Birds Korea homepage: What Has Really Changed?

Birds Korea, February 2nd, 2014

In the ten years since Birds Korea was founded, the Republic of Korea (ROK) has hosted several high-profile international meetings relevant to bird and habitat conservation, including the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the “Wise Use of Wetlands” Ramsar Convention in 2008 and the World Congress Conservation in 2012. Later this year too, the nation will host the 2014 Convention on Biological Diversity COP. This conference, to be held in Gangwon Province in October, will provide national and global leaders with a wonderful opportunity to review the success of existing policies that relate to biodiversity conservation, and to modify these policies in line with existing conservation obligations. During the past decade too, as part of this growing environmental awareness, we have seen the construction of several eco-centres and countless “eco-parks”, and we have read multiple public statements committing our nation to greater sustainability and the New Green Deal. As the years have passed, illegal hunting has become, more or less, a thing of the past (it is certainly at present not a major threat to most bird populations) and many of the nation’s replanted forests have continued to mature. There has also been a positive growth in the number of people going birdwatching.

On the surface, there has been tremendous progress in bird and biodiversity conservation in the past decade. This has only been made possible by the combined efforts of many people and organisations, both governmental and non-governmental. And yet despite these changes for the good, how deep has this change really been?

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