Jeollanamdo’s Tidal Flats become Korea’s 15th World Heritage Site

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee listed four “Getbol”, the Korean Tidal Flats, along the south-western coast the Korean peninsula as a Natural World Heritage on Monday, 26th of July. The official listing happened during the 44th session of the Committee, this time held in Fuzhou, China. By this the Getbol become Korea’s 15th World Heritage and just the second Natural Hertiage Site, alongside the Jeju volcanic island and its famous lava tubes.

The four Getbol are the Shinan Getbol in Shinan County, Boseong-Suncheon Getbol in Boseong County and Suncheon City, all located in Jeollanamdo, along with Seocheon Getbol in Seocheon County, Chungcheongnamdo and Gochang Getbol in Gochang County in Jeollabukdo.

With 1,100 km² the tidal flats in Shinan have the largest area of the four, while the other tidal flats cover 60 km². Some of them are unique wetlands designated by the Ramsar Convention.

After failing the be listed in 2018 due to a lack of information the World Heritage Committee finally listed the Tidal Flats, acknowledging their outstanding role in forming a unique eco-system along the south-western coast of Korea. The site is not only home to over 2000 species of flora and fauna but is also a stopover for 22 endangered migration birds.

The site demonstrates the link between geodiversity and biodiversity, and demonstrates the dependence of cultural diversity and human activity on the natural environment.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Suncheonman Bay

The promotion as a UNESCO World Heritage will have a huge positive impact on the region. It will not only raise awareness about this unique ecosystem and draw many tourists to Jeollanamdo, but it will also ensure the highest level of protection for the area and therefore for its wildlife. It will ensure the life of millions of migratory waterbirds for whose survival the Getbol provide a critical habitat.

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