On December 11, 2020, the EAAFP Secretariat held its first “YSFAC-EAAFP Joint Capacity Building Seminar” with Yeonsu Foundation for Arts and Culture (YSFAC) at the Incheon Art Plug, Republic of Korea. This event was jointly held to build capacity and share knowledge among YSFAC and EAAFP Secretariat’s staff members.
YSFAC is a non-profit public organization established in November 2019 and funded by Yeonsu-gu local government. It mainly aims to make Yeonsu district a cultural city and promote diverse creative activities for citizens. YSFAC has also been interested in the protection of the environment and migratory waterbirds.
“EAAFP and YSFAC have continued the preliminary meetings prior to this seminar. We hope today’s meeting provides a space for discussing further plans at the executive level,” said Ms. Jin Kyung Yoon, Team Leader of the Cultural Project Team of YSFAC.
After the greeting, a presentation by Mr. Doug Watkins, a Chief Executive of the EAAFP Secretariat, followed.
Mr. Watkins presented the objectives of EAAFP, the status of partners, Flyway Network Site (FNS), and the key species in the EAA Flyway. He also introduced some internationally significant habitats for migratory waterbirds located in Incheon such as Songdo tidal flat [EAAF145] and Namdong reservoir.
In the end, Mr. Watkins explained how the EAAFP’s activities can be linked to cultural and artistic activities using the example of the World Migratory Bird Day.
Mr. Young Jeong Park, a President of YSFAC, made a presentation on “The Flow of South Korea’s Cultural Policy”. He presented the overall evolution process of Korean cultural policy and introduced the strategic plans and main programs of YSFAC.
Mr. Park also suggested the roadmap of the cooperative project, which has the core value of understanding migratory waterbirds, ecology, and the environment, and promoting them through cultural projects to enhance public awareness.
To comply with the government’s COVID-19 policy, only the minimum number of staff from each organization participated on site. Other staff joined the seminar through an online live platform and raised questions.
“We are facing difficulties in carrying out activities due to COVID-19. We would like to know how YSFAC has changed their business plan to cope with the pandemic,” asked a staff member from EAAFP Secretariat.
“In the case of art and culture, it is important to communicate consistently even if they cannot meet each other. In this situation, we are working to conduct un-tact activities using various media channels,” Mr. Park answered.
“The ecological education program with local schools is likely to be one of the great elements of collaboration with EAAFP. How can we proceed with this?,” asked another staff member from the EAAFP Secretariat.
“Yeonsu districts have ecologically important sites, and we aim to enable our citizens to advance their knowledge about biodiversity through education programs. /a summer camp or ecological art education program can be an example,” Mr. Park answered.
After the seminar, a high-level meeting between the two organizations followed.
From YSFAC, Mr. Young Jeong Park (President), Ms. Go Eun Yim (Director), Ms. Jin Kyung Yoon (Head of Cultural Project Team), Mr. Gu-seop Jeong (Deputy General Manager) participated. From EAAFP, Mr. Doug Watkins (Chief Executive), Ms. Yoon Lee (External Relations Manager), Ms. Vivian Fu (Communication Officer) participated. Mr. Dongkoo Yoon, a Deputy Director of Incheon City Environmental Policy Division also participated.
Prior to the full-scale discussion, Mr. Gu-seop Jeong reported the results of preliminary working level-meetings. Several ideas had been discussed at the previous meetings that include the collaboration projects with artists on the theme of environment and migratory waterbirds, the small grant project, and the camp and education program based on World Migratory Bird Day.
YSFAC suggested the projects of ecological environment education while emphasizing that they have interested in tidal flats, migratory waterbirds, and ecological factors. EAAFP also agreed that it is important to educate citizens and raise awareness for more consistent interest in migratory waterbirds and their habitats.
“Through this seminar, we were able to grasp the key missions of both organizations. Even after the seminar, discussions should be continued to turn the ideas into full-fledged cooperative projects” said Ms. Yoon Lee, an External Relations Manager of EAAFP Secretariat.