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  •  1st Asia Youth Green Leader Conference

    1st Asia Youth Green Leader Conference ©Minshil Lee/EAAFP < 1st Asia Youth Green Leader Conference> organized by Gyeongsangnamdo Ramsar Environmental Foundation (GREF) and sponsored by the EAAFP, was held on7 - 10 August 2018 in Upo Wetland [EAAF096], Changnyeong, Republic of Korea. This conference is for students all around the world to gather and share their activities to conserve the environment, particularly wetland and wildlifein school. 44 students in total - 1 from Cambodia, 2 from Taiwan, 3 from Japan, 38 from Republic of Korea - participated in the conference. The event started with welcoming remark from Mr. Youngpa Jo, CEO of GREF, and introducing guests. He said it is a great honour to meet passionate students, teachers from different countries who are into nature and be green leaders.  In the first session, Hyeseon Do, EAAFP Programme Officer, gave students a presentation about how important conserving migratory birds and their habitats . With the question of “What do you think why we meet here?”, she emphasized the importance of the role of the Youth on conservation activities. Besides, she told how young conservationists can protect birds. After the presentation, they had an ice-breaking time doing several activities. Students made own name cards and exchanged it with each other and stick a carp tattoo to their arm. After the lunch, Minshil Lee, EAAFP Programme Assistant, introduced an EAAFP interactive art project called ‘To Our Winged Travellers Project’  to students and They put their effort in a letter with beautiful painting wishing safe journey of migratory waterbirds. Students with letters to our winged travellers ©Minshil Lee/EAAFP Also, many posters - student club's conservation activities for Oriental Storks and natural environment like a wetland, were exhibited on the wall. Students had a presentation about those with Q&A session for each club. One of the student groups was from Yonago Waterbird Sanctuary which is EAAFP Site [EAAF060] – in the eastern end (edge) of Lake Nakami, the fifth largest lake in Japan. “There were many children who were active at the Ramsar club of Yonago waterbird Sanctuary during the elementary school days” Hiromi HAYASHI, the presenter, said. She introduced Junior Ranger Club activities like the investigation of water, raising sweet potato and make soup patty for children. For the better water quality, students also participated in the cleaning event of Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji as well. For all these activities, they received awards fromthe Ministry of the Environment of Japan. She wished to continue the activities in the future, and all listeners(participants) agreed with her  and seemed passionate about conserving activities. After all sessions, students divided into 4 groups depending on the theme and announced Declaration of Practice to conserve the healthy geo-system and love lives. You can see the oaths bygroups like below. Group 1. Adaptation of Climate Change We are going to use public transportations and electric car, if necessary. We try our best to recycle and use recyclable cups, chopsticks, and glass. Group 2. Biodiversity maintenance We pledge to recommend eating organic rice to at least one person for promoting an eco-friendly rice farming. We try to encourage teenagers, like ourselves, to participate this kind of activity to practice sustainable environmental preservation and protect creatures which are small, like endangered species. Group 3. A wise use of ecosystem services We are trying not to use plastics We conserve and save natural resources to conserve ecosystem services and equivalent sharing with others. Group 4. Practice of love of nature We only use a product which is free from animal testing and animal component. We reduce the usage of the plastic bag and use the environmentally-friendly product. You can see more photos on our Flickr.

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  • Meeting with POSCO E&C

    On Monday 20th August 2018, the EAAFP Secretariat held a meeting with POSCO E&C in POSCO E&C Tower in Songdo, Republic of Korea….

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  • Raising Awareness about Biodiversity and the East Asian – Australasian Flyway, North Korea

    Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) is active in Rason Special Economic Zone (SEZ) since 2009 and promotes the conservation of the area. In cooperation with the EAAFP Secretariat we created…

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  • Announcement of new publications by the Department of the Environment and Energy, Australia Government

    As part of Australia’s National Science Week celebrations, the Department of the Environment and Energy of Australia Government has just released its publication showcasing research which will…

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  • Visiting a local wetland park: Sorea Wetland Ecological Park (29 Aug)

    On 29th Aug 2018, before the summer went away,…

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  • Field Trip to the Seocheon

    On 26-27th of July 2018, EAAFP Secretariat went on a field trip to the Seocheon City area to review the current status of EAAFP’s Flyway Network Sites (FNS): EAAF100 Geum River Estuary and EAAF101 Yubu-do Tidal Flat with local experts. On the first day of the field trip, we visited the Geum River Estuary, Saemangeum Project Area, and Seocheongun Birds Eco Exhibition Hall (http://www.seocheon.go.kr/bird.do) where we met Dr. Joo Yong Ki, the active local conservator, and Mr. Hongtae Jeon, the site manager. On the first two floors of the exhibition hall, there were many birds-related exhibits – souvenirs, real-sized bird sculpture in the realistic environment, visitors’ works, and an explanation of birds’ habitat in Seocheon. The Exhibition Hall was well planned with many types of activities for visitors, including birdwatching with scope, wearing bird mask, the promotional video of migratory birds that visit Seocheon, and a 3-D experience of the life of a migratory bird. EAAFP staffs listening to curator's explanation at MABIK Dr. Joo guided us to some of the important high-tide roosting sites where there were many different species of waterbirds: Egrets, Far Eastern Curlew, Saunder’s Gull, and snipe. The sea Saemangeum was the last place we visited on the first day. Construction of Saemangeum was once even still the most controversial issue among environmental conservationists because it causes negative environmental changes within the area. For example, it contaminates water quality inside and outside of Saemangeum seawall. In addition to, it decreases marine biodiversity. Dr. Joo was also one of the opponents.  In the second day of the Seocheon field trip, we visited the Marine Biodiversity Institution Korea (MABIK)(http://www.mabik.re.kr/html/kr/). There was a well-organized exhibition hall with which explained the ecology of marine life with specimens to look at. We were guided by a professional narrator who kindly explained each one of the exhibits. It was so impressive that there are amazingly many kinds of living things in marine environment than we normally expect. Before coming back to Songdo, we went to Yubu island with Dr. Young-Min Moon to review the current status of the mudflats and many waterbirds at high tide as well. We were so excited that we saw Common Greenshank and Nordmann’s Greenshank there. Furthermore, there were Kentish Plover, Saunders’ Gull, and Grey Heron. It was so impressive that a flock of Saunders’ Gull stands in a queue at the edge of mudflat where meets the sea. It was like fans waiting for the concert! EAAFP staffs watching birds in Yubu Island Actually, we did not expect to see this many birds in this season before visiting Seocheon, but we re-realized that this is the reason why EAAF100 Geum River Estuary and EAAF101 Yubu-do Tidal Flat are designated as EAAFP’s flyway sites. And, we decided once again to work hard for conserving migratory waterbirds and their habitats. You can look at more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/eaafp/sets/72157670605646597 Photos credit to Hyeon Hee Do/EAAFP

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  • Meeting with the new mayor of Hwaseong City

    On 23 August, the EAAFP Secretariat attended a meeting with the new mayor of Hwaseong City, Mr. Cheol-Mo Seo, and the members of the Korea Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM), one of the main NGOs in the country. The meeting was to discuss the conservation of the Hwaseong coastal wetlands, such as by designating it as an EAAFP Flyway Network Site. These tidal flats are probably the second most important tidal flats in the country, supporting some 70,000 shorebirds during northward migration and 34,000 during southward migration.  (c) Han Jung The site is the former Namyang Bay which was impounded in 2006 by the closure of a 9.8km seawall that converted 6,212 ha of tidal flats and sea-shallow into 4,482ha of land (mostly for rice farming with some area also for a freshwater eco-park) and a brackish lake of 1,730ha. (c) Junghwa Seo KFEM together with Hwaseong City government will be organizing an international workshop (more information: http://www.hwaseongtidalflat.com/index.php) from 5-7 September to further promote the conservation of the site. (c) Junghwa Seo Further information about the importance of Hwaseong Bay and Namyang Bay can be found on the website of Birds Korea http://www.birdskoreablog.org/?p=21121. 

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  • Tubbataha30: Reefs for Keeps

    Sooty Terns Toobataha by Gregg Yan Celebrating 30 Years of Marine Conservation On Saturday, 11 August 2018, the Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board (TPAMB) is commemorating the 30-year anniversary of the establishment of the Tubbataha Reefs as a marine protected area. Tubbataha30: Reefs for Keeps celebrates the preservation of Tubbataha’s abundant fish, coral reefs, and seabirds as well as the reefs’ huge contribution to Philippine food security and the marine environment. Tubbataha is an inspiration to scientists, conservationists and artists throughout the world.  It is a member of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership which and aims to protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people who depend on them. “All of the signs are that Tubbataha Reef is nearing what we believe to be the true natural state,” says John McManus, a marine biologist at the University of Miami. “This is an amazing thing that’s happened”, he said in his interview with National Geographic last year. Weeklong Activities August 11-17, 2018 An event in partnership with SM City Puerto Princesa -Photo Exhibit: Because we could not bring everyone to Tubbataha, we are bringing Tubbataha to everyone through this photo exhibit. The photo exhibit features 15 mostly underwater images captured by Filipino photographers. Two images of the tiger shark, flagship species, or icon of Tubbataha, is exhibited in two images. -360 Degree Virtual Reality Goggles: When His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco visited Tubbataha in 2016, he commissioned the development of a video of his trip in 360° format for the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco. In keeping with the advocacy his great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, of ‘knowing, loving, and protecting the oceans, he donated the video to Tubbataha so that it may reach many and begin the cycle of ‘know, love and protect’ all over again. The 360° VR goggles were donated by Patricia Zobel de Ayala. -Storytelling Sessions: Three different children’s books tell the story of sharks and their importance to the ocean. The stories aim to change the common belief that sharks are vicious and situate these maligned animals in their rightful place and role in the ocean. These fun and engaging sessions will be facilitated by The Storytelling Project. -Arts and Craft Session: Participants of the storytelling sessions are encouraged to fashion the arts and crafts projects using discarded materials such as toilet paper core and plastic bottles with themes coming from the shark stories. -Film Showing: The internationally awarded Tubbataha film, Reefs, developed by the Antonio O. Floirendo Foundation, Inc., will be shown. Short video clips of divers and dive operators in Tubbataha will be shown as another means of bringing Tubbataha to Puerto Princesa. -Trick Eye Wall: An ocean seascape with the Tubbataha Big Five: tiger shark, hawksbill turtle, manta ray, Napoleon wrasse and dogtooth tuna, will serve as backdrop for ‘under the sea’ inspired photos. -Hidden Object Game: The Tubbataha Big Five is hidden somewhere in a seascape full of marine life.  Find them and get a chance to win prizes. About The Tubbataha Big Five Award To recognize the invaluable contributions of various people, groups, or organizations, the first Tubbataha Big Five Awards will be given to five people who made a major difference in raising the profile of the Park and enhancing its conservation. In 2003, we commemorated the 15th anniversary of the establishment of Tubbataha as a marine protected area. We celebrated and recognized the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the marine park rangers, who guard Tubbataha against destruction. We also acknowledged during that event one of the staunchest NGO supporters of the Park, WWF-Philippines.
 On our 25th anniversary in 2013, we honored the people behind the creation of the Park; from Mr. Bebot Sta. Cruz who dreamed and acted to keep the Reefs protected, to the journalists and politicians who helped make it happen. 
 On this our 30th anniversary, we want to thank the people from the private and public sector who volunteered their talent, their time, and their treasure. Through their work they have raised the profile of Tubbataha here and abroad and enhanced the protection of the Reefs. 
 The vibrancy of life in Tubbataha is said to be the marine version of the rich African savannahs. Former WWF President, Mr. Lory Tan, together with other Tubbataha supporters, suggested many years ago that we come up with the marine version of the African Big Five. Dive professionals helped us identify our Big Five amidst arguments and forced agreements. In the end, we concurred that Tubbataha’s Big Five would be species that are cherished by the scuba diving community, are rare, or are internationally protected. We came up with the following: 
 -Tiger shark (Scientific name: Galeocerdo cuvier, Conservation status: Data Deficient) Tubbataha’s flagship species.
Tiger sharks are apex predators and used to be common if Philippine waters but are now mostly seen only in Tubbataha. -Dogtooth tuna (Scientific name: Gymnosarda unicolor, Conservation status: Least Concern) An apex predator and commercially-important species generally fished out in most areas
 -Giant Manta Ray (Scientific name: Mobula birostris, Conservation status: Vulnerable) Vulnerable to extinction and is magnificent to watch at it glides through the water. -Hawksbill turtle    (Scientific name: Eretmochelys imbricate, Conservation status: Critically Endangered) Critically endangered and protected worldwide, however, collection of its eggs threaten its population. -Napoleon wrasse (Scientific name: Cheilinus undulates, Conservation status: Endangered) Gone from most of its range worldwide and is now in danger of extinction. These Tubbataha icons symbolize a robust and balanced marine ecosystem. Their presence tells us that there is adequate food to support them and that our reefs are healthy. Like the iconic Tubbataha Big Five, the support of our awardees enabled us to achieve a robust and balanced marine Park. Their continued presence in our lives tells us that our Reefs will stay in a stable state. For their selfless dedication and concern, let us recognize and salute the 2018 Tubbataha Big Five Awardees! The Tubbataha30: Reefs for Keeps celebration is supported by: The Department of Environment and Natural Resources 
 The Provincial Government of Palawan 
 Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. 
 SM City Puerto Princesa Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park: Background Information Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Palawan, the westernmost Philippine province. It is located 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City, at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity.
 The reefs of Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley are considered part of Cagayancillo, a remote island municipality roughly 130 kilometers to the northeast, inhabited mainly by fisherfolk. Tubbataha is composed of two huge coral atolls – the north atoll and the south atoll – and the Jessie Beazley Reef, a smaller coral structure about 20 kilometres north of the atolls. The park contains roughly 10,000 hectares of coral reef, lying at the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global center of marine biodiversity. Scientists have been visiting these reefs since the 1980s, and their research has shown that Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than: Over 600 species of fish 360 species of corals (about half of all coral species in the world) 24 species of sharks and rays 14 species of dolphins & whales 100 species of birds And also nesting Hawksbill & Green sea turtles Tubbataha is considered both a mecca for scuba divers and model for coral reef conservation.

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  • ASEAN, India See Importance of Protected Areas in Addressing Sustainable Development Goals

    Most, if not all of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) have taken the necessary actions towards the achievement of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 on the conservation of protected areas, according to the Second Edition of the ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook (ABO 2) of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 states that, "By 2020, at least 17 percent of terrestrial and inland water areas and 10 percent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically-representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscape and seascape.” The Aichi Biodiversity Targets is a set of 20 measurable and time-bound global targets under the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020. “We still have over 24 months until 2020. There is still time to complete our tasks and do some more. Since 2015, there have been efforts for Contracting Parties of the CBD, globally, towards enhancing efforts for the fulfillment of Target 11,” ACB Executive Director Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim shared in her opening speech during the “Regional Workshop on the Implementation of Aichi Target 11 in the ASEAN Region.” The said workshop was held from 30 to 31 July 2018 in Manila, Philippines to gather updates on the implementation of Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 and to identify ways on how the ASEAN Member States (AMS), non-government organizations (NGOs), and other relevant groups in the ASEAN region can work together to achieve this target. The ACB, with support from the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) of India and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), organized the workshop. The event was designed to gather information from the AMS on the following: (1) their activities to expand the coverage of their terrestrial and marine protected areas from 2018 to 2020; (2) the connectivity and integration of these protected areas into wider landscapes and seascapes; and (3) the measures to determine and ensure management effectiveness of these areas. “Here in Southeast Asia, we have been doing our part. According to our ABO 2, out of ASEAN's total land area in sq km of  4, 586,015, terrestrial PA protected is 595,061 sq km or 13 percent; so just 4 percent shy of the 17 percent Aichi target. As to coastal and marine, we have more gaps to address, with only about 2 percent coverage,” said Dr. Lim. “The CBD has looked at our collective efforts and as reported in the information document for SBSTTA 22 [Twenty-second meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice] for protected areas, the progress from 2016 up to May 2018 shows that terrestrial protected area global coverage increased from 14.7 percent to 14.8 percent, while marine protected area global coverage increased from 4.12 percent to 7.26 percent,” ACB Executive Director Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim shared in her opening speech. Dr. Lim also stressed that intensifying protected area conservation could have the potential to protect a significant part of the world’s biodiversity, and to provide more benefits to the people within and beyond the ASEAN region. “Achieving Target 11 Is also achieving multiple benefits, including various Sustainable Development Goals and puts us towards the path of easily fulfilling other Aichi Targets as well, from Targets 5, 6, 7, 9. 10, 12, 13, 14 and 15. In addition to that, Parties to the CBD will also be in a position to fulfill other comments to other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), not limited to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but also UNFCCC and Paris Agreement, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and Ramsar Conventions,” she added. Learning from India and other environmental organizations Non-government organizations and other conservation organizations working on these areas were also invited to provide more details on these key elements of Target 11, aiming also to foster collaboration among these groups with the ASEAN Member States for scaled-up implementation up to 2020 of Target 11 measures. Participating organizations include the following: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF); The East Asian-Australian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP); Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC); Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB); Fauna and Flora International (FFI); Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR); and Rare Philippines. Dr. B. Meenakumari, Chairperson of the NBA India, shares their country’s progress in achieving global target on protected areas Dr. B. Meenakumari, Chairperson of the NBA India shared their country’s efforts in achieving Target 11. The sixth National Biodiversity Target (NBT 6) of India on Protected Areas states that: “Ecologically representative areas under terrestrial and inland water, and also coastal and marine zones, especially those of particular importance for species, biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved effectively and equitably, based on protected area designation and management and other area-based conservation measures and are integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes, covering over 20 percent of the geographic area of the country, by 2020.” “India has already surpassed the quantitative element of Aichi target 11 as well as the NBT since it already has declared protected areas that comprise 27 percent of its total geographical area,” she shared. Mr. Sarat Babu Gidda, Senior Programme Management Officer of the SCBD emphasized the importance of working together towards the achievement of conservation targets. “We cannot move forward if we pull our carts in different directions. Through this workshop, let us pinpoint the specific actions being implemented by each country geared towards the achievement of Target 11. Let us also identify gaps to see if all of us can come together to address these gaps,” he said. Why increase the number of protected areas? Protected areas provide a wide range of social, environmental, and economic benefits to people and communities worldwide. Establishment of protected areas is a tried and tested approach, which has been particularly applied by indigenous peoples and local communities for centuries, to conserve nature and associated cultural resources. More than instruments for conserving nature, protected areas are vital for responding to some of the world’s most pressing challenges, including food and water security, human health and well-being, disaster risk reduction, and climate change. Despite the ecological, cultural, and economic importance of services provided by protected areas, ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpins them are still being degraded and lost at an unprecedented scale. The total economic value of ecosystem services is estimated at tens of trillions of dollars every year, far larger than the global gross domestic product.  However, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment estimates that 60 percent of these services are being degraded or used unsustainably with up to 70 percent of global ecosystems’ regulating services (affecting floods, climate, water quality, and others) and cultural services (including recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual benefits) currently in decline. There are approximately 200,000 protected areas in the world.  However, these protected areas do not adequately cover all ecosystems, habitats, and species important for conservation. While 14.6 percent of the Earth’s land surface are declared protected areas, only less than one percent of the world’s marine ecosystems are protected. Other biomes, including major freshwater ecosystems and grasslands, are poorly represented since these ecosystem types are usually accounted as part of terrestrial protected areas. This highlights the urgent need to improve coverage and representativeness of protected areas nationally, regionally, and globally. For more information about biodiversity in the ASEAN region, log on to www.aseanbiodiversity.org. ___________________________________________________________________ The ACB was established in 2005 by the ASEAN Member States as a response to biodiversity loss in the region. The Centre supports and coordinates the implementation of activities in the ASEAN leading to the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, for the benefit of the region and the AMS. The ACB is one of EAAFP Partners and joined in 2014.

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