Meaning of ecological harmonization under looming threat of climate change

Human life cannot be sustained without Mother Nature. But, with rapid industrialization in the last few decades… the world now faces the threat of climate change and global warming. To remind ourselves of the value of the world's five major climate regions and their ecology, there is no place like the National Ecological Institute here in Korea. Our Oh Jung-hee brings us this report from the ecorium… showing diverse climates of the world. With climate change becoming a real, every day threat to the lives of ordinary people… Ecorium in Korea's National Institute of Ecology,… is a place where people can appreciate the value and originality of the diverse climates around the world. "The Ecorium is a small version of Earth with five different climate regions,.. ranging from the tropics to the poles. There are 24-hundred species of animals and plants living under the exact same temperatures and relative humidity of their original habitats,…

including this Cissus plant,… usually found in the tropics." In the tropical climate hall, visitors get to see plants and animals that can rarely be found in Korea: electric eels, Nile Crocodile, and diverse forest plants from Asia, Africa and Central and South America. "This plant hanging in the air is called Tillandsia. It purifies the air, and sustains life by absorbing water and nutrients around it." In the desert hall, it is hot, dry, and sandy,… just like the desert areas in Madagascar or western parts of America. Cacti with different shapes attract people's attention,… while desert foxes and prairie dogs enjoy their own time. Baobab trees and insect-eating plants from the Mediterranean,.. granite rocks and fish from Korea's southernmost island of Jeju and the Hangang River.

.. and polar bears and penguins from the North and South Poles. They all provide visitors the chance to experience the many different climate zones in the world. "I found the tropics hall the most intriguing because I got to see many animals and plants that I had never seen before. It was a good refreshment away from the dusty air outside." The five halls attempt to replicate each climate region's ecological system as closely as possible to the original… and there is a reason why. "Ecology means the relationship between animals and plants, and their environment. Until now, we've focused too much on environment itself. So, it is now more important to look at relationship between the living organisms and the physical environment." As more ecosystems across the globe get destroyed by human activities, many species of plants, animals, and insects are increasingly becoming extinct or rapidly decreasing in size. The Ecorium at Korea's National Institute of Ecology aims to send a message of reminder that no life can flourish unless it harmonizes with Mother Nature.

Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News, Seocheon..