Recently, there is a rising interest in ‘Eco-campus campaigns’ among many Korean universities. ‘Eco-campus’ means a campus which pursues sustainable development, like a ‘green’ or environmentally friendly campus. Most foreign universities have made moves toward this campaign since the mid-90s, so Korea started relatively late. Proving the interest toward eco-campus, last year an ‘eco-campus contest’ was hosted by UNEP(UNEP 한국위원회) and supported by the Ministry of Environment.
Many universities in Seoul have already started to make environmentally friendly campuses. Now, let’s search the various eco-campuses and see what the efforts of CBNU should be for sticking to these moves.
- Universities to changed in to eco-campus
Nowadays, global trend is ‘environment’ and global industry trend is ‘green growth’. Our country also set up environmental-friendly various policies in step with these trends by government or local government. Then, universities which are center of learning are engaged in this reality that is natural so much.
Universities are one of the places that consume a lot of energy. Universities cause many environmental problems, such as producing a lot of trash, wasting energy and constructing new buildings. Many universities’ motto was sustainable development of university and their movements seem to push ahead with eco-campus. They conducted many environmental campaigns with the area. These campaigns are very various kinds, for example anti-smoking, using alternative energies and environmental-friendly building design. Then, let us check in material way.
Seoul National University announced detailed plans of its ‘Sustainable SNU’ project on March 2nd, which was declared in October 2008.
SNU said, “We discussed the way to raise self-sufficiency in water of the campus by 80% and decrease carbon emissions to 50% by 2030 for dealing with climatic changes.”
Like this, many universities recently are making eco-campuses. Some universities presented measures for making an eco-campus such as SNU and also make progress on the student level.
In addition, universities such as Kyunghee University, Dongguk University and Konkuk University in Seoul announced their projects to make themselves eco-campuses. Kyunghee University is going to design the campus to be environmentally friendly. For example, it set up a system using terrestrial heat energy to power most buildings in campus and also an artificial reservoir reusing rainwater. Dongguk University will create a clean, beautiful landscape, proceeding with greening project for six buildings and providing places to relax. Finally, Konkuk University plans to set up LED streetlamps near the lake in school and solar panels on the windows.
l Cases of Eco-campus campaigns abroad
Meanwhile, colleges in the U.S. and Canada have practiced policies of making their own eco-campus. Representatively, Harvard University invested directly in human resources and a budget for dealing with climatic changes through the ‘Harvard Green Campus Initiative’ program since the year 2000. This program is investing $80,000 and reducing over 27,180 ton of greenhouse gases. Also, they created the ‘Green Campus Loan Fund’, with $3 million for energy efficiency, and supported projects of students and professors for energy-efficiency and saving resources. They borrowed money without interest though GCLF and paid back a loan from the projects related to reducing the consumption of resources and wastes for cost-saving. In this way they supported 36 projects from January 2002 till September 2004 and were able to reduce 6,726 tons of carbon dioxide, 173,000 barrels of water and 90 tons of buried wastes.
Do you know the NUS? The NUS is the only university of Singapore in which English is used as an official language. There is a beautiful and famous garden in the way to college of Business of the NUS. Also, there are many palm trees densely in this widen campus. Dean of Design & environment said, “The NUS makes a sustainable major and design technology in Department of Construction Engineering. Also, we are educating a sustainable technology for reflecting in field of traditional building and civil design. And we have to cooperate with other universities and progress the study in Asia.”
When looking at figures of the foreign eco-campus, we cannot help feeling sorry about dense buildings of my country. Until now, our Universities consider constructing a many building in narrow land as the major assignment.
Also, many universities in our country are still giving weight to development policies. For example, they use up green space by establishing buildings. In other words, the origins for absorbing carbon dioxide disappear and many sources of carbon dioxide increase. In this situation, some universities are starting to efficiently use campus spaces to put forth projects for environmental maintenance. They need to regret that our students aren’t learning environment to commute with natural now, but closed and dense environment.
Eco-campus campaign in CBNU
Our school also can’t avoid blowing naturally the green wind. But we have already boasted great campus scenery as eco-campus.It is on CBNU’s campus that about 10 dramas and movies were filmed annually. Also, do you know the media’s camera flashes went constantly off from everywhere in campus? Though we don’t remember since when, the Geonji campus is already well known as a resting place for not only the students but also residents. Residents of other localities visit through word-of-mouth. Then, how could our campus, which boasts beautiful scenery and makes Geonjians take pride in their campus, participate in its eco-campus campaign?
Meanwhile, Suh Geo-suk, the CBNU president, made a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Jeonju city and the president of Jeonju University.
The major content of the written agreement is as follows.
- First, student participation and education on the carbon point system for reducing greenhouse emissions.
- Second, film-related response on climatic change and providing of promotion materials.
- Third, pushing ahead with low-carbon green development through use of renewable energy and removing fences, etc.
These contents will be practiced in cooperation with Jeonju city, CBNU, the Jeonju Office of Education and Jeonju University. In addition, they all resolved to have a diffusion of practicing carbon-neutrality, making an eco-campus and green school, etc.
CBNU itself is carrying forward diverse projects such as creating a campus without cars, building a campus for reducing energy, demolishing fences, and so on. Also, a bicycle promotion group is considered as part of the eco-campus campaign. The bicycle promotion group is made to solve the problem of high oil prices, air pollution and traffic jams through the government’s policy for utilizing bicycles. President Seo Geo-suk, said, “I think that riding a bicycle is the best activity regarding the air pollution and energy problem as a serious social problem.”
“I wish the bicycle promotion group will vitalize the use of bicycles and advertise our university’s figure far and wide,” he also said.
Meanwhile, there is a concern that the project for an ‘art campus’ lead by the Campus Development Head Office (캠퍼스개발본부) runs counter to the stream of an eco-campus.
Ji Kwang-min, a senior in the Department of Law, said, “I think an eco-campus is more important than an art-campus. Of course, an art campus isn’t an absolutely bad influence on nature. It will be possible to improve the campus environment while preserving the point of an art campus. However, the first reason for proceeding with an art campus is to improve our image outwardly, not to preserve nature. We might destroy nature during the art campus project. In our department, some papers to guide students toward a good environment are posted on the wall of each class room: ‘turn off the air conditioner or the light in a vacant classroom’. These behaviors are quite easy, but helpful for beautiful campus.”
Many universities seek to solve any environmental problems and climatic changes on the administrative level. However, many students lack enough awareness of environmental problems. After classes were over, they wasted energy; for example, they didn’t turn off the lights and air conditioner of lecture rooms. Also, they threw away trash after they cooked and ate in campus. An eco-campus starts from a little practice by the members of the university to save energy. Isn’t the meaning of an eco-campus more brilliant when we do a little action in our own lives and begin the greening projects on our campus?
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