In November 2022, Suncheon City hosted the 2022 UNESCO World Heritage International Symposium and the 11th Asian Bird Fair at Suncheonman National Garden in Suncheon, RO Korea. The main theme of the symposium was “The dream of Suncheon, an ecological city where people live in harmony with birds.” Both the symposium and bird fair aimed to raise awareness domestically and internationally for Suncheon’s migratory birds and Suncheon Getbol World Heritage Site. A total of 42 international and Korean organizations participated in the bird fair, including the EAAFP Secretariat.
The celebration events kicked off on 17th November with the 2022 UNESCO World Heritage International Symposium. The symposium allowed key stakeholders to reflect on the current management system of the World Heritage Sites and discuss future management. Mr. Robb Kaler, Chair of the EAAFP, gave a pre-recorded welcoming remark during the opening ceremony of the symposium.
18th November was the official opening day of the 11th Asian Bird Fair. The Opening ceremony began with congratulatory and welcoming remarks from Mr. Kwan-gyu Noh, Mayor of Suncheon City and Mr. Andrew Sebastian, Co-founder and Executive Committee member of the Asian Bird Fair. The speeches were followed by a small ceremonial performance.
The Secretariat were invited to run a booth during the Asian Bird Fair to promote the work of EAAFP. It also raised awareness for migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the EAAF through various activities and games and interacting with the visitors to the booth.
The visitors, most of whom were families with young children, were able to learn which cities Black-faced Spoonbill (BFS) migrate to by playing a modified treasure hunt version of the BFS Lolo game. For the game, participants had to find five migration location cards, which were hidden around the bird fair grounds and other booths, to receive a small gift. To make the game more interesting, the Secretariat cooperated with booth operators from Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong SAR to hide the location cards for Kyushu, Taipo and Maipo in their respective booths. Younger participants could also color in shorebirds and leave messages for migratory waterbirds at the booth.
Another popular game at the EAAFP booth was the Bird speed quiz of birds that migrate to Suncheonman Bay. During the quiz, participants had to guess the names of 20 bird species in 1 minute by looking at their photos. This game was particularly popular amongst avid birdwatchers and experts who tested and showcased their knowledge of waterbird species.
Participants playing the Bird Speed Quiz ️©️ EAAFP Secretariat
The bird fair was also a great opportunity for the secretariat to network with new domestic and international organizations, as well as current partners who visited the fair such as the Hanns Seidel Foundation Seoul Office. EAAFP Partner Hong Kong Bird watching Society also ran a booth at the fair. NGOs from our Partner countries such as Japan, Mongolia, Thailand, Malaysia also joined the bird fair.
The Secretariat booth at the bird fair was very successful, promoting the partnership, the partnership’s work and migratory birds and their habitats to more than 100 visitors per day. The Secretariat also received some donations from fairgoers.