Joint Project Launched to Protect the Yellow Sea
WWF and Panasonic -the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known- have announced the agreement of the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project (YSESP) to conserve the health of marine ecosystem of the Yellow Sea, one of WWF’s Global 200 that is listed as regions to be conserved with priority.
Initiated at the beginning of this year, the 7-year regional conservation project is schemed to realize the goal of securing sufficient public concern, appropriate protection, and effective management of the critical habitats of the Yellow Sea by supporting local communities’ sustainable conservation activities. The project will be implemented in three phases to render a successful Asian coexistence model of marine ecosystem and human living that can be deployed in other parts of the world. Particular pilot areas in China and South Korea using international standard conservation methods will be set up to carry out conservation works with involvement of local communities.
The Yellow Sea surrounded by China and the Korean Peninsura is noted for the extremely high biodiversity due to its world-class continental shelf, having been enjoyed by people as a rich fishing ground and great recreational destination since ancient ages. The area including the Yellow Sea and the Bohai Sea that covers about 460,000 square kilometers has been specified by WWF as the “Yellow Sea Ecoregion (YSE),” which is listed as one of the 238 regions in the world that should be conserved with high priority.
A total of 23 Potential Priority Areas (PPAs) were identified after a science-based ecoregion planning project launched by WWF, Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) and Korean Environment Institute (KEI) in July 2002 to find the critical habitats for the maintenance of the biodiversity in the YSE. A map containing the PPAs results was published last December and adopted by UNDP for making its environmental policies towards the Yellow Sea.
The YSESP will be implemented by WWF in China in close cooperation with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), while KORDI takes the primary responsibility in South Korea. Meanwhile, WWF will also work with State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) and State Forestry Administration (SFA) on other environmental issues. The recruitment of application for the small grant was also announced at the launch ceremony.
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