only Jeju …

What comes to your mind when you think of places with exceptional beauty, outstanding natural and cultural heritage values? Wonders of the World! Or maybe a UNESCO World Heritage Site! There is a place (the one & only) which has multiple recognition under international designations of UNESCO and Ramsar Convention for Wetlands, and also a Wonder of World.

This outstanding place is Jeji Island, a part of South Korea with an area of 1,849 km2. The island achieved the triple crown of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve (2002), World Natural Heritage (2007) and Global Geopark (2010), and dotted with various Ramsar wetlands. Also, the island has numerous volcanic formations representing unique biogeography and its history.

Fortunately, I got an opportunity to visit the island and participate in a workshop ‘Fostering Global Citizenship for Sustainable Heritage Conservation’ jointly organised by UNITAR CIFAL Jeju and UNESCO APCEIU in October, 2018. The workshop apprised the participants with the importance of engaging local communities as well as global citizens in conservation of heritage sites, concepts of sustainable tourism at World Heritage Sites, and UNITAR-Developed City-Share Methodology. The USP of the workshop was individual presentation of participants from Asia-Pacific countries including Small Island Developing States (SIDS) such as Cook Islands, Timor-Leste and Philippines. I presented on ‘Landscape Governance Approach and UNESCO World Heritage to address multi-functionality and diversity of Kailash Sacred Landscape’. Also as a cherry on the cake, the organizers planned a day trip to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak, Geomun Oreum and Seogwipo Olle Market, besides class-room sessions. I will always be grateful to the organizers J for this fun-filled trip and excellent workshop.

Sharing experiences, chit-chat on dining table and visiting the magnificent landscapes of Jeju island are definitely the moments to cherish and learning to share.

by Mr. Dhruv Verma (EM-41 alumnus, India)

Biosphere Reserve Upper Lausatian Heath- and Pond Landscape

Together with the TUD M. Sc. course ‘Tropical Forestry‘ the group visited the ‘Biosphere Reserve Upper Lausatian Heath- and Pond Landscape’ (Oberlausitzer Heide- und Teichlandschaft) … – what a long name, however this area’s uniqueness justifies the effort: the reserve comprises over 30.000 ha and is part of the UNESCO ‘Man and Biosphere’ network (MAB). The target of biosphere reserves is to reconcile human livelihoods, economic activity and nature conservation, which is worldwide achieved by the classification of the area into four zones (core area, buffer zone, transition zone and regeneration zone) with various natural features and different management purposes and intensities.

Carrs, mire-, heath- and dune-landscapes, woodlands, meadows, riparian forests, ponds, and river flood plains are just some of the habitat types occurring in the core area and the buffer zone. Over 3.400 animal species have been found in the reserve (e.g. 53 species of dragonflies, 23 fish species, 15 amphibian species, 161 species of breeding birds, such as white-tailed eagle and 49 mammal species) among which are 807 IUCN Red List species.

Transition and regeneration zone serve primarily for agricultural production, settlements and the recultivation of devastated lignite open-cast mining sites.

(Photos: A. Lindner)