Minseon Kim, Program Officer
The first workshop on Yellow Sea Ecosystem Conservation was held at the National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea in Seocheon on 15 December 2015. It was organised by the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries (MOF), the Ornithological Society of Korea, Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), Korea Institute of Environmental Ecology and Green Wetland Education. The workshop brought together key Korean partners, central and local governments, technical experts, NGOs and citizens closely engaged in intertidal mudflat conservation, especially for endangered species of coastal and marine wildlife such as Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-faced Spoonbill. Considering the rapid loss of coastal habitat in the Yellow Sea and the sharp decline in populations of endangered species of migratory shorebirds, the workshop provided a good opportunity to propose a strategy and priorities for urgent conservation actions at national level. During the workshop, participants at a discussion session shared challenges and problems at site and national levels that they face to conserve mudflats. Several emphasised that sharing information and improved collaboration is urgently needed. Before closing, Director Sung-jun Park from the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries announced a declaration for coastal wetland conservation in South Korea. Key mudflat conservation activities are being planned for 2016.