International Workshop on Long-term Ecological Research and Biodiversity Conservation in East Asia and the Pacific Region. I heartily congratulate you on the successful opening of theWorkshop. I would also like to extend my greetings to all the participants and to express my warm wishes for the success of your deliberations.

We are now living in an age of information. That is turning the world into a global village. Approaching this great transitional period, we are aware of how cooperation with foreign countries must be regarded as an especially important path for us. Influence on one another is becoming more mutual. That's why the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation have enjoyed the fine spirit of cooperation with the National Science Foundation of the United States, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and other Asian Country counterparts. We are interested in supporting bilateral as well as multilateral cooperative activities with countries in the Asia and Pacific region. I am sure that the strong bonds that have existed among these countries will be further strengthened in the 21st century for our mutual benefit.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

We gather here today under the common premise that human activities are causing grave damage to the global environment. It's degradation has diminished ecosystem functions and has depleted many of the world's natural resources. The depletion and loss of these resources threatens both our quality of life and our future economic prosperity. In view of this, the environmental issue has been mounting rapidly as one of the critical issues in all countries and among the world science community as well. This reflects the acknowledgement of mankind of the importance of the environment in its life, and the close relationship between the environment and sustainable development.

I know that the Long-Term Ecological Research Network is also a part of such efforts at discovering scientific knowledge and increasing our understanding of the changing environment.

In view of this, I think that today's event deserves special concern from both our society and the science community in particular.

As for LTER activities, I know that among the critical factors for their successfulimplementation are international collaboration among member scientists and countriessuch as the exchange of information, knowledge and expertise. Long-term data are alsovery crucial to our understanding of environmental change and management This is due to the fact that comparative studies and a long-term perspective are vital in ecological research. In this regard, the LTER Network has designated research sites around the world to function as research platforms for comparative studies. Accordingly, I would like to ask all of you to cooperate more closely in improving our scientific understanding and in resolving environmental issues.

I am very pleased to support this international workshop on some of the environmental issues facing the globe. As you know, we at KOSEF have consistently tried to carry out a variety of programs designed to accelerate academic activities and international cooperation.

On this occasion, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to promoting basic research in natural science and engineering and improving international collaboration for a more prosperous and sustainable development.

Once again, I would like to thank the Korea LTER Committee for organizing this workshop, especially Prof. Kim Eun-Shik and Dr. Oh Jeong Soo. Their organizational efforts and dedication have made this workshop possible. Let me also thank Prof. James R. Gosz of the Univ. of New Mexico and Dr. William Chang of the National Science Foundation for their coordination of the workshop.

In closing, I hope that your discussions will be successful and contribute to protecting our natural ecological system. I wish that our foreign guests will have a pleasant and rewarding stay in this beautiful season in Korea.

Thank you for your kind attention. God bless you. 감사합니다.