On 25 June 2020, Gyeongsangnam-do Ramsar Environmental Foundation (GREF) and EAAFP Secretariat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the collaborative conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. The signing ceremony was held at the EAAFP Secretariat office.
GREF was founded in 2008, based on the 2008 Ramsar Convention, to build sustainable development and strengthen environmental conservation in Gyeongsangnam province located in the southeast of ROK. The foundation aspires to sustain healthy wetlands and environment, consistent with their mission to support the wetland policy and activities, exchange wetland information, and raise awareness of the wetland.
This MOU aims to build cooperation for the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the flyway, with a specialized focus on Gyeongsangnam Province of the Republic of Korea (This region also encompasses two Flyway Network Site, Upo Wetland [EAAF096] and Junam Reservoir [EAAF095]). The MOU encourages the parties to engage in dialogue, exchange conservation knowledge, and build awareness raising programmes. In addition, based on the MOU, both parties agreed upon further develop the following: monitoring of migratory waterbirds in the Gyeongsangnam Province, to expand the EAAFP Flyway Network Site, formation of Sister Site Agreements with other countries, cooperation for the restoration and management of the Upo Wetland, and Citizen Science Monitoring and Training.
The MOU was signed by Mr. Doug Watkins, the Chief Executive of EAAFP and Mr. Geun-sun Lee, Chief Executive of GREF. GREF has been working closely with our Secretariat well before the MOU, through an Experts Group Meeting at Upo Wetland, Gyeongnam Bird Festival in Upo Wetland in 2018 and 2019 International Wetland Center Symposium.
During the meeting following the ceremony, Mr. Doug Watkins, remarked that the Secretariat is keen to interact with GREF on activities for the conservation of wetlands, including the management of Upo Wetland.
The Chief Executive, Mr. Geun-sun Lee expressed gratitude to the EAAFP Secretariat for the MOU. Emphasizing the newly updated wetland conservation mission of GREF, he stated his aspiration to progress the project to conserve wetlands and protect migratory waterbirds. He added that GREF is looking forward to receiving technical advice from the EAAFP Secretariat on different approaches for managing wetlands and identifying collaboration activities for wetland conservation.