UNDP solidifies collaboration with Korea University’s Carbon Sink programme to foster sustainable development initiatives

September 20, 2023


UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) signed a statement of intent (SOI) with Korea University Graduate Program Specialized in Carbon Sink (KU-GPSCS) led by Professor Yowhan Son on 20 September 2023. The signing of the SOI reaffirms the commitment of both entities to foster cooperation, particularly in the exchange of information, research and educational resources relevant to carbon sinks.

KU-GPSCS has been a pioneer in its educational approach since 2021, utilizing the industry-academia cooperative system to nurture global experts in carbon sinks. This synergy with USPC, in particular its SDG Partnerships programme, is expected to further enable countries to address the challenges of climate change by focusing on carbon sinks.

The new collaboration aims to enhance the sustainable development of countries by disseminating the ROK’s advanced academic and practical insights into carbon sinks via UNDP's vast global network. Emphasizing the significance of carbon sinks, this partnership is particularly crucial in the backdrop of global efforts to address the ongoing climate crisis and achieve the SDGs.

Since 2019, Korea University's Division of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering has been contributing to USPC’s SDG Partnerships programme, making sure the Centre’s contributions to projects in community-based forestry, forest fire prevention and green development are successfully implemented in 11 countries - Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Namibia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste and Zambia - with ambitious programmes that benefit the most vulnerable. The academic staff of Korea University has also contributed to USPC publications, including the flagship SDG Policy Brief Series.

Anne Juepner, Director of USPC, stressed that “today's ceremony embodies a harmonious union of two inspiring forces: the academic wisdom and the wealth of research of Korea University and the policy-driven approach of USPC connecting to realities on the ground through UNDP’s global presence in 170 countries. KU-GPSCS, known for its dedication and academic excellence, mirrors our commitment to bring about hands-on change.”

Professor Yowhan Son, Head of KU-GPSCS, highlighted that “with the new challenges posed by climate degradation, it is crucial to think innovatively about new programmes and policies for carbons sinks in developing countries. This can range from forest fire prevention to community-based forestry or institutional changes enabled by technology. This new milestone between UNDP and KU-GPSCS will enable to deepen collaboration and work creatively on implementing concrete solutions that can serve the most vulnerable.”