Celebrating World Wetlands Day in Boseong, Ro Korea

©️ EAAFP Secretariat

The year 2021 was a great year for Tidal Flats in Ro Korea, as four Tidal flats in Ro Korea were inscribed as UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site (WHS), after over 10 long years of preparations by the Ro Korean government, various experts, organizations and civil society. To recognize this momentous achievement, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Ro Korea, and Boseong County hosted an event on 22nd April 2022 as an extension of their celebrations for World Wetlands Day 2022 with the theme, “Looking at the future of Wetlands in the World through the Tidal Flats of Korea.”

Event hall ©️ EAAFP Secretariat

Opening and congratulatory remarks were given at the official ceremony by Mr. Jae-in Moon, the President of Ro Korea, Mr. Seong-hyeok Moon, the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Mr. Bernard Baerends, the Executive Secretary to the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, Dr. Dindo Campilan, Director of the IUCN Asia Regional Office in Bangkok, Mr Woo Yook Park, the Deputy Governor of Boseong-gun.  EAAFP Chief Executive, Doug Watkins also gave his congratulatory speech.  He congratulated the WHS inscription of Korean Tidal Flats and celebrated all the effort that was put into the process of inscribing Korean Tidal Flats as a WHS. It also put focus on the importance of collaboration, both local and international, in the step forward for the conservation of wetlands and migratory birds.

Watch the recording of the event which was livestreamed on Youtube:

In parallel to the ceremony, a booth for EAAFP was set up by Communication Team of EAAFP Secretariat. Various local participants came to the booth and left encouraging messages for migratory waterbirds on the “Our Winged Travelers” sheets. White birds carrying the messages filled the booth wall as many eventgoers left encouraging messages for migratory birds and wetlands. The EAAFP publications such as EAAFP species factsheets, EAAFP Brochure, and FSN Leaflet were also popular amongst the participants.

The event was a success with roughly 200 local participants joining the event to celebrate. There are hopes that the event helped generate interest amongst the public to create safe havens for migratory shorebirds and protect wetland

Participants writing messages on “Our Winged Travelers” sheets at the EAAFP Booth

Messages from participants written on “Our Winged Travelers” sheets ©️ EAAFP Secretariat

Apart from attending the event, members of the secretariat also visited the Boseong-Goheung area to see the part of newly inscribed wetland WHS and the potential sites in the vicinity. The first site was Sangjin port, a beautiful spread of tidal flat with a grey cement dock to complete the rustic look. The flat was decorated with colorful fishing boats scattered about the entire area and little dots of white, brown and black – waterbirds; the group spotted a few Black-faced Spoonbill, egrets, cormorants and herons. The site was abundant with mudskippers and small crabs, a great food source for migratory waterbirds. From the Sangjin site, the group moved to Deukryangman Pier. Located in Goheung county, it was raised as a potential WHS extension site. Deukryangman Pier cuts between two Tidal Flat areas, the Goheung Tidal Flat and Boseong Tidal Flat, with one site on each side. Again the site had an abundance of mudskippers and small crabs evident by the joyous popping sounds they made.

Sangjin Port ©️ Yoomi Sim/EAAFP Secretariat

Sangjin Port ©️ Yoomi Sim/EAAFP Secretariat

On the morning of the second day, all participants visited the Boseong Tidal Flat (WHS). With an overhead bridge drawing the boundary between the two sections, the Tidal Flat consisted of both, the section that was inscribed as a WHS, and the section that was not inscribed but is currently up for discussion as a potential WHS extension site. A few egrets and herons were sighted at the site, but there were no migratory shorebirds.

Deukrangman Pier ©️ EAAFP Secretariat

With WHS phase 2 nominations next in line as tasks to complete for the Korean Government,  EAAFP  would continue supporting our various partners in our mission to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the Flyway.

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