East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership e-Newsletter
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No. 44

June 2017

 Raising awareness: 922 Korean students take part in Black-faced Spoonbill Nature School

The Black-faced Spoonbill (BFS) Nature School began in April 2016 with the goal of raising awareness of students in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on the importance of migratory waterbirds and their habitats. The School, run by local science teachers, is led by Ms. Sunjeong Nam of the Incheon BFS Network, with the technical support of the EAAFP Secretariat. This year the Secretariat was happy to see that the number of students participating in BFS Nature School increased by nearly 600 hundred compared to the previous year.

The curriculum consists of lectures, activities, and field trips. In the first class, students learn about migratory waterbirds (especially BFS) and the importance of international cooperation for environmental conservation. The second class covers the birds’ primary habitat – wetlands, while the third class serves to deepen the students’ understanding of biodiversity. Finally, students are able to embark on field trips to see spoonbills the field – at Namdong Reservoir, a significant breeding site that supports nearly 10% of the current population. There, middle and high school students plan how to conserve and utilise the Reservoir, while elementary school students make poems and stories about BFS. Through the lectures, activities, and discussions, the students can relate that their own lives and culture are deeply tied to wetlands, and appreciate the importance of maintaining healthy wetlands in Korea. In fact, Korea’s most famous cultural export, Kimchi, would not have developed without wetlands!

In 2016, some Korean students from Incheon had the opportunity to join the International Skype Meetings on the BFS with Hong Kong and Taiwan. These were ideal opportunities for students across the globe to feel and understand that they share the same species with other countries, regardless of borders.

To both prioritise and mainstream the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats throughout society, such comprehensive education needs to become established as part of the standard school curriculum. While education and activities can be tailored to the local level, adding international viewpoints can help encourage students to start thinking about environmental issues at a more global scale. The example set by BFS Nature School shows the potential of programs like these, where the number of the teachers taking part is steadily increasing. Below are some of the students’ reactions after taking part in BFS Nature School:

  • I learned about the meaning of the future if there are no BFS anymore.
  • I came to know that the reclamation is not a good thing. It makes biodiversity lower!
  • Through various activities and diverse perspectives, I learned our duty in life, and how important conservation is.
  • Before class, I hated the living creatures, now I appreciate them.
  • This class is not for exam. I can feel the meaning of conservation more vividly.
Photographs of the lectures are available on our Flickr albums:
Year of the Knots 2017-2018 Partnership News
Yellow Sea
Flyway Network Sites Seabird

Spoon-billed Sandpiper

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News in other languages

  • 저어새 번식지 옆에 ‘중금속 폐기물’ (Heavy metal trash found next to Black-faced Spoonbill breeding site)
  • 갯벌 암살자 ‘영국갯끈풀’ 강화도 토종 생태계 위협 (Tidal flat killer ‘Spartina anglica’ threaten the native ecosystem of Ganghwa Island)
  • 또다시 갯벌매립? 영종2지구 개발계획 NO ! (More reclamation? No to the Yeongjong District 2 development plan!)
  • 6m 준설한 강에서, 꼬마물떼새알을 찾았다  (After dredging the river for 6m depth, eggs of Little Ringed Plover were found, showing the recovery from the Four River Project)
  • 임진강 습지보호지역’ 지정 움직임 다시 활기 (Working together to designate the ‘Imjin River wetland protected area’)
  • 고창·순천 역간척사업’ 갯벌복원 모델 (Tidal flat restoration case of ‘Gochang·Suncheong’)
  •  [인천시론] 송도갯벌의 매립과 버드아일랜드 ([Incheon’s public opinion] Reclamation of the Songdo Tidal Flat and bird island)
  • 갯벌과 하구를 자연에 돌려줄 시간 (Time for return mudflat and estuary to the nature)
  • 쪼그라든 생명의 땅… 습지를 이동성 물새에게 돌려주세요 (Shrinking land… please return wetland to migratory waterbirds)
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Copyright © 2017 EAAFP, All rights reserved.

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 Year of the Knots © Janet Essley/EAAFP
Photo credits:
BFS Nature School © Eugehe Cheah & Clinton Polleti
Red Knot © Adrian Boyle
National Workshop in DPRK © Hanns Seidel Foundation, Korea
Pavel with a spoonie © Nigel Clark
Arctic Biodiversity Congress © CAFF
Far Eastern Curlew © Dan Weller
The Overwintering Project © Kate Gorringe-Smith
The importance of Artificial roosts © Threatened Species Recovery Hub 
Vegetation recovery ©  The State of Victoria Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning