Four Korean sites accredited as international wetland cities
Nov. 3, 2018
By Kim Hyelin and Hahm Hee-eun
Four more cities in Korea are internationally certified as Ramsar Wetland Cities. The accredited cities of this year are Jeju City in Jeju Island, Suncheon City in Jeollanam-do Province, Changnyeong-gun County in Gyeongsangnam-do Province and Inje-gun County in Gangwon-do Province.
The Ministry of Environment announced on Oct. 25 that 18 cities in seven countries, including four in Korea, are accredited as Ramsar Wetland Cities at the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (COP13) held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.
The Ramsar Wetland City is a city or village that is designated by the COP13 to abide by the Ramsar Wetland Convention. The convention requests ecologically sound use of land and conservation of wetland sites.
Korea joined the Ramsar Convention in 1997 and first suggested the accreditation system in 2011, together with Tunisia. The system was adopted in 2015, and now Korea has 22 sites that are registered as Ramsar Wetland Cities, including the Suncheon Bay Area and Yongneup of Daeamsan Mountain in Inje-gun County.
In order to be accredited, the citizens and the regional governments have worked together to establish wetland conservation plans and rules that match the regional characteristics.
Once accredited, the cities are allowed to use the internationally-acclaimed Ramsar logo for six years to promote local eco-friendly products and ecotourism. The government also provides them continuous support so that they can be qualified for re-accreditation.
An officer at the Ministry of Environment said, “We plan to create an operation guideline for Ramsar Wetland Cities, so that we can establish measurements for systematic operation and management.”