2009 UN International Mountain Day
The beautiful Korean autumn is here and December 11, the United Nations International Mountain Day is almost upon us.
It's time for the planning crew to get on the organizational details of this year's seminar. Since the 11th again this year is on a weekend, we'll look at holding the seminar on the weekend before or after; before would perhaps be better.
I will soon meet with the kind people who govern Gangbuk-gu who are always great at helping us out. The first order is perhaps a venue (always a challenge). Last year we held it in the conference room at O2 (which was allowed to us for free!). It was a great venue, but unfortunately, O2 has shut down.
So, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for us, please let us know here on this thread. For those who attended last year, some feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Is there a theme for this years day? That'd be good to help get the topics rolling before speeches need a writing. Also I think if it's 11th (FRIDAY) then why not go with Saturday 12th? The week before is final exam week for most uni's think...then again it probably doesn't matter too much.
I hope we can get all KOTRers out there this time. myabe we have a few other KOTR folk who could preent a nice speech/ lecture on the theme/ mountain ecology and so on? I'd be keen to see a more accessible venue too, but the place is well served if it is heated, has a beam projector and computer for powerpoint shows etc. Have you asked Um Hong-gil to join in? With a few guidelines and thematic directionals I could approach some more Koreans too.
Looking fowrard to it, plus the tradition Bukhansan hike before/ after!
The 12th is good for me. I was just thinking of the idea held by Koreans that holding an event to mark a day after the fact is not so kosher. In any regard, I agree that the 12th or 13th is best.
I will contact the FAO today to see what the theme is this year. Like they told me before, IMD doesn't get a lot of financing from the UN so the committee is short staffed and generally doesn't start advertsing until mid to late November. They usually do have their themes chosen in advance though and are well keen to let us know.
I will also have the KMPL's PR/translator, Jo Sejin, contact Mr Kim from the Um Hong-gil Human Foundation. The last I heard from Mr Um was about three months ago. Hopefully they will be on board this year.
I think last year may have run a bit long, so fewer speeches may be in order. What do you think?
I agree that a more accessible venue would be great. It's a pro & con type thing: having a venue at Doseonsa-ipgu is great in terms of atmosphere, and of course access to the hills for those who may head into them beforehand/afterward, not to mention all the great restaurants around. Then again, it's far from the subway and can be tough to find. Just the same, Gangbuk-gu has been good at providing shuttle service for the seminar to those who need it.
And, yes, more Koreans!! I'd say a little less than a quarter of last year's attendees were Korean, and we had only one Korean speaker (I'll talk to Professor Kang to see if he's keen on joining us again). Let's see what we can do about that.
One idea I have to add variety to the seminar is a mountain photo exhibit. It could be open to anyone and could (ideally) display photos from mountains around the world.
Let's keep the ideas coming!
Okay, I heard from FAO. This year's theme for UNIMD is Danger Risk Management in Mountains.
Now, we need to start getting concrete on the date. I think it may be possible to hold it on the weekend of the 5th/6th if we get our organisation all settled away by the end of next week (possible on my end). The weekend of the 12th/13th appears to be troublesome for some involved. The 13th seems to be the preferred day for that weekend.
Also, the venue will change due to necessity. O2 World is no longer with us so we can't make use of their stellar conference room. Chances are very good that we won't be holding the seminar in Gangbuk-gu this year.
Remember, feedback, suggestions, ideas are more than welcome!
And of course you're all invited!
This year's IMD seminar will be held on Sunday, December 13 in the third floor conference room at the Korean Tourism Organization's office builing (a little south of Jong-gak; a map will be provided soon).
I really hope all of you can make it. Our very own and beloved Jake will be once again giving a lecture, and yours truly will once again provide the opening banter and perform MC duties.
Please come - singularly or in massive groups of burly mountaineers - and join in to mark a day designed to help raise awareness of the necessity of mountain ecosystems.
There'll be more news to come, so check back for updates. The official announcement will be made on the KMPL site very soon.
Yes, do please come if you can. Last year we had a great little after party and the shows themselves were really interesting, with a great selection of topics and door prizes.
I promise to keep my own little speech down to a short 5-10mins maximum and would also like to suggest that anyone else who feels they have a worthy topic (relevent) and the desire to speak, contact Shawn or myself asap. It would be great if we could get a Korean speaker or two (we may have Um Hong-gil coming, maybe, maybe not) but any Korean speakers could have a translator and similarly we should be able to organize a translated version of English speeches. Last year, the speeches were based on a PPT (powerpoint) format...but need not be this year. I will, just coz I think people like visuals rather more than my voice.
Please attend and support this day to raise awareness of how important Mountains are to us personally, and ecologically too!
Regarding speakers, we currently have Jake and myself, with Roger Shepherd (the infield leader of the Baekdu Daegan Project) and Steven Adoranti (landscape photographer and hiker). UNESCO is considering responding positively to our request for a speaker; if they do send one, it will be a scientist (last year we had Mr Hwang Woo-suk, ecogeologist and dean of the College of Sciences at Kyunghee Universty). KTO will very likely provide a speaker as well. This will give us two Koreans.
I was invited to a dinner banquet tonight by Um Hong-gil for his Human Foundation; if I can make it (and it's looking unlikely at the moment) I should be able to find out if he's able to make it. If I can't go, then I'll have the KMPL PR contact the Human Foundation's PR, Mr Kim, tomorrow. Hopefully we'll know by the end of the week whether or not Hong-gil can make it.
David Mason will not be speaking or doing a sanshin-jae this year. He had a fairly serious back injury some weeks ago, and he's unable to stand for long without tiring, let alone bow and do all the ritual aspects of a sanshin-jae. He will be attending though.
Also, KMPL's beloved translator and right-hand man, Jo Sejin won't make it this year. Sejin was the translator last year and did a tremendous job getting things organized. Sejin had a relatively serious accident on Sunday; as he was getting off a bus, the driver didn't notice that Sejin hadn't gotten all the way off and so sped away from the curb without closing the door. This caused Sejin to fall from the bus; the bus's rear tire then ran over Sejin's leg, crushing his ankle. He had surgery yesterday. He's doing much better already today, but he'll be hospital ridden for nearly a month, going through physical therapy. :(
Well, gang, the official announcement is up on the KMPL site:
We have our panel of speakers set (with still the possibility of UNESCO sending a science advisor to speak). All the info is on the KMPL page.
Again, I hope everyone can make it. It promises to be a wonderful seminar again this year. If you can make it, please come and help commemorate the mountains that give us all so much - much, much more than any recreational play.
Unfortunately I will have to pull out of this great event due to a University Workshop that goes Sat and Sun. I am really sorry to miss the UNIMD, as will you be if you too fail to attend. I hope, really hope, that many of you can take a few hours on Sunday to attend this. The hills are our playground, our source of life (in more than one sense) and also our spiritual/ physical refuge. This event is all about that which we love, and the speakers are quite out-standing. Again apologies that I'll be absent, but please accept my thoughts and urgings to attend!
Happy Mountain Day everyone!
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