Prof. Kim is one of the most active leaders of the environmental movement in Korea. His activities began when he used his scuba diving skills to clean rivers and streams and by convincing fellow divers to become part of the environmental movement. In 1991, he set up and became Executive Director of "The Clear Water Revival" organization which initiated an underwater clean-up campaign.
As a professor of journalism at Hanyang University, he is a firm advocate of educating young people about the environment. In 1994, he formed the Green Family Movement through which green activities are undertaken by schools, from kindergarten to universities. Today more than 40,000 students in 316 schools are active members of this movement. As Secretary-General of this organization, he initiated cooperation with a number of international environmental organizations, including UNEP. He made it possible for young people to participate in UNEP activities such as World Environment Day (WED), the Global Youth Forum and the International Children's Conference. He formed the UNEP National Committee for Korea which contributed greatly to the success of WED '97 and the Global Youth Forum.
"These environmental defenders have demonstrated that it is at the community and local level where action to protect the environment acquires its full meaning. In honouring them, UNEP hopes that their examples will inspire and guide many other men, women and young people to join the global coalition dedicated to protecting the environment", says Mr. Klaus Töpfer, UNEP's Executive Director.
The award will be presented in Moscow, Russian Federation at the World Environment Day ceremonies on 5 June 1998. The day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 to focus global attention and action on environmental issues.
Some 664 individuals and organizations, in both the adult and youth categories, have been honoured since UNEP launched the Global 500 award in 1987.
Among prominent past winners are: French marine explorer Jacques Cousteau; Sir David Attenborough, producer of environmental television programmes; Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway; Anil Aggarwal, the prominent environmentalist from India; Ken Saro-Wiwa, the environmental and human rights activist from Nigeria who was executed for leading the resistance of the Ogoni People against the pollution of their Delta homeland; the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF); Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States; Jane Goodall of the United Kingdom whose research on wild chimpanzees and olive baboons provided insight into the lives of non-human primates; and the late Chico Mendes, the Brazilian rubber tapper who was murdered during his fight to save the Amazon forest.
To forge global links and to implement ideas which can contribute to a more sustainable future, a network of all Global 500 laureates has been formed.
Professor Jae-Bum Kim
4th Floor, Kipun Building
Republic of Korea
Telephone: (82-2) 723 3627
Fax: (82-2) 738 8714
WIDTH="100" SIZE="1" Note to Journalists:
UNEP looks to the world community to identify and nominate environmental advocates, so that they too can be recognized for their efforts. Nominations can be obtained from UNEP's Headquarters, Global 500 Roll of Honour, Information and Public Affairs Branch, P. O. Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya, as well as from UNEP's regional offices.
For further information, please contact
Ms. Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox
Tel: (254-2) 62 3401
Fax: (254-2) 62 3927
Mr. Tore J. Brevik
Information and Public Affairs
Tel: (254-2) 62 3292
Fax: (254-2) 62 3692
UNEP News Release 1998/48