In the East Asian – Australasian Flyway there are nine species of cranes. Six of them are globally threatened. Cheorwon Basin, one of East Asian – Australasian Flyway Sites (EAAF 027), is an international major wintering sites where seven species of cranes are recorded. In addition, 800~ 900 Red-crowned Cranes (EN) and 4,000~ 5,000 White-naped Cranes (VU) stays each year with increasing population.
Because of the importance of the site to the cranes, an international workshop for the conservation of crane habitats was held in Cheorwon, Republic of Korea, during 21 – 23 Oct 2018. The workshop was co-organized successfully by International Crane Foundation (ICF), Cheorwon County and the Cheorwon Crane Committee with more than 100 participants from local people, farmers and experts.
On the first day, there was a workshop on the conservation of cranes with local NGO’s and invited participants at a visitor center called Crane Peace Town. During the workshop, Dr. George Archibald, the co-founder of the ICF, illustrated the previous activities in Korean peninsula on the protection for Crane together with the local communities. Mr. Spike Millington, the vice president of ICF, described the cases of habitat conservation and importance of Cheorwon for Crane. Mr. Ik-Tae Jin, the Chairman of Cheorwon Crane Committee explained what and how the local farmers did to feed the cranes during winter time. Dr. Choi Hyun-ah of the Hanns-Seidel-Foundation (HSF) and Professor Jong-Ryol Chong of Korea University in Tokyo demonstrated the efforts and support for restoration of the Crane population in the Anbyon, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Mr. Dong-koo Yun, Deputy Chief Executive of EAAFP attended the workshop and discussed the potential cooperation with the EAAFP to support the conservation activities in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
In the morning of the second day, participants went for crane birding at Tokyo Reservoir and the field in vicinity including Ice-cream Hills. After that, an international workshop was held in the afternoon. Due to the fact that agricultural area is the main habitat that cranes use, there was a discussion session on the agenda of agricultural policy in cooperation with cranes conservation. Moreover, the topic of tourism to help sustainable development for the Cheorwon district was brought to the discussion table. Cheorwon County also shared the progress of the establishment of an International Crane Center in this region. It’s been informed that this discussion of the overall conservation of cranes in Cheorwon is ongoing with the central government including the Ministry of Environment in Republic of Korea.