A second conversation with Nial Moores, Director of the conservation organisation Birds Korea.
Nial, who is my brother, has lived in the ROK (South Korea) for the last twelve years and is well used to the everyday tensions that exist between North and South. However yesterday (November 23rd) news organisations around the world carried the disturbing news that the DPRK (North Korea) had shelled the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong killing at least two South Korean marines, setting fire to dozens of buildings, and sending civilians fleeing for shelter. South Korea responded by firing K-9 155mm self-propelled howitzers and dispatching fighter jets. The skirmish lasted about an hour, and officials in Seoul claimed that there could be considerable North Korean casualties.
What is the atmosphere really like though, and what is like to be a conservationist/birder in this part of the world? In this discussion Nial talks about monitoring birds on islands within a few kilometers of the border, the military situation, and the remarkable wildlife of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) – a ribbon of almost undisturbed land lying between the two countries which attracts huge numbers of scarce birds but which currently faces an uncertain future…
Disclaimer: This podcast has been produced by Talking Naturally to support conservation. No fees or benefits of any kind have been charged or accepted by Talking Naturally. Bandwidth costs for this podcast are sponsored by Digital Spring.
Image from Birds Korea Gallery: Cinereous Vultures Aegypius monachus
Cheorwon, January 1 2008, © Rich Lindie
UPDATE: A BBC News Headline from December 18th 2010: “US envoy Bill Richardson warns of Korea tinderbox”, as South Korea plans to go ahead with a live-firing exercises on Yeonpyeong, the same island which was shelled by the North Koreans last month. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12025383
“Birds Korea is dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats in Korea and the wider Yellow Sea Eco-region, working through research, education and public-awareness raising activities, consultation and collaboration, and well-focused advocacy.
Birds Korea recognizes that wild birds are beautiful and inspirational, and that many wild bird species are excellent bio-indicators of the ecological character of habitats, and of changes to these habitats and to the global environment. Successful conservation of wild birds entails conservation of a wide range of naturally productive habitats and sites, vital to the long-term survival of other biodiversity, including people.”
The Birds Korea website:
Download the Birds Korea 2010 Blueprint at http://www.birdskorea.org/Habitats/YSBR/Downloads/Birds-Korea-Blueprint-2010.pdf
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