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Factsheet published
Transboundary Nature Cooperation – Protection of Wetlands in the DPR Korea

Nature knows no manmade borders. Just how true that is becomes obvious when looking at migratory birds that are crossing the border at the demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The protection of migratory bird habitats is therefore also a way to connect people. HSF Korea has recently released a factsheet that summarizes the most important facts on the foundation’s transboundary nature cooperation projects in 2016.

Wetlands are important for birds and humans as a source of water and food. Every year migratory birds on the East-Asian Australasian Flyway, the most important flight route of migratory birds in East Asia, land on the coasts of North Korea. However, wetlands experienced a significant loss over the past decades, affecting migratory birds and other endangered species. To protect the birds and conserve their habitats in North Korea and simultaneously protect the services they provide for the rural population, environmental and scientific cooperation with the isolated country is urgently needed although it can be difficult at times due to administrative and political differences. Despite of all obstacles, HSF has been actively engaged in the field of environment in North Korea since 2009.

One of the foundation’s efforts aimed at bringing North Korean actors in the field of environment together with representatives of international organizations and national governments. Conferences, trainings and practical environment surveys that have been conducted with the foundation’s support have also contributed to the improvement of the local population’s living conditions. A long-term goal is to integrate North Korea into international agreements, such as the United Nations Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. An important partner is the North Korean Ministry for Environment and Land Protection, as well as Birds Korea and the East-Asia Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) that HSF Korea has recently joined as its 35th member.