Korean mud flats receive preliminary UNESCO World Heritage status


The Korea Times


Korean mud flats receive preliminary UNESCO World Heritage status

The mudflats of Boseong County, South Jeolla Province, in this undated photo.  Courtesy of the Cultural <a class=Heritage Administration” src=”/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Korean-mud-flats-receive-preliminary-UNESCO-World-Heritage-status.jpeg”/>
The mudflats of Boseong County, South Jeolla Province, in this undated photo. Courtesy of the Cultural Heritage Administration

By Park Ji-won

The country’s mudflats have been “postponed” in a preliminary assessment process to determine potential sites that could be inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites, the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration said on Tuesday. (CHA) in a press release, promising to push for their listing in the future.

The administration said the recommendation came from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an advisory group for UNESCO. A carry-over is the third lowest in a four-level system that includes “register”, “refer”, “carry forward” and “do not register”. If selected, it means that the site’s nomination will require further evaluation or substantial revisions for further consideration.

A CHA official said the application may not have met certain criteria, such as “representing major milestones in earth’s history” and “important ecological and biological processes underway”, because it did not include larger areas where migratory birds pass.

“We submitted the request arguing that the mud flats meet criteria 8, 9 and 10 of the definition of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). But it did not meet criteria 8 and 9. We submitted four plateau sites. under review, but we have not included Key areas that represent biological diversity Some tidal plateau sites in different regions where migratory birds pass have not been included, ”said the CHA official .

“However, the advisory group recognized the possibility that our sites may provide natural habitat for endangered animal species, and we may push to highlight and expand these areas in the next review.”

The country had been pushing for the mud flats to be inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with the final review scheduled for the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee to be held from July 16 to 31.

The CHA had requested the preliminary review of four tidal plateau sites across the country in January 2019: Seocheon in South Chungcheong Province, Gochang in North Jeolla Province, and Sinan and Boseong-Suncheon in South Chungcheong Province. Jeolla from the South. These sites had been reviewed by IUCN in April 2020, the statement said.

While not mandatory, receiving a positive recommendation from the committee’s preliminary review would have raised the possibility of its inclusion on the UNESCO list, according to insiders.

The administration plans to push for the inscription in the future, as there have been instances of World Heritage site designations even after receiving a recommendation to “postpone” from IUCN. In July 2019, UNESCO added the Seowon, the Korean New Confucian academies to its roster, after their appointment received an initial recommendation of “postponement.” It took about three years after the first review for the sites to receive UNESCO World Heritage status. The 2020 committee meeting has been postponed until this year due to the pandemic.

“We have not decided how to handle the situation after receiving the recommendation to postpone, as it was made just two days ago, but we will closely discuss various possibilities with the relevant government organizations – for example, if we have to pursue the current demand or just withdraw the auction and push it to a later date. “


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