Hello, everyone. This is Akane Tokorodani, Yu Takaku and Yuki Kobayashi.
We visited Korea from June 26 to 30, 2017. This trip is funded by Act Beyond Trust (ABT), a Japanese-based independent civil society fund that supports initiatives with the goal of harmony between the natural environment and human society.
In Korea, we had meetings with 6 organizations and 17 people have become SPOON members. The organizations we met include Moolseal （물새알）, Waterbird Network Korea, Incheon Black-faced Spoonbill Network, WWF Korea, East Asian-Australian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), and People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy （참여연대）. In addition, we met BFS researchers from these organizations, including a fisherman in Ganghwa Island and a woman working for the interaction of Korean and Japanese. We asked about their activities and they gave feedback to SPOON about its activity. And then, we talked about what we can do by our future cooperation. Many people gave us supportive comments and opinions so that we believe we can make new actions. (So, please look forward to our future!）
We were brought to Korea by Black-faced Spoonbills, and the landscapes we saw there were very impressive to us. In Ganghwa, we toured the historical sites of the island and learned about the historical events that happened there, such as the era of the Joseon Dynasty, the war with France, and the Japanese colonial period. We also toured the border of Korea and North Korea. Beyond the river (just 2km away!), we were able to see North Korea and hear loud music played from the opposite side of the river. There were similar rice fields spreading on both sides of the river, but there was a high fence in front of the river.
In Incheon, we saw a jungle of skyscrapers built on the reclaimed land, and we observed Black-faced Spoonbills coming to the reservoir there. In the reservoir, children were learning about Black-faced Spoonbill.
We were brought to Korea by Black-faced Spoonbills, and we learned about the history and we thought deeply about North Korea, the world, and peace. Then, we saw the relation of city and nature. Black-faced Spoonbill may be not only a beautiful bird but also wise bird that tells us many things.
We will create the connection of people and nature, people and people beyond borders based on what we discussed with people, saw, and felt in this time.
NOTE: Team SPOON is a Tokyo-based organization founded in 2015 by SAVE Executive Committee member Professor Masato Dohi and members of his laboratory at Tokyo Institute of Technology. SPOON’s mission is to increase recognition of Black-faced Spoonbills in Japan and help change the outcome for Fukuoka’s Wild Bird Park on Island City. Team SPOON’s vision is to incorporate nature into people’s lives by enabling them to have their own avatars in the wild.
For more information, see the article by Tadao Fujiwara in Spoonbills Speak, Volume 18, Issue 1 (Fall 2015) or the article by Akane Tokorodani in Spoonbills Speak, Volume 19, Issue 1 (Spring 2017), or visit Team SPOON’s website.
Excellent article and so happy to hear about increased support for the Spoonbills and cooperation among the countries. The photos were a nice addition, too. Keep up the good work!