Nine years of successfull cooperationSince 2009, the Wadden Sea countries and Korea have been cooperating to enhance awareness for the protection of tidal flat ecosystems worldwide
The Korean tidal flats and the Wadden Sea belong to the worldwide largest and most important coastal tidal flat ecosystems. Therefore, there is mutual interest in supporting each other in the protection of these ecosystems and exchange of experiences in management, monitoring and research.
Below is a summary of the work done in the framework of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Korea and the Wadden Sea on conservation and management of tidal flats. The MoU was concluded at the International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium in Wilhelmshaven in March 2009.
Almost 240 experts have participated in the exchange since then which has invovled in total over 2,100 persons at both sites. The MoU has raised the profile of both areas regarding protection of tidal flats nationally and internationally, underlined the necessity to provide scientific knowledge for management, strengthened the capacity for communication and education, and provided many valuable examples for practitioners which they can apply at their site.
December 2017: Workshop on building Getbol Brand, Seoul, Korea
The two-day international workshop on "Building brand value for Marine Protected Areas with local communities" was organized by the Local Marine Protected Area Centers Network, Eco-Horizon Institute and hosted by the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries, Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM) in Seoul on 5 - 6 December 2017. The overall objective was to develop a MPA pride campaign based on the local MPA centre network, and, ultimately, to establish a systematic conservation and management system for MPAs and to realize support by residents through activation in a win-win strategy.
The workshop discussed the ways to apply the field-based "MPA brand value" in order to increase the acceptance of the MPA designation, and to enhance the brand value through a pride campaign amongst local residence.
Participants of the workshop represented local MPA management committees, the MPA centre network, local NGOs and communities. Sjon de Haan (Dutch World Heritage Facilitator) and Joke Pouliart (National Park Partner and travel agent) from the Wadden Sea presented the experience in the use of the Wadden Sea World Heritage brand in communication and marketing, and how to connect local entrepreneurs with theses brand value.
November 2017: Side Event of Climate Change COP 23, Bonn, Germany
This week, tens of thousands of national delegates and other participants are converging on Bonn for the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) used the opportunity and organized a side event titled “Collaboration in Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation” on 7 November 2017 at the conference grounds. The 90-minute event was held in cooperation with the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM), the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) and Climate Planning Australia.
“Coastal habitats across the globe are facing similar threats”, stated Rüdiger Strempel, CWSS Executive Secretary and the event’s moderator. “There is a lot to learn from each other, which is one of the reasons why we use the Wadden Sea’s World Heritage title to connect with other regions of the world. With this side event we wanted to stress the importance of knowledge exchange in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation.” The Wadden Sea World Heritage already cooperates closely with the authorities of the Banc d’Arguin in Mauretania, another key site on the East Atlantic Flyway, as well as with the Republic of Korea.
The audience of 40 heard presentations from Donovan Burton, of Climate Planning, Australia, who highlighted the economic risks of climate change arising from the threats to human settlements along the coast, from Ms Suk-Hui Lee of the Korea Marine Environment Management Corporation (KOEM) and Mr. Heung-Sik Park of the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) on the Korean Blue Carbon approach and its application in salt marsh management and restoration and from Mr. Jacobus Hofstede, of the Ministry for Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment, Nature and Digitalization of the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein on the climate change adaptation strategy for the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea.
The presentations are available for download at the COP 23 website
September 2017: Wadden Sea experts participated at Jeju Global World Heritage Forum
At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Korea and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, a four-person delegation from the Wadden Sea took part in the Jeju World Heritage Global Forum on 11-14 September 2017. The World Heritage experts were asked to present the case of the Wadden Sea as a best practice example. The Forum was part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Jeju Volcanic Island & Lava Tubes World Heritage Site. Among the participants were representatives from UNESCO, IUCN and Ramsar.
At the Forum, Wadden Sea scientists Martin Baptist and Burghard Flemming (photos below) as well as CWSS Deputy Executive Secretary Harald Marencic presented the Wadden Sea, its nomination as a World Heritage site as well as the trilateral cooperation. The experts were invited to share their knowledge and experience on the nomination process in view of the current nomination process for the Getbol Archipelago, a tidal flat area on the Korean east coast. “We have a longstanding relationship with the Korean Ministry of Environment as well as the NGOs in the Getbol area”, says Marencic. “The fact that they would like us to be a vital part of their nomination process to become a World Heritage Site gives us a positive signal for our work in the Wadden Sea.”
Jeju Island is located south of the Korean peninsula. It was created by volcanic activities, which can be easily seen today because of the lava tubes, oreums, exposed depositions and volcanoes. For its geological significance and natural beauty, parts of the island were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007. As the Wadden Sea World Heritage will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019, CWSS Communications Officer Annika Bostelmann took good note of how the island celebrated its nomination.
Anja Szczesinski, coordinator of the International Wadden Sea School, and Bostelmann further delivered vital input at the workshop “Toward the Establishment of the UNESCO Global Center for Research and Training on Internationally Designated Areas” (photo below), conducted back-to-back with the anniversary celebration. Organised by WWF Korea, the Korean Ministry of the Environment and the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, the workshop aimed at collecting know-how and recommendations on a new Category 2 Centre to be opened on Jeju for training site managers of Multi-Internationally Designated Areas such as the Wadden Sea, of which areas are designated as Ramsar sites, World Heritage site, and Biosphere Reserves.
In parallel to the Forum and Workshop, the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves met at the same location. Among the participants was Jürgen Rahmel from the National Park Administration Wadden Sea Lower Saxony as representative of the Biosphere Reserve Wadden Sea Lower Saxony.
May 2017: Korean NGOs attended Scientific Symposium and visited Danish and German Wadden Sea
From 8 - 21 May, the Wadden Sea hosted a delegation of Korean environmental educationalists and visitor center managers. The goal of this visit was to observe various scales and types of operation and management of visitor centers in the Wadden Sea area and discuss with the Wadden Sea experts how to set up a citizen monitoring system for Korean tidal flats in order to enhance the copperation between managers, scientists and citizen in conservation of tidal flats.
The seven-headed Korean delegation was led by Ms Jiyoung Jang from the Eco-Horizin institute, who has already visited the Wattenmeer frequently in the past 10 years, and participated the 14th Interntional Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium in Tønder/Denmark from 9 -11 May.
After the symposium, they visited the Danish National Park on the island of Rømø (above) and continued their trip with a visit of the new Wadden Sea Centre in Vester Vedsted (below).
On 15 May, the group staid on the island of Sylt, where they visited the "Naturgewalten" in List, the "Arche Wattenmeer" in Hörnum (photo below ), where they got practical experience with the new "BeachExplorer" App, and the nature centre in Braderup with an outdoo field trip for approach how to deal with plastic waste.
The 16 May was dedicated to the Eiderstedt Peninsula, with visits of the NABU Centre Katinger Watt, a boat trip on the Eider, and a visit of the "Multimar Wattforum" in Tönning, This was followed by workshop on the 17 May at the National Park Haus in Husum to meet the NGO colleagues of the "Schutzstation Wattenmer" and the WWF. The visit in Schleswig-Holstein was concluded with a guided tour to the Westerhever tidal flats (photo below) and a meeting with the tourism and marketing organization in St. Peter Ording.
The following days, on 19 and 20 May, the Korean delegation visited the World Heritage Visitor Centre in Cuxhaven, and the National Park Information Centre Wittbülten on the island of Spiekeroog (photos below).
The Koreans were very impressed about the many topics which were addressed by the NGOs in the Wadden Sea information centres and their role in management, conservation and interpretation of World Heritage, and will continue the knowledge exchange in next year.
The visit was financed by the Korean Eco-Horizon institute and organizationally supported by the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, the Danish Wadden Sea National Park, the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, the WWF Wadden Sea Office, the Schutzstation Wattenmeer and the Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park, as well visitor centres in Denmark and Germany.
May 2017: Korean scientists presented Korean marine monitoring programme at the International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium
A delegation of the Korea Marine Environment Management Cooperation (KOEM) took part in the 14th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium. Ju-Young Lee, KOEM Assistant Manager, presented the Korean marine monitoring programme to more than 130 scientists from Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands.
“The multidisciplinary character of the symposium was fascinating to me”, says Byong-Seol Koh, Team Head and Senior Researcher at KOEM, “In our monitoring programme we worry about quality control and the connectivity of disciplines. So seeing so many scientists of different fields gather to discuss a common topic was very refreshing.” The symposium was held 8-11 May 2017 in Tønder, Denmark.
The delegation also met with representatives of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to discuss options for cooperation in the next few years. “Our partnership has come to a point where we can concentrate on learning from each other and growing together,” says Koh, “When I visited the Wadden Sea for the first time ten years ago, I needed time to understand the Wadden Sea landscape and the Trilateral Cooperation. Now I’ve come to understand the differences but also the similar problems of Getbol and the Wadden Sea. For example, in planning our national monitoring programme that we showcased at the symposium we took into account many aspects of the TMAP, the Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme.” Like the Wadden Sea, Getbol is an extensive tidal flat with high importance for migratory birds. The flat is located on the western and southern coasts of the Korean Peninsula.
From left to right: Dr. Harald Marencic (CWSS), Ju-Young Lee (KOEM), Byong-Seol Koh (KOEM), Rüdiger Strempel (CWSS), and Bernard Baerends (Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs). Photo: Bostelmann/CWSS
July 2016: Ganghwa County (Korea) visited the Wadden Sea
From 11 - 13 July, representatives of the Korean Ganghwa County (Korea) including the Ganghwa Governor Ms Sanb-bok Lee, visited the Wadden Sea in Schleswig-Holstein, as part of a visit to European nature conservation sites. They visited the Schleswig-Holstein National Park Administration in Tönning, the National Park Centre and WWF in Husum, and the Tourism and Marketing Organisation in St. Peter-Ording. Main topics discussed covered coastal defence and nature conservation, the World Heritage sustainable tourism strategy, and the national park partner programme.
The tidal flats of Ganghwa County (at the northwest coast of South Korea) is a hotspot for many resting birds, as well as rare birds such as Spoonbilled Sandpiper, and of global importance as part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Lying in the proximity of Seoul, the area is still under pressure regarding land reclamation and coastal industrialization.
July 2016: Korean National Park Service visited Danish and German Wadden Sea National Parks
From 3 - 6 July, representatives of the Korean National Park Service toured the Wadden Sea regaion and visited the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, and the German and Danish National Parks. Five managers of three coastal and marine Korean national parks met their Wadden Sea colleagues to learn more about the Wadden Sea approach to natural resource management including fisheries, zoning systems, restoration and conservation policies, and visitor management and information.
They also discussed how to enhance the exchange between the national parks in the Wadden Sea and in Korea.
June 2016: Korean Study Visit to the Wadden Sea
From 21 June – 1 July, the Wadden Sea hosted a delegation of Korean environmental educationalists, visitor center managers and representatives of local communities, as well as representatives of fisheries organizations. The goal of this visit was to observe various scales and types of operation and management of the visitor centers in the Wadden Sea area and to become acquainted with the program for environmental education. The inventory results will be used for building long-term relationships between the Wadden Sea and the Getbol (as the tidal flats are called in Korean).
As in previous years, the 10-day visit provided insights into the trilateral Wadden Sea cooperation with a special focus on Wadden Sea education and sustainable tourism development. Accompanied by Ms Ji-Young Jang from the Korean EcoHorizon Institute, who also organized the trip, the group toured from the island of Sylt to the island of Texel with stops in Niebüll, Husum (photo left), Tönning, St. Peter-Ording, Cuxhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Langeoog, Ameland and Texel. Visits to CWSS and numerous Wadden Sea information centers and the exchange of experience and ideas with colleagues from the International Wadden Sea School (IWSS) network gave the group a broad overview of the established practice and current activities in visitor information. Meetings with representatives from the regional and local tourism sector, insights into the National Park Partnership program and “testimonials” from partners involved, as well as first-hand experience of nature-friendly tourism illustrated the trilateral approach to sustainable tourism development in the Wadden Sea Region, allowing participants to experience the spirit of cooperation between the nature conservation and tourism sectors.
Visit of the island of Langeoog, Lower Saxony.
May 2016: Symposium on sustainable management of wetlands and eco-tourism
The symposium highlighted the global importance of the Wadden Sea and the Korean tidal flats.
Four representatives from the Wadden Sea were among the 80 experts who participated in the two-day symposium held on 19–20 May in Seocheon (Korea), back-to-back with the national celebration of World Wetlands Day on 21 May 2016. The first session of the symposium discussed ecosystem management and restoration, presenting practical examples from Korea and beyond, while the second session focused on the development of sustainable tourism.
The workshop was opened by Mr. Song Sang Keun, Director General at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF) of the Republic of Korea. Harald Marencic, Deputy Secretary of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS) delivered the first presentation, stating that “the Wadden Sea and the Korean tidal flats, the Getbol, are two of the largest coastal tidal flat ecosystems in the world, and their natural value is unique. Both are of immense importance for our global biodiversity and, at the same time, for the livelihoods of thousands of people.”
A major issue on the agenda was the decreasing trend in many species of migratory birds along both the East-Asian-Australasian Flyway and the East-Atlantic Flyway. The decrease is caused by loss of habitats, disturbance, flooding and increased predation. Klaus Günther (Schutzstation Wattenmeer, Germany) and Menno Hornman (Bird Research Netherlands, SOVON) presented research that confirms the declining trend among migratory and breeding birds in the Wadden Sea, mostly due to poor breeding success. In the Yellow Sea, over 30 migratory bird species have suffered from the results of land reclamation, some of them declining by 9% per year. The symposium presented an opportunity to exchange best practices in protecting migratory birds along the respective flyways.
The second day of the symposium was dedicated to eco-tourism and sustainable regional development. On behalf of the Wadden Sea cooperation, Anja Szczesinski (World Wildlife Fund, WWF) presented the Wadden Sea Sustainable Tourism Strategy, a document that provides pathways towards strengthening cooperation between the tourism sector and nature conservation.
The symposium also welcomed the current initiative to nominate the Korean tidal flats as a World Heritage site, and suggested that this nomination should also extend to other important tidal flat areas in the Yellow Sea.
On the occasion of the joint symposium, Mr. Song Sang Keun (MOF) and Mr. Harald Marencic (CWSS) signed the work programme 2016 – 2018 (photo left) to implement the Memorandum of Understanding between the Wadden Sea and Korea on conservation and management of tidal flats which was concluded in 2009.
In summary, the symposium concluded that a lot has been achieved in the last decades by designation of protected areas and promoting nature as capital for sustainable development such as eco-tourism. However, there are still challenges when it comes to prevent further loss of tidal flats in the Yellow Sea and to protect migratory birds on the entire flyway. Eco-tourism should also be an integrated element of the overall conservation of a site and connect to overall management plans.
Local involvement is critical as conservation is a societal issue. Tidal flats should be regarded as “natural infrastructure” which provide benefits for all. The workshop also welcomed the current initiative to nominate Korean tidal flats as World Heritage site and suggested to also include further important tidal flat areas in the Yellow Sea.
The Ramsar World Wetlands Day, which was celebrated on the day after the closure of the symposium, gathered approximately 500 people and was officially opened by Mr. Kim Young-Suk, Minister of Oceans and Fisheries. Rüdiger Strempel, Secretary of the CWSS, addressed the audience in a video message, in which he referred to the similarities between the Wadden Sea and the Korean tidal flats, and stressed the potential benefits of cooperation between the two areas.
September 2015: Korean Study Visit to the Wadden Sea Information Centres
Three countries, and 12 visitor centers in 10 days – a delegation from Korea is currently travelling along the Wadden Sea coastline from 3 - 12 September 2015. On 9 Sepember, the delegation made a stopover in Wilhelmshaven. Six representatives from South Korean environmental organisations and the Shinan Visitor Center are guests at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park Administration and the Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Center.
The goal of this visit is to observe various scales and types of operation and management of the visitor centers in the Wadden Sea area and to enhance the exchange with the International Wadden Sea School (IWSS). In specific, this concerns capacity building of Korean visitor centres' managers and the activities in relation to World Heritage education.
This second study visit (the previous was in May 2013) continues the exchange with the IWSS at the eduction workshop in Soechoen, Shinan in October 2014 and in Suncheon Bay in November 2012.
The delegation visited the Fishery Museum in Esbjerg, the Myrthuegård Center, and the Havneskolen in Denmark, the Schutzstation Wattenmeer on Sylt, the Miramar in Tönning, the Nabu Centre at the Katinger Watt, the Nationalpark House in Husum, and the info center at Westerhever in Schleswig-Holstein, the Nationalparkhaus in Dangast, the World Heritage Visitor Centre in Wilhelmshaven, and the Nationaparkhaus Wittbülten on Spiekeroog in Lower Saxony. The last visit will be at Ecomare on Texel before returning to Korea.
August 2015: Conference on coastal restoration in Boryeong, Korea
In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Korea and the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation, Peter Esselink (puccimar Ecological Research and Consultancy, TMAP salt marsh expert group) was invited by the Chungnam Institute to participate in the "International Forum on Coastal and Estuarine Ecosystem Restoration" in Boryeong, 20-21 August 2015.
During his oral presentation Peter Esselink gave an overview of the outcome of a ten-year monitoring programme of a salt-marsh restoration project in Noord-Friesland Buitendijks, the Netherlands, which encompassed the de-embanked of a summer polder of 120-ha (saltmarsh restoration). His message to the symposium was that restoration towards an earlier or historic reference state is often not attainable. An alternative state has then to be considered. At that point, clear restoration targets form a prerequisite for a successful ecological evaluation at a later stage. Both the brochure of the restoration project in Noord-Friesland Buitendijks and the presentation were published in the symposium proceedings.
October 2014: The Wadden Sea and Korea at the Biodiversity Convention Conference (CBD-CoP 12)
On 8 October, the cooperation was presented at the 12th Conference of the Convention of Biodiversity (CBD) in Korea. In seven presentations, the over 60 participants of the event were informed about the Wadden Sea and Korea and discussed future steps for protection of the area.
Both areas, the Dutch-German-Danish Wadden Sea and the tidal flats in the Yellow Sea (China, Korea) are the most important tidal flat areas worldwide and an indispensible turntable for migratory birds on their flyway from Austalia or Africa to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
Because the Yellow Sea coast is still under high pressure from land reclamation and habitat loss, further actions are needed to convince the governments to protect these habitats.
The Wadden Sea experts also participated at a side of the 'East-Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership Project' (EAAFP) which is similar to the "Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative" both aiming at strenthening the cooperation on the protection of migratory birds.
October 2014: Tidal Flat Education workshop in Korea
Four education experts from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark attended a workshop on tidal flat education in Soechoen, Korea, on 2 - 3 October 2014. A study visit to the Korean Getbol visitor centres took place on 30 September to 1 October 2014-
It was the third time that a Wadden Sea delegation visited the Korean centres to share their experiences. The workshop consisted of presentations and by hands-on exercises on the tidal flats with an opportunity toconduct the IWSS Migratory Bird Game with Korean school children (photos)
May 2013: Korean delegation visits the Wadden Sea World Heritage
Three countries, 20 visitor centers in 16 days – this is a very intensive programme of the South Korean delegation that is currently travelling along the Wadden Sea coastline. Today the delegation makes a stopover in Wilhelmshaven. Seven representatives from South Korean environmental organisations and the Shinan Visitor Center are guests at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, the Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park Administration and the Wadden Sea World Heritage Visitor Center.
The goal of this visit is to observe various scales and types of operation and management of the visitor centers in the Wadden Sea area and to explore the programme for environmental education. The inventory results will be used for building long-term relationships between similar Getbol (the Korean name for tidal flats) and Wadden Sea Centers. The previous workshop on this topic was held in November 2012 in Suncheon Bay, Korea, where Wadden Sea representatives were invited to present the education programmes and visitor center management schemes.
Similar to the Wadden Sea, the Korean tidal flats belong to the largest and most important tidal flat ecosystems worldwide. This is the ninth event within the framework of the “Memorandum of Understanding” signed by the Wadden Sea countries Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark in March 2009. The Memorandum comprises cooperation in particular with regard to exchange of scientific knowledge and exchange of experience in the field of protection and management of the Wadden Sea.
“We acknowledge the global responsibility that came to us with the inscription of the German-Dutch Wadden Sea into the World Heritage List. The visit of the Korean colleagues to the Wadden Sea demonstrates our earnest shared efforts aimed at conservation of tidal flats worldwide”, - says Jens Enemark, the Head of the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat.
“The Wadden Sea cooperation is a great example of successful nature protection on the ecosystem level and its conservation efforts serve as a great example for Korean tidal flats. I believe that together with the Wadden Sea we can raise awareness about indispensability of the tidal flats to the global biodiversity,” – adds Dr. Je Jong-geel from the Korean environmental organization “it nature”. Tomorrow the delegation departs to Schiermonnikoog, the Netherlands, to visit other visitor centers in the Wadden Sea World Heritage.
November 2012: Cooperation with Korea continues (Leeuwarden)
The 13th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium which was held 21-23 November in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, was the opportunity to strengthen the cooperation with Korea which similar important tidal flat areas as in the Wadden Sea.
In the framework of the 2009 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), representatives from the Korean Ministry MLTM, the Korean Management agency KOEM and universities (Seoul, Anang, Mokpo) participated in the symposium and discussed further activities under the MoU in 2013 and 2014.
In a keynote lecture Prof. Chul-hwan Koh (left, photo: Z. Jager) from the Seoul National University introduced the Korean tidal flats, constituting 2500 km2 of the coastal area adjacent to the Yellow Sea. He emphasised the importance of the cooperation between Korea and the Wadden Sea for the protection of Korean tidal flats which are under high pressure.
After the symposium, the Korean delegation visited the island of Ameland . The visit started with a trip at ebb tide through the Wadden Sea World Heritage on the Ministry’s inspection vessel “Krukel” where the Korean guest got insight in the various tasks of the crew from checking regulations, monitoring of birds and seals, sampling mussels and providing information for sailors. On the island, a trip to the dune and salt marsh areas in the eastern part provided insight in the morphological development of a typical barrier island.
Info point on Ameland: From left: Ms. Namue Lee (KOEM), Dr. Myung-Beom Choi (Ministry MLTM), Dr. Inseo Hwang (KOEM), Jens Enemark (CWSS), Johan Krol (Nature Centre), Bernard Baerends (Ministry Economic Affairs).
The group as welcomed by the Mayor of Ameland, Albert de Hoop (left). He informed about the current plans for a “green island” by photovoltaic installations and his involvement in the North Sea wide cooperation of municipalities to enhance shipping safety and the protection of the environment for local communities along the coast.
The visit ended at the “Natuurcentrum Ameland” in the new building established in 2009. Johan de Krol provided information about the cooperation with other museum at the island and participation in scientific monitoring programs. The center also actively cooperates with other centers on the Dutch island, as well as with German and Danish centers in the framework of the International Wadden Sea School. In the context, Ameland also cooperates with Korean info centers by exchanging practical experiences and educational products at several joint workshops since 2009.
The visit of the Korean delegates has deepened the understanding of the similarities and differences of the Korean Getbol (the Korean name for tidal flats) and the Wadden Sea. There is a mutual interest to cooperate in the protection and conservation of the tidal flats as a habitat which has world-wide importance in the context of migratory bird flyway. Both, the Wadden Sea Cooperation and Korea will take the opportunity at the next CBD-COP on Jeju, Korea, in 2014 to organize a joint symposium as a side event raising the profile of importance of tidal flats to the global community.
November 2012: Joint Workshop "Educational Program and Exhibition Development of Visitor Centers" (Suncheon City)
A joint Korea-Wadden Sea Tidal Flat workshop was organized in Suncheon City on 5 - 7 November 2012. The main aim was to exchange experiences in the development of educational programs and exhibitions.
The group of Wadden Sea experts in the field of the environmental education was invited to a workshop organized by the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) and the City of Suncheon in wicooperation th the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat. The workshop that took place in Suncheon City, which strives to become the Korean ecological capital, on 5-7 November 2012 was focused on two topics: development of Educational Programs and Exhibitions in Tidal Flat Centers in Korea.
Around 100 Getbol stakeholders and policy makers attended an opening ceremony and the following presentations on the first day of the workshop. The Wadden Sea delegation, consisting of Imke Zwoch (Lower Saxon Wadden Sea National Park Administration), Ulrik Gelderman Lützen (The Wadden Sea Interpreter Forum), Anja Szczesinski (WWF Germany, Wadden Sea Office) and Nataliya Drozdovych (CWSS) together with their Korean colleagues moderated the case study discussions and practical exercises, which were aimed at improvement of the Korean info center’s exhibition and education programs. The Wadden Sea cooperation model between various stakeholders and the holistic approach in the conservation of the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site serve as an inspiration for the Korean colleagues in the field of nature protection. Some of the recommendations, voiced by the Wadden Sea expert during the previous workshop in 2010 were already implemented – for example, similar to the Wadden Sea-wide model of the International Wadden Sea School, a network of five Korean tidal flat centers had been organized.
Based on the workshop result, a number of recommendations concerning the topic of the workshop as well as the future Getbol-Wadden Sea were transferred to the MLTM and will be presented to the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation.
September 2011: Joint Monitoring Workshop in Korea
Since the establishment of the "Memorandum of Understanding Wadden Sea – Korea" in 2009, joint activities have been carried out focusing on three topics: 1) information and education (cooperation info centers), 2) policy and management (integrated ecosystem approach), and 3) monitoring and research (migratory birds, benthos, monitoring strategies).
In September 2011, a two-day joint workshop on monitoring and research (with focus on benthos) followed by a two-day field excursion including laboratory work took place at the University of Mopko in Korea. It was organized by the Korean Ministry MLTM, the Korean Getbol Forum, the Province of Jeollanam-do and the CWSS. The Wadden Sea delegation consisted of 8 scientists from NOIZ (Texel), AWI (Sylt), the University of Oldenburg, the Schleswig-Holstein State Agency LLUR, the Lower Saxon National Park Administration, and the CWSS. The main aim was to compare monitoring strategies and methods including remote sensing, and to investigate the ecological similarities and differences of tidal flats in Korea and the Wadden Sea regarding biodiversity, possible impacts of climate change and invasive alien species. In addition, management of oil spills and restoration of mash areas were addressed.
Proposals for follow-up activities on the scientific level (bilateral scientific projects or exchange of PhD students), monitoring (application of remotes sensing methods) and on site management (salt marsh restoration, exchange oil spill experiences) were identified.
October 2011: Barefoot in the mud. Korean Education experts visit the Wadden Sea.
A Korean delegation with 6 representatives from the Korean Ministry MLTM and the tidal flat information centers visited information centers in the National Park Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea (Husum, Tönning, Hooge, Sylt) and the Ecomare Center on Texel from 4 - 12 October 2012. The visit was organized with support by the Schutzstation Wattenmeer, WWF and Ecomare. The aim of the visit was information exchange concerning how strategies on tidal flat experience and education are being developed and implemented in the Wadden Sea and the Korean tidal flats. The main focus was on the development of eco-tourism that supports sustainable regional development. The visit of the Korean colleagues was conducted within the “Memorandum of Understanding Wadden Sea-Korea” and the framework of the International Wadden Sea School (IWSS).
Colleagues from the Schutzstation Wattenmeer, among which the Korean student Jiin Ha, who currently volunteers in the information center in Hörnum, gave insight into practical Wadden Sea education out on the mudflats - walking barefoot was truly a new experience for the delegation - as well as into the planning and constructing of exhibitions. On Hallig Hooge, the group got live impressions of a staff training course for conservation volunteers and learned about the volunteering schemes "Freiwilliges ökologisches Jahr" and "Bundesfreiwilligendienst".
After 4 days full of impressions, information and vivid discussions on visitor information and tidal flat education in Germany, the study visit continued with exciting days on the island of Texel, The Netherlands. During the official welcome in Ecomare the island’s major, Mrs Francine Giskes, discussed with the delegation touristic development, sustainable tourism and energy issues. Professor Han Lindeboom from IMARES/Wageningen University gave a lecture about sustainable use and protection of the Dutch Wadden Sea. The delegation visited several locations like the Maritime Museum, the National Park, the lighthouse, the harbor etc. and discussed with the managers and people involved to get an overview of the connection there is made on Texel between nature, culture, history and tourism.
October 2010: International Symposium on Migratory Birds 2010 in Mokpo
In the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Korea and the Trilateral Cooperation, Marc van Roomen (SOVON) and the Gerold Lüerßen (CWSS) were invited by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Korea National Park Service for a 3 day field- and workshop trip on October 12-14 along the Korean West coast followed by the International Symposium on Migratory Birds in Mopko on October 15, 2010. Aim was to intensify the cooperation between several Korean migratory birds monitoring and management related organizations and the Trilateral Cooperation, especially to the Trilateral Joint Monitoring Migratory Bird program (JMMB).
The field trip along the West coast of Korea showed that embankments, economic activities and the building infrastructure put high pressure on the remaining estuaries and tidal flats. At present some major developments in Song-do and Seamangum are continuing which have also impacts on ecosystem and local cultural heritage.
The purpose of the conference was to enable participants to share current knowledge on stopover ecology of migratory birds and conservation of stopover sites, and to make opportunities for communication with foreign researchers. Thematic sessions explored topics such as the stopover characteristics of passerines and shorebirds, and conservation efforts such as recent research techniques, international networks, education, and habitat management.
An informal meeting during the symposium it was discussed how to enhance the cooperation with the Wadden Sea taking into account the heterogeneous and complex structure of involved Korean migratory waterbird organizations, e.g. by the establishing of a Korean focal point for coordination of bird monitoring.
The MoU successfully supported the experience exchange between two tidal flat areas with quite different development backgrounds. The Wadden Sea area with a long history of economic and landscape development and with more than 30 years of transnational cooperation on the field of ecosystem conservation can provide experiences, but can also learn from developments in other parts of the earth.
September 2010: Workshop on Wadden Sea Education in Korea
Following the „First Joint Workshop Memorandum of Understanding Wadden Sea Korea“ in autumn 2009, a specific workshop and training course on “Getbol” (the Korean word for tidal flat) education was held in Mokpo, Muan and Sinan from 28.9.-2.10.2010. Aimed at Korean managers of tidal flat visitor centres, tour guides, educators, local residents and NGO activists, the purpose of this workshop was above all to strengthen the organisational and educational capabilities by sharing experience, know-how and material on tidal flat education among the various Korean institutions as well as with the Trilateral Wadden Sea.
The International Wadden Sea School, represented by Ulrik Geldermann Lützen from the Danish Vadehavets Formidlerforum, Jaco Spek from the Dutch visitor centre Ecomare and Anja Szczesinski, coordinator of the IWSS, contributed presentations on various aspects of Wadden Sea education and demonstrated practical educational activities.
Altogether, the workshop was very successful with highly motivated participants, fruitful discussions, a vivid exchange of experience and ideas and a set of recommendations formulated by the workshop participants for the future development of tidal flat education in Korea as well as for the further cooperation with the trilateral Wadden Sea. Further activities are planned for 2011 and beyond.
October 2009: First joint MoU workshop Korea-Wadden Sea
Press conference at the MoU workshop in Mokpo, Korea on 19 October 2009. From left: Jens Enemark (CWSS), Stefanie Hedtkamp (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety), Jörn Klimant (Head of Adminstration of the Province of Ditmarschen), Byoung-Gyu Seo (Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs), Chul-hwan Koh (University of Seoul).
The first MoU partnership-consolidating event between MLTM and Trilateral Cooperation on Wadden Sea took place in Korea on 17 – 25 October 2009. It consisted of a 2-day workshop (19 – 20 October) and a 4-day field trip (18 & 21 –23 October) to the tidal flats at the Korea west coast. The aims of the visit were
- To promote conservation, integrated management and sustainable use of intertidal wetlands;
- To raise awareness for a coherent conservation of tidal flats at an ecosystem scale;
- To establish and expand networks of experts, authorities and NGOs to exchange knowledge and experiences concerning the management of tidal flats.
The joint workshop in Mokpo on 19 – 20 October was organized by Getbol Forum in collaboration with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat, and hosted by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, and the Province of Jeollanam-do, Republic of Korea. About 100 participants from Korea and the Wadden Sea attended the workshop. The workshop addressed a.o. integrated management for the protection of tidal flat ecosystems, monitoring and research, public information, visitor centers and eco-tourism.
March 2009: Sinature of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Wadden Sea and Korea
An important milestone of international cooperation is the “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU) which was signed between the Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation in Wilhelmshaven on 30 March 2009 during the opening session of the 12th International Scientific Wadden Sea Symposium.
The Korean tidal flats and the Wadden Sea and belong to the largest and most important coastal tidal flat ecosystem world wide.
The Memorandum of Understanding intends to further consolidate and extend the existing cooperation in particular with regard to exchange of scientific knowledge and exchange of experience in the field of protection and management of Wadden Sea. It also underlines the to responsibility to contributing to wisely manage such exceptional coastal ecosystems around the World.
Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by Mr. Byoung-Gyu Seo (Korean Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs) and Ms. Elsa Nickel (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety). Behind from left to right: Jens Enemark (CWSS), John Frederiksen (Danish Ministry of the Environment, Environmental Center Ribe) and Bernard Baerends (Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality).
October 2008: International Symposium
In October 2008, the Wadden Sea Cooperation and Korea organized an international workshop and a side event at the Ramsar Conference in Changwon in Korea.
In addition, an exchange on coastal wetland restoration was organized with participation from It Fryske Gea.