The International Symposium on the Hwaseong Wetlands took place on May 11-13 in Hwaseong City, Republic of Korea with the theme “Designing for Hope: Lives, Livelihoods, and the Hwaseong Wetlands”. The symposium was held in pursuit of discussing and developing plans and designs aimed at the wise and sustainable use of the Hwaseong Wetlands which has great ecological, economic, social, and cultural benefits. Hwaseong City is looking forward to the next steps for Hwaseong Wetlands to be designated as an appropriately managed national Wetland Protected Area in 2020 and as a Ramsar site in 2021 at the Ramsar convention.
Mr. Pete Probasco, the Chair of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), presented the congratulatory remark at the opening ceremony of the symposium. He expressed appreciation to Hwaseong City on their significant efforts to protect the habitats of migratory waterbirds and the remarkable progress of better design for the Hwaseong wetlands since the designation as one of the EAAFP Flyway Network Sites on the last Partners of Meeting (MOP10) in Hainan, China. Highlighting the importance of wetland habitats and migratory waterbirds, he also said that EAAFP will support building up the momentum of Hwaseong City’s wetlands and waterbirds protection.
Ms. Reiko Iitsuka, the Senior Advisor for Asia-Oceania of the Secretariat of Ramsar Convention made another congratulatory remark. The Ramsar Secretariat delivered appreciation to Hwaseong City for its commitment to Hwaseong wetlands protection and emphasized the importance of seeking harmonized and sustainable management with local communities. The Ramsar Secretariat is looking forward to working closely with Hwaseong City in the designation of Hwaseong wetlands as a Ramsar Site.
After the congratulatory remarks, Professor Lei Guangchun, the advisor of EAAFP Science Unit presented a key-note speech on “Eco-civilization and Wetland Conservation”. Following sessions were about designing and management of wetlands in harmony with local residents and the participatory case studies to protect wetlands. There was also a discussion session with the local community of Hwaseong City.