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Germany, Incheon City raise awareness on climate conflict and cooperation at GCF Headquarters

Songdo,
The Green Climate Fund and Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, alongside the city government of Incheon formally opened an exhibition on "Environment, Conflict and Cooperation" at the Fund’s headquarters in Songdo, Republic of Korea.

The travelling exhibition is part of Germany’s climate diplomacy initiative, a joint outreach effort of the German Federal Foreign office and adelphi, a Berlin-based think tank for applied research, policy analysis, and global change issues. Songdo is the 42nd venue to display the exhibition, which was originally launched in 2005.

“The Green Climate Fund warmly welcomes this initiative of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office," said Javier Manzanares, GCF’s Deputy Executive Director a.i. at the opening ceremony of the exhibition in the host city of the Fund. "We believe that public awareness raising efforts such as this are critical to engage citizens in the complex issues of climate change and, more importantly, to point them at existing solutions to the response to global warming.”  

The exhibition visualises the impacts of global environmental change, using the subjects of water, climate, land, forests and minerals. Visitors learn how environmental degradation and resource scarcity lead to conflicts and new security threats, and how environmental cooperation and sustainable development can contribute to peace and stability.

Weert Börner, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy in South Korea, highlighted the timeliness of the opening of the exhibition in Songdo, which coincided with the opening of the 23rd UN Climate Summit in Bonn, Germany, on the same day.

“The exhibition seeks to spark public debate between governments and civil society on the various risks and opportunities surrounding climate change and conflicts,” Mr Börner said. “You may argue that now, as the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda have entered into force, humanity is already on the right track. But their successful implementation is a gigantic task,” the German official cautioned.  
 
“Mitigation of global warming and adaptation to environmental change are complex issues that challenge all of us, from the G20 to the municipality levels in all countries,” Mr Börner stated, adding that “only through honest and fair international cooperation, only through heavily investing into greening our economies, will we be able to avoid much further degradation of our environment and conflicts connected to it,” he explained, an assessment Mr Börner also shared during a special lecture held later that day.

Germany is one of the founding contributors to the Green Climate Fund.

Sang-Bum Lee, Director General of the Environment Greenery Bureau of Incheon Metropolitan City, echoed the remarks of MM. Börner and Manzanares, adding that “the city of Incheon is particularly honored to host this exhibition at the same time while governments meet elsewhere on the planet to tackle climate change.” He further underscored the importance of the initiative, saying "today’s exhibition is especially relevant, and should encourage us to navigate the challenges of climate change through conversation and cooperation, and join efforts of the international community to help developing countries respond to climate change."

‘Environment, Conflict and Cooperation’ will be open to the public in the lobby of G-Tower, Songdo International Business District, until 20 November 2017.