Our world's wetlands are habitats for a large variety of plant and animal species. The West/Yellow Sea - surrounded by the People's Republic of China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Korea is an important area for the wildlife living in the intertidal mudflats of the region. Furthermore, 50 million waterbirds traverse the area annually, as it is part of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway migratory route, which is one of the 9 major flyways in the world.
Unfortunately, the intertidal mudflats of the area have seen a dramatic 65% shrinkage over the past several decades. This reduction is severely affecting the populations of migratory birds, as they rely on the areas for nourishment, resting, and pre-migration staging. The South Korean Government has nominated 4 sites of intertidal mudflats in the Southern part of the Korean Peninsula as a candidate of UNESCO’s World Heritage listing. Intertidal mudflats are referred to as “Getbol” in Korean, and the 4 areas as part of the nomination are: Seocheon Getbol, Gochang Getbol, Shinan Getbol, and Boseong-Suncheon Getbol. The Getbol are extremely biodiverse, with more than 2000 species inhabiting the areas.
The Wadden Sea, shared by Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, is similarly an intertidal zone in need of better protection, and cooperative steps are being taken to address the issue. In 2015, the 3 countries made a request for the recognition of the area as a transboundary Ramsar site. Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea supports the nomination of the Korean Getbol into the UNESCO World Heritage listing. The Foundation believes in the conservation and safeguarding of the area and acknowledges the importance of protecting wetlands globally.
As a part of Korea’s “Getbol, Korean Tidal Flat” candidacy, we, at Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea have given signatures in support of the mudflats being inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Click here to watch the promotional video clip, "Getbol, Korean Tidal Flat".
If you also want to support the call for Getbols to be included in the World Heritage List, please sign the digital petition here ➞ Getbol, Korean Tidal Flat Petition
World Heritage Promotion Team of Korean Tidal Flats Website