The UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed four “Getbol”, Korean Tidal Flats, along the south-western coast of the Korean peninsula as a new Natural World Heritage Site on Monday, 26th of July. The official listing happened during the 44th session of the Committee, held in Fuzhou, China. By this, the Getbol become Korea’s 15th World Heritage and just the second Natural Heritage Site, alongside the Jeju volcanic island and its famous lava tubes.
The four Getbol are the Shinan Getbol in Shinan County, Boseong-Suncheon Getbol in Boseong County and Suncheon City, all located in Jeollanamdo, along with Seocheon Getbol in Seocheon County, Chungcheongnamdo and Gochang Getbol in Gochang County in Jeollabukdo.
With 1,100 km² the tidal flats in Shinan have the largest area of the four, while the other tidal flats cover 60 km². Some of them are unique wetlands designated by the Ramsar Convention.
After failing to be listed in 2018 due to a lack of information the World Heritage Committee finally listed the Tidal Flats, acknowledging their outstanding role in forming a unique eco-system along the south-western coast of Korea. The site is not only home to over 2000 species of flora and fauna but is also a stopover for 22 endangered migration birds.
The site demonstrates the link between geodiversity and biodiversity, and demonstrates the dependence of cultural diversity and human activity on the natural environment.
UNESCO World Heritage Committee
The promotion as a UNESCO World Heritage will have a huge positive impact on the region. It will not only raise awareness about this unique ecosystem and draw many tourists to Jeollanamdo, but it will also ensure the highest level of protection for the area and therefore for its wildlife. It will ensure the life of millions of migratory waterbirds for whose survival the Getbol provide a critical habitat.
Kim Yung-rok, governor of South Korea’s province Jeollanamdo and Jesper Frost Rasmussen, mayor of Esbjerg Commune in the Kingdom of Denmark signed a MoU on Wednesday (30.06.2021) morning.
Through the memorandum both parties promise closer cooperation in the fields of renewable energy to fight climate change together. They plan to achieve this by exchanging information and experience as well as exploring possibilities for joint commercial projects and partnerships.
The main focus of this new cooperation will be on offshore wind energy. Just earlier this year, Jeollanamdo has announced to build a 8.2 GW wind farm at the coast of Sinan county. It will become the largest wind farm in the world. Jeollanamdo and Esbjerg are ideal partners, as Esbjerg is one of the world’s leading ports in providing infrastructure for off shore wind parks in the North Sea of Europe.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the signing ceremony was held online. The MoU will have a duration of three years but can be expended.
During a business forum in Madrid, Spain, with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, South Korea’s President Moon Jae In proposed a closer partnership between the two countries in order to tackle climate change in a combined effort.
Shortly after the meeting two Spanish firms revealed their plans to invest a combined sum of $ 200 m in the renewable energy business in South Korea. While the Madrid based company Ocean Winds will make an initial investment of $ 100 m to establish an offshore wind power plant in Incheon, EDPR will invest an additional $ 100 m in a solar power farm in Goheung, Jeollanamdo.
This investment is another big step in Jeollanamdo’s blue economy plan to become a center of Korea’s renewable energy industry. Just earlier this year, President Moon unveiled plans for the world’s biggest wind farm just west of the coast of Mokpo (Read more here).
It was revealed that Marianne Stöger (87) has been selected as the 48th Korean winner of the “Florence Nightingale Medal” which is awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Marianne Stöger was born in Austria and graduated from a nursing school in Innsbruck. After her graduation she decided to go to Sorok Island to help the people with Hansen disease living there, because she had heard that there was a shortage of nurses, even though she had no connection to Korea. She served the people on Sorok Island for over 40 years starting from 1962. She cleaned the patient’s pus with her bare hands, applied medicine and devoted herself to serve the people there. In 2005 she returned home to Innsbruck, since her age and health made it difficult to continue her volunteer work and she did not want to become a burden to the people she had helped. She left Korea with only a farewell letter to her acquaintances. Marianne is also an honorary member of the Korean Nursing Association. According to the Red Cross the award is a result of her noble spirit to serve across borders and dedication to the healing of the Hansen’s disease patients and their return to society she has shown.
The Florence Nightingale Medal was created by the ICRC in 1912 to commemorate Nightingale’s dedication during the Crimean War. Since 1920 every 2 years not more than 50 people that have done outstanding work in nursing are selected to receive the Florence Nightingale Medal.
Several global players in the chemistry industry have announced to expand the production in their factories in Jeollanamdo. Among them were Korea’s biggest chemical producer LG Chem, as well as Hanwha Corp. and the Korean-Japanese joint venture Kumho Mitsui Chemicals.
Kumho Mitsui Chemicals is a joint venture between Japanese Mitsui Chemicals and Korean Kumho Petrochemical which was formed in 1989. The company announced to add another production facility to its already existing facilitiy in Yeosu, Jeollanamdo. This expansion will increase Kumho Mitsui Chemicals production of polyurethane from 410,000 tons up to 610,000 tons. The additional facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, aiming to start production in early 2024. The expansion is part of Kumho Mitsui Chemical’s vow to contribute to the global fight against global warming. Polyurethane is used in many parts such as the automobile industry and housing sector where it is used as thermal insulation material with a high insulation efficiency.
Hanwha Corp. is another major Korean chemical cooperation which has announced to increase its production capacities in Yeosu Industry Complex, Jeollanamdo. The goal is to build another nitric acid plant in Yeosu in order to four-fold the already existing production capacities, from 120,000 tons up to 520,000 tons. Nitric-acid is used for producing semiconductor and display cleaning solutions. Another part of the production capacity will be used to produce dinitrotoluene, a raw material to produce polyurethane. Hanwha aims to finish the construction of the plant by 2023.
Unlike Kumho Mitsui Chemicals and Hanwha Corp., LG Chem has already finished the construction of an additional facility in order to increase the drastically growing demand for carbon nanotubes. The additional facility will increase the output by 1,200 metric tons from originally 500 tons to now 1,700 tons. Carbon nanotubes are a raw material used in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
The continuous increase in investment in Jeollanamdo proves that Jeollanamdo is taking a leading role in South Korea’s fight against global warming and in the search for eco-friendly solutions in industrial productions. Just last month Korea’s steel giant POSCO has announced similar plans to increase its production capacities in Jeollanamdo and to build Korea’s first ever lithium extraction factory.
Jeollanamdo’s Amazon Brand Store The Kitchen of Korea has established itself as a popular online store in the US online market. On April 19 the local government announced during an export ceremony that it has already sent its 10th container within 9 month, marking another mile stone since the opening of the specialty brand store The Kitchen of Korea on Amazon US.
The latest container contains 29 agricultural and fishery products from 14 companies from all over Jeollanamdo. In the Jeollanamdo Brand Store red pepper paste, organic shiitake, plum, pear, and citron juice, along with seaweed, abalone and seafood snacks are gaining huge popularity.
Along with those popular products five new products are shipped for the first time to be newly introduced to the U.S. market, after reviewing the marketability and competitiveness of the products.
As popularity of the brand store The Kitchen of Korea is continuously rising in the US, Jeollanamdo is also focusing on other regions to open similar brand stores, firstly in the European Union.
The Kitchen of Korea
Jeollanamdo is also planing to open Amazon brand stores in the EU by mid 2021. A list of available products and further information on The Kitchen of Korea can be found here.
Moreover, the provincial government is eager to expand its product range in the online market, to establish The Kitchen of Korea further as a distinguished K-FOOD market with high quality organic products. The government keeps looking for more local companies that are willing to export their products to make a wide range of Jeollanamdo’s products available throughout the world.
“If local companies meet Amazon’s food export and sales standards, there will be more opportunities to export them to the U.S. as well as other countries,” said Lee Sang-jin, international cooperation official of Jeollanamdo Provincial Government. “We plan to continue to find small, competitive agricultural and fishery companies and expand their presence on Amazon.”
South Korea’s steel giant POSCO plans to build Korea’s first ever lithium-hydroxide extraction factory in Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo. Lithium-hydroxide (LiOH) is one of the most important components when building battery cathodes for electric vehicles. With the rising demand for batteries because of a rapidly growing EV-market POSCO wants to prepare for the future, in accordance to its own expansions in the EV-production business. As the lithium price is rising continuously due to the rapid increase in EV-production, South Korea aims to be less reliant on importing Lithium from the global market. So far Korea had to import its lithium from South America, the US and China.
The factory is going to be a joint investment by POSCO and the Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals. Construction of the plant will already start in mid 2021 and the factory will be finished by 2023. By then the new lithium factory will produce around 43,000 tons of lithium per year. With this amount POSCO can directly and locally supply the lithium for up to 1,000,000 electric vehicles batteries. Building on this, POSCO is already planning to further expand the extraction of lithium so that by the end of 2030 over 220,000 tons of lithium can be directly extracted at Jeollanamdo.
Gwangyang in Jeollanamdo was the logical choice for POSCO as it has already been running a demo-factory in Gwangyang and is operating additional factories in the Gwangyang Bay Area. Just earlier this year in February POSCO Chemical has announced the 4th expansion of its battery cathode plant in Gwangyang. Therefore the extracted lithium can be directly processed at Gwangyang.
As one of the most important locations in EV production and research, Jeollanamdo is also hosting the yearly Yeonggwang e-Mobility EXPO in Yeonggwang. For further information click here.
After visiting the Naro Space Center in Goheung, Jeollanamdo earlier this week to observe a combustion test President Moon Jae-in made a pledge by 2030 Korea will land on the moon, powered by a Korea-made rocket. This rocket, named Nuri opens South Korea’s door to a very exclusive club of 7 nations which are capable of designing, building and launching its own rockets and satellites into earth’s orbit without the help of other nations.
The first launch of the Nuri rocket is planned for this year October. The rocket is capable of sending practical satellites up to 1.5 tons up into earth’s orbit and is developed using nothing but homegrown technology.
In his speech President Moon explained the goals for Korea’s space program. His vision is to make Korea a leading nation in space exploration.
We will actively push for challenging space exploration projects that build on the foundation achieved by developing a Korean launch vehicle. Next year, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter will be launched, and by 2030, we will achieve our dream of landing on the Moon by using our own launch vehicle. The technological prowess, experience and confidence that will be gained from exploring the Moon, the first step in space exploration, will provide a solid foundation for space development. Also regarding Apophis, an asteroid that will pass near Earth in 2029, an exploration plan will be established following feasibility studies.
Moon Jae In, March 25.
Korea’s rockets and satellites are being launched from Korea’s own spaceport at Goheung in Jeollanamdo while the technology is being developed at Naro Space Center.
On February 26, 2021 officials of Jeollanamdo held a shipping ceremony for the first ever container of food products to be send off to Europe to be sold on Amazon Europe. This first shipment contains over 15 different products, such as seaweed, dried fish snacks and different kinds of tea and juice. The products will be sold exclusively under the brand Jeollanamdo The Kitchen of Korea.
As the Jeollanamdo brand The Kitchen of Korea is already entering its second year in the US market after a successful first year, Jeollanamdo is now keen to repeat this success in Europe.
The container is expected to arrive in Hamburg, Germany in late March and the products will first be sold throughout the whole European Union, using the Amazon online stores of four European countries: Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Jeollanamdo The Kitchen of Korea is a registered trademark by Jeollanamdo. The goal of the brand is to enable easy and direct access to food products from Jeollanamdo. Read more.
By directly promoting food products from the region, Jeollanamdo aims to offer agricultural and marine products at reasonable prices. In order to do this, Jeollanamdo and nine export companies have registered the Exporter Certificate of Origin. This certificate allows exporters from Jeollanamdo to prove their country of origin so that they can benefit from the free trade agreement between the Republic of Korea and the European Union.
The European Union has the second highest growth rates in the online food market and thanks to the growing awareness and interest in Korean culture and products, Jeollanamdo is aiming to establish its own products in Europe.
POSCO Chemical, part of Korea’s steel giant POSCO, announced that it will expand to a 4th battery cathode plant in Gwangyang, Jeollanamdo in order to meet the huge demands in the electric vehicle (EV) battery market.
POSCO Chemical is one of the main tenant companies of the Main Industrial Complexes in Gwangyang Bay Area. Since 2019 it has been expanding its EV-battery-plants from originally 5,000-ton capacity. The 4th expansion will bring the capacity up to 100,000 tons.
The company will invest about 250 million US dollar in this project and expects the new plant to be operational by 2023. The expansion is part of POSCO’s new brand “e Autopos” which will produce exclusively steel parts and batteries for electric vehicles.
This expansion proves once again that Jeollanamdo plays a crucial part in Korea’s response to climate change and Korea’s growing Blue Economy.