It is with deep sadness to experience the loss of Dr. Lew Young, a close partner and dear friend of Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea. He was an outstanding person who dedicated his life to conservational of wetlands, biodiversity, nature and environmental cooperation. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife and family during these difficult times. His kindness, devotion, aspiration and his leadership in the subject of environmental protection will be missed sorely. He leaves a gap impossible to fill.
It was by October 2015 that Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea worked very actively together with Lew Young, who was the Senior Regional Advisor for Asia – Oceania Ramsar Secretariat at that time. He initiated a delegation, which visited the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea). Representatives of HSF Korea, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature International (WWF) were part of this delegation. A project on the “Sustainable and Wise Use of Wetlands in DPR Korea” was started, in which he put so much dedication and passion and which brought him, together with HSF, to the DPRK, China, Hong Kong and other locations over the last years.
Beyond all the activities and discussions over the course of time; looking at the outcome of his work unveils the impact Lew Young had on the process of environmental conservation and cooperation in Northeast Asia. His efforts and devotion resulted to the DPRK´s Ministry of Land and Environment Protection becoming a member of IUCN in June 2017. In May 2018 the DPRK has acceded to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. After becoming the Chief Executive of the East – Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), the DPRK also joined this partnership in April 2018. Within these frameworks, DPRK is now engaged in the international efforts to conserve wetlands, biodiversity and nature within a transboundary context.
The tragic passing of Lew Young happened aside the Meeting of the Working Group on the Conservation of the Yellow Sea Intertidal and Associated Coastal Wetlands in Beijing on Tuesday the 5th March of 2019. It was him, who co-initiated this working group and the meeting. It was also him, who gave the last presentation on wetland conservation along the Yellow Sea in China, the DPRK and the Republic of Korea during this event. He also presented his vision for more efforts into conservation and the plans for a Wetland Conservation Center at the newly designated Ramsar Site of International Importance in Mundok, DPRK.
Lew Young´s loss will leave a gap which is impossible to fill. But we will jointly carry on his mission for a peaceful cooperation in Northeast Asia for the conservation of wetlands, biodiversity and nature together with partners who share his ideals.
Under the following links you can reach our contributions in connection with Lew Young: