Letter on “Of Birds and People”, Soomdo, Seoul (July 3rd)

By attending Dr. Nial Moores’ lecture, “Of Birds and People,” I had the opportunity to experience Dr. Moores’ amicable charisma as he outlined the primary concerns facing South Korea’s approach to sustainability and the impact of human development on biodiversity in the Yellow Sea region. The seminar was prefaced with a saying grace towards the thunderstorm which had broken the short drought plaguing the early summer months and then delved seamlessly into the need to begin “thinking globally, as well as acting globally”.

One of the prominent concerns was the steady decline of waterbird species dovetailing the rapid growth of economic development, particularly with tidal flat reclamations and interference with flowing rivers and streams that are dispersed consistently throughout the Korean peninsula. Dr. Moores emphasized the necessity for the public to acknowledge the nonfulfillment of the promised Saemangeun City, as well as the imperative task of restoring a portion of the waning flats to promote population growth of the critically endangered species that depend on Saemangeum’s teeming ecosystem as a vital feeding ground. Though many have acquiesced to the seemingly irreparable damage done to Saemangeum, Dr. Moores’ presentation was underscored with a distinct tone of optimism which undoubtedly fostered hope amongst the seminar attendees, echoing Dr. Moores’ discovery of the five Spoon-billed Sandpipers near the Saemangeum sluice gates.

Dr. Moores’ insight into the prospect of a healthy human/wildlife coexistence made a genuine impression of confidence in the Homo sapien species to cooperate for the sake of true-green sustainability. All my gratitude goes towards Dr. Moores and Birds Korea for holding the “Of Birds and People” seminar at the Soomdo conference hall.

Dara Lee
July 4, 2012

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