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The last five years have seen a remarkable increase in engagement between Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the international conservation community around improving the conservation of migratory waterbirds and the wetlands they depend on, including workshops and joint field surveys in the country. As a result, DPRK has joined the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and the East Asia – Australasian Flyway Partnership, which bring together 37 government and non-government partners working in the 22 countries of the Flyway.

The Yellow Sea is a critical bottleneck for migratory waterbirds in the Flyway and DPRK has been active in a Yellow Sea Working Group including China and Republic of Korea., which has seen the latter two countries moving towards World Heritage status for their coastal wetlands which support migratory waterbirds.

The majority of the world’s endangered Red-crowned Cranes winter in the fertile Cheorwon plain, south of the DMZ. In earlier years, the Ambyon valley in DPRK also supported good numbers of this species before 1991. The International Crane Foundation (ICF) supported a project there to re-establish cranes there, but recent efforts have focused on protecting birds in Cheorwon and nearby areas of the Republic of Korea.

Spike Millington, Vice President of  ICF, will discuss the recent opening up of DPRK in migratory waterbird and wetland conservation, the history of cooperation to save cranes and the opportunities for future cooperation in the Korean peninsula around these issues.

Co-sponsored/co-organized by Center for Korean Studies and HISB.

Click here to download a PDF of the poster.

  Spike Millington                                       

Spike Millington is Vice President of the International Crane Foundation and Director of the Asia Program. From 2012-2017 he was Chief Executive of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership, based in Incheon, Republic of Korea and bringing together 37 representatives of country governments, inter-governmental and international non-governmental organizations to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the 22 countries of the Flyway. In 2011, he assisted USAID in developing its global environmental policy. From 2006 – 2010, Spike was UNDP Chief Technical Advisor on the EU-China Biodiversity Programme, EU’s largest biodiversity programme outside the EU. He advised on strategic planning, institutional and policy development, as well as technical support to 18 field projects. Prior to this, he worked at the Asian Developing Bank, developing the China-GEF Controlling Land Degradation in Dryland Areas of Western China (OP13) Programme. Spike spent 13 years in Africa, including as IUCN Senior Policy Advisor in Ethiopia, and as Program Coordinator for USAID helping Madagascar implement its pioneer Environmental Action Plan. He holds a B.Sc in biology from University of Leeds, UK and an MS from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA in ecology and evolutionary biology.


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