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Mar 23, 2010

WWF and Panasonic Enter into Second Stage of Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project in Korea

Driven by local residents, the Regional Development Type Coastal Management Model Project in Muan County aims for sustainable use and conservation of marine resources in the Yellow Sea

Tokyo, Japan - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Panasonic Corporation announced today that their collaborative efforts to protect marine ecosystems in an area of the northwestern Pacific Ocean have moved to their next stage. WWF and Panasonic have been promoting the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project, a seven-year plan started in 2007, with an aim to protect and conserve the coastal and marine environments of the Yellow Sea, which is surrounded by the eastern coast of China and the Korean Peninsula.

The second stage1 of the plan, the "Regional Development Type Coastal Area Management Model Project" ("Model Project") in Muan County of Korea's South Jeolla Province, was inaugurated today at a signing ceremony attended by representatives of the WWF, KORDI (Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute) and the Marine Department of Muan County. The ceremony as well as a work shop took place at the Muan County Office.

The Model Project will be carried out over approximately three years from March 2010 through to March 2013 in the coastal area2 of Muan County. Particularly notable is that local residents play a role of primary movers in this project, cooperating with the local government to conduct scientific research into relationships between coastal fishery and marine resources, and benthic organisms in wetlands. The project also aims to carry out necessary measures that will lead to regional development while enabling sustainable use and conservation of the coastal and marine resources.

The cooperation between the local residents, Muan County, KORDI, Korea's renowned research institute, WWF, a global environment conservation organization, and Panasonic, a company that is committed to promoting environmental conservation, is expected to bring forth a coastal area management model that combines environment conservation and regional development in Korea and serve as an example for sustainable development.

Notes:

1 The second stage also underway in the Yellow Sea Coastal Area of China as the Yalu River Coastal Area Ecosystem Base Management Type Model Project was started in February 2010.
2 The Muan County coastal area, the first wetlands nature conservation area designated by Korea, includes a tidal wetland that is rich in biodiversity. In 2008 it was listed on the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for conservation of wetlands, to be in need of sustainable conservation.


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Outline of the Project

1) Name:
Muan County Regional Development Type Coastal Area Management Model Project

2) Project site:
Muan County Coastline, South Jeolla Province, South Korea

3) Signing ceremony and workshop:

Date: March 23, 2010 (Tue) 2:00PM-6:00PM
Place: Muan County Office
Signing Parties: 1.Muan County Marine Dept.
2.WWF
3.KORDI

4) Organizations associated with the project:

(i) WWF: Management and promotion of the project in general, technical instruction
(ii) Panasonic Corporation: Provision of funds for the project
(iii) South Jeolla Province, Marine Resources Department, Marine Harbor Section: Coordination of related departments in Korea and direction
(iv) Muan County Marine Dept.: Formulation of management plan
(v) KORDI: public monitoring guidance, data analysis and tabulation
(vi) Eco-Horizon (Korean environmental NGO): Coordination with local parties concerned with Muan wetlands
(vii) Local residents' organization: Implementation of public monitoring, creation and trial run of local promotion measures.

5) Project funding:
15,000,000 yen (provided by Panasonic Corporation)

■ Yellow Sea Ecoregion

The Yellow Sea is the ocean area surrounded by China and Korean Peninsula. Having one of the world's largest continental shelves, the Yellow Sea boasts an extremely large variety of living creatures, and, at the same time, has served as a rich fishing ground over many centuries. In cooperation with environment-related organizations from China and Korea, WWF has compiled data on mammals, birds, shellfish, fishes, coastal plants, and seaweeds in 2006, and selected 23 areas that should be given priority in conservation.

■ Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project

The Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project is a project that aims at preserving the diversity of life in the Yellow Sea Ecoregion, and its sustainable development, through cooperation by China, Korea and Japan. With support from Panasonic Corporation, the Project is being promoted in a 7-year Plan from 2007 to 2014. The Project is in progress in the priority conservation areas selected in 2006.

  • First Stage (2007.8-2010.3)
    Open recruitment for dissemination and awareness promotion activities and habitat conservation activities to be primarily performed by local communities is being carried out in China and Korea, and subsidies of funding for activities and opportunities for study, and exchanges of experience and information, are being provided.
  • Second Stage (2010.1-2013.3)
    Model areas will be established in both China and Korea, one for each, and conservation efforts corresponding to the characteristics of the area and making use of international standard habitat management methods will be carried out over three years in collaboration with local communities.
  • Third Stage (2013.4-2014.9)
    Examples from first stage subsidy operations and examples of results in model areas in the second stage will be compiled, and "Asian Satoumi Co-existence Model" will be issued to China, Korea and then to the world, in a call for building up similar efforts over a broader region.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

WWF, an organization for global environmental conservation that aims to create a future where mankind and nature can live in harmony, was established in Switzerland in 1961. Currently, much of its work focuses on the conservation of biodiversity in forests and oceans, etc., making the use of natural resources sustainable, such as lumber, fish and shellfish, and the prevention of global warming.

Panasonic Corporation

Giving its approval to the main purpose of WWF, Panasonic Corporation has determined to give its support, since the Project aims at conservation of biodiversity in the environment and is also an activity covering Japan, China, and Korea. As for its efforts as a corporate citizen, under the theme of "education and coexistence," with the key areas of next generation education and the environment, Panasonic's global efforts are ongoing activities. With this concept, Panasonic will be supporting the Project over a period of as long as seven years.

In addition, as the first company in the Asia region, including Japan, to be a Corporate Supporter under WWF International's international corporate partnership scheme, Panasonic has been supporting the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project. Currently, not merely through its joint promotion of the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project, Panasonic has been making efforts in cooperation in such comprehensive environmental conservation activities as exchanging views with WWF on green purchasing policy for paper for the entire Panasonic Group from the viewpoint of forestry conservation, and reflecting this in its policies.

WWF Japan

Sadayoshi Tobai, Yellow Sea Project Coordinator
Hiroko Sakuma, Public Relations Coordinator
Tel: 03-3769-1713

Panasonic Corporation

Akira Kadota, International PR
Tel: 03-6403-3040
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: 03-3542-6205
*The content in the following news releases is accurate at the time of publication but may be subject to change without notice. Please note therefore that these documents may not always contain the most up-to-date information.

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