After living in South Korea for 3 years teaching English and working closely with Birds Korea, I am honoured to be writing from Western Canada, where Birds Korea's network is expanding. Although Birds Korea is based in Busan, South Korea, the organization has a large overseas membership that is expanding and becoming increasingly involved, through work coordinated by international representatives.
There are between 40 and 50 Birds Korea members stretched across Canada who share a common concern for the health of both Korean and Canadian ecosystems. Both countries have ocean on three sides and beautiful wetlands which play host to multitudes of birds, insects and fish. And both countries feel the pressures threatening these precious ecosystems and hope to see these natural environments protected.
Our aim in Birds Korea is to build ever stronger networks to ensure these special places get the protection they deserve. Following this October's Ramsar Convention in South Korea is the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) CoP 10 in Nagoya, Japan. It will be held in October, 2010, and will be another step towards the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals – global goals towards genuinely sustainable development. Among targets on poverty reduction and HIV, is one on biodiversity. Part 2 of Goal 7 looks to "Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss".
In Canada, in South Korea, in every country and on every continent in the world, extinction rates are accelerating. CBD, like Ramsar, provides an excellent opportunity to cooperate globally towards fulfilling the Millennium Goals.
For all of us in Canada and South Korea who are concerned at the increasingly silent skies, and who believe that biological diversity is an integral part of the natural environment, CBD provides a wonderful target to work towards. Together, we can help to strengthen the voice and presence of Birds Korea in Canada, in Nagoya – around the world.
Our world is one. International cooperation and strengthening ties between “Birds Koreans” in Korea and around the world are becoming ever more important, as we strive to ensure that the world around us is protected for the birds, for people, and for future generations.
So what can you do to help? Here are a few areas in which your time and energy would be extremely valuable:
Collect and share any educational materials you have that touch on birds, biodiversity, ecosystems or the environment.
Gather and share materials (information, interviews or photos) on protected areas in Canada to be put onto the Birds Korea website for others to look at and learn from.
Share your information on any research or surveys you have been a part of, including what mechanisms or skills were necessary to carry out the project.
Share ideas/photos of the planning and design of the physical layout of parks or wetland areas around you, including hides or trails that are used.
As Birds Korea is a domestic Korean organisation with strong international outreach, help is always needed for translation between Korean and English, as well as a wide variety of other languages.
If you have experience with computers and web-based software, or have some great ideas for websites, help in those areas would be much appreciated.
Finally, as a growing organization stretched across continents, fund-raising ideas, advocacy efforts and donations are always more than welcome!
If you have ties to Canada and Korea, and want to help our work, please get in touch with us (use the email adresses from the Contact Us page) to get involved in any capacity you can.
Birds Korea - Canada