The 44th World Heritage Committee, meeting in Fuzhou, China, have inscribed the Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats on the World Heritage List, in recognition of its Outstanding Universal Value for migratory waterbirds as one of the world’s most significant wetland ecosystems. The inscription is welcome news, especially after the suggested deferral by IUCN earlier this summer.
The Republic of Korea’s coastal wetlands are a vital feeding and breeding site for millions of waterbirds, including species that are currently threatened with extinction. Just as the Wadden Sea is one of the most important stopping points on the East Atlantic Flyway, the Getbol, which together with the coastal zones in China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are part of the Yellow Sea or West Sea, is a vital staging area for the spectacular flocks that are shared by 22 countries along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
The Trilateral Wadden Sea Cooperation is honoured by our ongoing collaboration with our Korean colleagues for more than a decade now and delighted with the landmark step of the inscription of the Getbol, Korean Tidal Flats on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is hoped that this remarkable achievement will reinforce and strengthen the dedicated work of maintaining the completeness and integrity of this important part of the West/Yellow and Bohai Sea ecosystem.
The Wadden Sea looks forward to continuing the exchange visits that have taken place, in order to exchange knowledge and experience, and to our mutual inspiration. We welcome the opportunity to continue working together to ensure our World Heritage Sites are protected and promoted for the benefit of the world and future generations.