Wadden Sea experts participated in Jeju World Heritage Global Forum in Korea

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 (photo right) and Burghard Flemming (photo 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 (photo to the right, 1st person from left), 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”, conducted back-to-back with the anniversary celebration (group photo below). 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.

Photo: CWSS/Bostelmann