A delegation from the Republic
of Korea’s Environmental Institute (KEI), Dr. Youngjoon
Lee, Dr. Teho Ro and Ms. Junghee Kim, visited the CMS
Secretariat in Bonn on 17 September. Representatives of
CMS delivered presentations on the activities of their
agreements. Benefits to the Republic of Korea of joining
CMS, conservation measures, the MoU for the Asian region,
scientific activities and Avian Influenza were major topics
of interest to the Korean delegation.
The Republic of Korea is an important range state for
various species that are listed on the CMS Appendices
I and II. Around 50 species of mammals have been identified
in the Republic of Korea. Its waters are home to six Appendix
I cetaceans, namely the Bowhead Whale (Balaena mysticetus),
Sei Whale (Balaenoptera borealis), Blue Whale
(Balaenoptera musculus), Fin Whale (Balaenoptera
physalus), Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
and Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus).
Four Appendix II cetaceans occur throughout the Republic
of Korea’s coastal waters - Baird’s Beaked
Whale (Baradius baidii), Finless porpoise (Neophocaena
phocaenoides), Orca (Orcinus orca) and Dall’s
porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli). The Appendix II
Dugong (Dugong dugon) can also be found along
certain stretches of the Korean coast. A number of other
endangered migratory mammals not currently listed in the
CMS appendices occur in the Republic of Korea such as
the Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) and the Asian
Black bear (Ursus thibetanus).
The Republic of Korea has some successful programmes to
protect its biodiversity, particularly for migratory species.
A number of national institutions are involved in the
study or conservation of migrant species or their habitats.
Given the growing level of awareness on general environmental
and conservation issues in the Republic of Korea, protected
areas are a key tool in conservation. CMS could contribute
to Korean conservation efforts and provide opportunities
for potential financial and technical support to certain
The Republic of Korea’s participation in programmes
designed to conserve migratory species would enhance the
country’s international standing and could serve
as a beacon for the region. The Republic of Korea is a
member of many of the major conservation-related international
conventions, notably Ramsar (Wetlands), the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna
and Flora (CITES), the World Heritage Convention and the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Membership of
CMS would add a crucial element to the Republic of Korea‘s
contribution to global environmental conservation efforts.