• 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.

    Continue reading
  • 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.

    Continue reading
  • Farewell to Programme Assistant Mijin

    Written by Mijin Park   ⓒ Hyeseon / EAAFP Secretariat   It was my pleasure to work in EAAFP Secretariat. I would like to mention three impressive things that I have experienced here. I enjoyed birdwatching a lot. Together with other staffs, we went to several places for birdwatching like Namdong, Sorae, and Gojan. I could see real life outdoors. Photographer Eugene and previous officer Tomoko taught me how to identify migratory birds and count them as monitoring. Not only in Songdo but also in Cheorwon, I was filled with joy to see graceful red-crowned cranes and white-naped cranes. Deep emotion I felt while watching those living creatures in naked eyes will last long in my entire life. These experiences influenced me a lot, so I decided to keep concerning conservation issues during my master course. Secondly, when I collided with some difficulties, my colleagues kindly helped me to find the way to overcome it. I feel highly thankful to all of colleagues and would like to continuously keep in touch with together. In particular, I was a bit worried about communicating in English, because I had never worked internationally before. However, all staffs were thoughtful and gave me some time to adjust myself to new working environment. As a result, I was able to have a conversation with participants during the World Migratory Bird Day events. I exchanged some of name cards and had close relationship later on. Recently, I feel I am improved in communication skills because I was relieved when I shared a lecture on ecology in front of our staff members. This cannot be realized without kind colleagues. Finally, I could get a chance to learn various programs such as ArcGIS and Adobe Illustrator. In addition, it was my first time to experience Google Calendar, Outlook, Doodle, Flickr and Twitter. Through managing these channels, I realized that proper documentation is important to deliver any messages. In scattered state, nobody can grasp the meaning. Therefore, wherever I go or work, I am willing to produce clearer images and eye-catching phrases. In conclusion, I got a great opportunity in EAAFP Secretariat. I would like to support the Secretariat further even though I leave my position. Thank you all for your kind consideration!

    Continue reading
  • Far Eastern Curlew Conservation – Project Update

    A group of volunteers assisting with habitat restoration on Comerong Island, NSW For the past year Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has been leading an innovative project engaging communities along the east coast of Australia in conserving the critically endangered Far Eastern Curlew, the largest shorebird in the world. Titled Community Conservation of Far Eastern Curlew, the project includes habitat restoration, monitoring, and education. At the end of Year 1, the project has made significant progress in building community understanding and conservation of Eastern Curlew and other migratory shorebirds. CVA has engaged volunteers in habitat restoration at the five project locations in Towra Point Nature Reserve (Sydney NSW), Moreton Bay and the Broadwater (South East QLD), Hunter Estuary (Newcastle NSW), Shoalhaven Heads (Nowra NSW), and Casuarina Coastal Reserve (Darwin NT). Key achievements in the first year include: Engaging 419 individuals in the project, including 15 Indigenous Australians, with 320 people participating more than once. Undertaking 20 community shorebird surveys, adding 2,376 bird observation records to the Australian Living Atlas covering 107 species. Hosting community awareness events at each location and connecting with local partner organizations Completing 55 on-ground team days over the five locations, controlling weeds and mangroves and removing 2 tonnes of marine debris. The full report on Year 1 of the project is available to download here (link to PDF) And you can read an earlier project update here CVA Eastern Curlew project update July 2018 final And, this is a promotional video of Conservation Volunteers Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EYwMLba75Y&authuser=0   Written by Louise Duff, Program Manager of Wetlands Catchments Coasts Conservation Volunteers Australia Photo credit to Conservation Volunteers      

    Continue reading
  • World Migratory Bird Day Event 2018 – Mongolia

    Mongolian World Migratory Bird Day 2018 ©Mongolian Ornithological Society   Event title:World Migratory Bird Day Event 2018 Organizer:Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mongolian, Mongolian Ornithological Society Sponsor: East – Asian Australasian Flway Partnership (EAAFP) – 2018 WMBD Small Grant ProgrammeClean energy LLC, Administration of the Buuntsagaan-Orog Basin and Mongolica Co.Ltd Participants: 418 people including students from schools/university, teachers or parents, researchers, scientists, birdwatchers, and site managers for flyway site and wetlands Outcome: -Hosting “Migratory Bird Day 2018” art contest between 9 th grades students from 58 th, 71nd (in Ulaanbaatar) and 7th of T. Bor and Dream 6th (in Umnugobi province, Tsogtsetsii soum) schools.-A field trip of participants by Environment Tourism Department in Bayankhongor province, Honkhor Photographic Association, teacher and Eco clubs students in Baatsagaan Soum, Jinst Soum, and Bogd Soum. -Provided latest-updated news and information on migratory birds to the particiants -Education on participants about a comprehensive understanding and training on field trips, using research equipment, reading guide books, visit artwork and photography exhibitions, watch documentaries and visit museums. -One of the most notable accomplishments from the event was seeing parents enjoy a fun-filled weekend with their children while learning about nature conservation. Summary: With slogan,“ Unifying our voices for Birds conservation” this year WMBD was celebrated by Mongolian Ornithological Society and Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Mongolia with financial support from EAAFP, Clean Energy LLC, Administration of the Buuntsagaan-Orog Basin and Mongolica Co.Ltd on 27 April, 08 and 12 May, 2018. The event consist of several contents including bird identification training, birding activities, lectures and art contest. We gave introductory presentations on migratory birds at each school (once for each group at each school, twice total at each school) before announcing the competition criteria.  An Art Contest-Migratory birds 2018 (Part-1:Ulaanbaatar), G. Yusun-Erdene, student at 58th school, won first place, 58th school students Ulzii-Uchral, Shine-Od takes second place, 58th school students M. Lkhagva-Erdene takes third place. An Art Contest-Migratory birds 2018 (Part-2: Umnugobi), B. Narangarav, student at 6th school (Dream), won first place, 7th school (T.Bor) students T. Bat-Erdene takes second place, 6th school (Dream) students D. Undarmaa takes third place. The artwork competition among high school students was organized with the collaboration and in accordance with permission granted by the school principal and teachers. The artwork competition instills nature appreciation in children and allows students to got a better understanding of not only birds, but the environment and the living organisms inhabiting and benefitting from the nature. Birdwatching trip was organized to Nogoon Lake in outskirts of Ulaanbaatar and near Lake of Umnugobi, Buuntsagaan lake of Bayankhongor with a group of about more than 410 participants from secondary schools, universities, local NGOs, tour companies and government. Lectures and seminars about migratory birds and their conservation activities were given to the participants in the Freshwater Resources and Nature Conservation Center. After lunch, participants enjoyed exhibition of artworks from the Migratory Birds Art Contest.   For more photographs, visit our Flickr album.

    Continue reading
  • Yeongjong Migratory Birds and Mudflats Event 2018

    Participants holding the placard “Our Pride, Yeongjongdo Tidal Flat” ©Jung-bu Ilbo On 2nd June, EAAFP staff members participated in Yeongjong (Incheon) Migratory Birds and Mudflats Event as a sponsor. Starting from 2016, it was held the third time this year and co-organized by Incheon Bridge Co., Ltd, Green Incheon (Local NGO), and ii-rang which is a center for ecological education in Republic of Korea, with the purpose of sharing the ecological importance in Yeongjong Island and Incheon. In the morning, 150 young participants who applied the programme in advance explored mudflats and birdwatching with mudflat guides. Children’s laughter continued whenever they were walking in mudflat and found creatures like macrophthalmus, lugworms in the area. Mudflat guide said, “Guys, look at the Heron over there, they are waiting for us to leave because here are their habitats with plenty of their foods, so please let the creatures back to the mudflat for themselves and birds.” After the field experience in mudflat, they washed their feet and headed to watch the birds with telescope. In the afternoon, the second session began with taking an oath from two Korean kids for conserving the mudflats and protecting nature. Each person from sponsors and organizations co-organized this event delivered a welcoming speech. Mr. Suhong Kim, CEO of Incheon bridge Co., Ltd, said he expected for future generation to find the importance of sustainable development through this event, and to find the importance of Mudflat area as well. Also, Mr. Lew Young, Chief Executive of EAAFP, welcomed children by asking “what did you do(see) in Mudflat today?” firstly. With active answers from passionate kids, he stressed the importance of mudflats as habitat for birds and migratory birds. Lew Young, Chief Executive of EAAFP ©Minshil/EAAFP Children also enjoyed activities by joining OX environmental quizzes and visiting various booths including photography exhibition of mudflat and migratory birds, face-painting, coloring eco-bag, making own badge, and so on. Despite strong sun-shine, there were a lot of people lining up in front of each booth for activities. It was great time for public awareness about how Incheon Mudflat is important and beautiful it is. While there are still many things to do to ensure the future of migratory birds dependant on the Yeongjongdo, today is a great start to inform people to do an action.   For more photo, click here      

    Continue reading
  • Farewell to Programme Assistant Danhak

    WMBD Seminar preparation with previous interns Written by Danhak Gu What I learned during my internship at the EAAFP is that communication is important. Through working with people with different backgrounds I was able to learn how to communicate better with one another. For example, when one unexpected task was given to me, I spoke to Tomoko and talked about my thoughts and difficulties. The reason I could do so was that she was a great listener, encouraging and was showing respect to all staff members. I was given a very good advice, was able to become more positive and even got my work reallocated. It made me realize that showing respect and care is very important communication skill, and I was encouraged to be an encouraging person to our staff members and future interns. Second of all, I was surprised to see the level of efforts that the EAAFP has made towards the conservation of Flyway sites in DPR Korea. During my internship period, the DPR Korea became the 36th Member to the Partnership. Followingly the office closely worked with other international and national organizations for cooperation. While supporting the office in organizing associated events such as a DPRK briefing session, I was really able to see the big picture of the EAAFP’s overall mission and realized that this can greatly contribute not only to conservation of migratory waterbirds and habitats, but also to promoting peace and even to unification of the two Koreas. Last but not the least, I am very grateful and happy about the fact that I learned about our winged friends and their habitats. In addition to the daily office work, I had several chances to join birdwatching activities and conservation campaigns held in Incheon and Cheolwon[EAAFP027]. It allowed me to understand over watching many of migratory waterbirds such as Black-faced Spoonbill, and Cranes. I visited National Institute of Ecology in Seocheon, learning about our beautiful mother nature; and participate in conservation workshops, seeing great cooperation from all over the world. Overall, I really learned and realized a lot during my 6-month internship. I do believe this opportunity of working as an intern of the EAAFP Secretariat was a great stepping stone as both personal development-wise and knowledge-wise. Photo Credit to Eugene Cheah / EAAFP

    Continue reading
  • International Workshop and Training on the Conservation of the Intertidal Wetlands of Yellow/West Sea

    The Venue of the Yellow/West Sea Working Group's 2nd Workshop The Yellow/West Sea Working Group successfully held its 2nd workshop on 9 July in Shanghai (China), with representatives from the governments of China, DPR Korea and RO Korea, as well as supporters such as international organizations, NGOs and other experts, to discuss future cooperation for the conservation of the Yellow/West Sea coastal wetlands and tidal flats. The workshop began with validating the Terms of Reference of the Working Group and identifying the members from each country. This was followed by a presentation on the conservation of the tidal flats of the Waddensea between the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, as a case study of tri-lateral cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of coastal wetlands for the benefit of local people and the environment. Ms. PANG Un-Gyong (Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, DPR Korea) delivering a presentation   The workshop also heard updates from representatives of the three Yellow/West Sea countries about the status of their coastal wetlands and steps being taken to conserve and restore them. These were also updates on progress with the designation of World Heritage Sites along the coastal wetlands of China and the RO Korea, and the work of the UNDP-GEF Yellow Sea Large Marine Ecosystem projects in conserving the Yellow Sea ecosystem. There were positive discussions during and along the sidelines of the workshop about possible areas of future cooperation, such as on the sharing of good practices for policy, site management and education and public awareness. We now look forward to the next meeting in early 2019. Photo Credit to Lew Young / EAAFP Secretariat    

    Continue reading
  • R.O. Korea to Restore 3㎢ of Tidal Flats from 2019-2023 at an annual cost of KRW 19.5 billion

    Translated by EAAFP Secretariat Original article:  5년간 갯벌 3㎢ 복원, 연간 195억 원 갯벌가치 되살린다   - The Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries established ‘Mid and Long-Term Ocean Restoration Plan (2019-2023)' - On 9th July, the Minister of the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries (Mr. Young-Choon Kim) announced the ‘Mid and Long-Term Ocean Restoration Plan for 2019 - 2023’ that will expand the target area for tidal flat restoration projects, the reinforcement of project management system and enlarge the incentive in restored area to revive the value of tidal flats. The project will focus on the restoration of abandoned tidal flats, such as salt pan or fish farms, and will also recover the old and severed mudflat channels which, for example, have been cut off by bridges. The project will also prepare and distribute technical guidelines for standardized restoration projects to drastically reduce trial and errors that may occur in future projects. In 2010, the restoration project for tidal flat ecosystem was initiated but without a mid or long-term plan. As a result, the project ended with only nine sites being restored over a nine year period, covering 1.08㎢ of tidal flat and 3.4㎞ of tidal flat waterway. As a result, it was hard to feel the effects of the restoration project. Also, the project’s characteristics combined with various elements such as marine ecology, marine resources and civil engineering techniques made it difficult to design projects, execute construction projects, and secure budgets. In addition, some local governments were reluctant to carry out the project due to insufficient incentives for the area concerned. Under the new Plan, the Ministry included the mid-term plan for the new tidal flats restoration project to improve the proposed defects in the previous project and to vitalize the project more. According to the project plan, the Ministry will restore 23 tidal flats from 2019 to 2023 at an annual cost of (19.5 billion Won). Among them, 14 restoration projects will be completed by 2023, covering 3 square kilometers of tidal flats and 3 kilometers of tidal flat waterways. Restoration work on another nine sites will be completed by 2024-2025. The project will also promote sustainable tidal flat fishery and boost local customized ecotourism through branding the restored tidal flats that will benefit the local residents. Mr. Myoung, Ro-hyun (Director, Marine Ecology Division) said that, “By implementing the mid and long-term plan without any disruptions, we will revive the tidal flats by providing an average of 19.5 billion Won per year. It will be of help for the local economy as the enhancement of tidal flats, the fishery and ecotourism are expected by returning restored tidal flats to local people.” Meanwhile, the Ministry is in the process of legislating ‘Act on Sustainable Management and Restoration of Tidal Flats’ to maintain, restore, and use tidal flats with diverse functions and values, including the promotion of public awareness on tidal flats, designation of clean (uncontaminated) tidal flats, pollution purification, and restoration. Target Area List for Restoration Plan [Type of restoration] Mudflat restoration: restoration of mudflats left as abandoned salt pans or aquaculture farms by breaking dykes Seawater circulation (A): restoration of mudflats isolated by roads or bridges Seawater circulation (B): restoration of mudflats which have low rate of seawater circulation by structures such abolished seawall

    Continue reading
  • Developing Waterbirds and Habitats Database of China’s Coasts Project

    ⓒEAAFP On 27 June 2018, Dr. Lew Young, the Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat attended the project meeting of the “Developing Waterbirds and Habitats Database of China’s Coast”. From 2014-2015, the Paulson Institute carried out the important China Coastal Blueprint Project to review the status of China coastal wetlands along the Bohai and Yellow Seas, and to give recommendations on the way forward for the conservation of these wetlands. The project was funded by the Lao Niu Foundation and the Paulson Institute, and the EAAFP was one of the members of the project Steering Committee. The Blueprint Project identified the problem of a lack of long-term data on waterbirds use of the wetlands along the Bohai and Yellow Sea coast which could be used to distinguish further areas for conservation. Therefore, a follow-up project was developed to produce an online application where information on waterbirds count and distribution along the Bohai and Yellow Sea coast can be recorded by interested birdwatchers. The project would be conducted by the Institute of Geographical Science and Natural Resources, Chinese Academy of Science. The project period is from March 2018 to December 2019.

    Continue reading