Under the project of ‘Collaboration for the Conservation of the Hwaseong Wetlands 2021’, the EAAFP Secretariat has been collaborating with the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM) of Hwaseong to raise awareness for citizens in Hwaseong City, Ro Korea. The Hwaseong Wetlands Civic Forum is one of the CEPA activities organized by KFEM Hwaseong, with the support of the EAAFP Secretariat and the Hwaseong Eco Foundation. Before the International Symposium for the Hwaseong Wetlands held on 26th Nov, this forum served to increase the understanding of the importance of Hwaseong wetlands, its importance, and management needs to the citizens, and to bring the opinions from the citizens to the discussion table of the Symposium.
The forum was held virtually (live-streamed on YouTube) on 1st October, under the theme “Share Benefits of the Hwaseong Wetlands with Everyone”, and aim to explore practical methods for coexisting with people and the wetlands.
The forum was arranged with two main pillars: Session 1-keynote speeches by three experts; session 2 – discussion with local citizens. In session 1, it seems like knowledge sharing and understanding of how we conserved the Hwaseong Wetlands. Dr. Chanhyeok Ji, from Wetland Link International Korea, presented the benefits of wetlands and how we balance development and conservation. He pointed out the importance of cooperation with local citizens and cooperating with the governments. He also explained that ‘communication’ of the Ramsar Convention means a process of solving conflicts. To conserve the wetlands, local citizens are also required to help governments and build a long-term plan by expressing their opinions. Dr. Incheol Kim from Jeonnam Dongbu District Society Institute presented the history of Suncheon Bay.
Ms. Vivian Fu, Communication Officer of the EAAFP Secretariat, presented about ‘Wetlands and Migratory Waterbirds’, explaining the coexisting of migratory waterbirds and wetlands. For that, she focused on the importance of high tide roosting sites for shorebirds, which is an issue of concern for the Hwaseong Wetlands, where the city would like to designate as a national inland protected area of RO Korea. She also shared good practices from the EAA Flyway.
In the discussion session, several important points were raised, including how the local communities can earn and benefit from the Hwaseong Wetlands and the necessity of identifying the wetlands’ boundaries in regards to the need of local communities. All these were brought to further discussion at the International Symposium for the Hwaseong Wetlands in November.
Watch the recording of the Forum