National Actions and International Frameworks for the Conservation and Wise Use of Tidal Flats and Other Coastal Wetlands in the Yellow Sea

  • Nial MooresEmail author
  • Lew Young
  • Spike Millington
  • Shaoxia Xia
  • Liu Yu
  • Xiubo Yu
  • Kyong Sim Ri
  • Tae-Sung Kim
  • Jeongcheol Lim
  • Felix Glenk
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 238)


The Yellow Sea is shared by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK). It contains one of the largest areas of tidal flats globally and has international importance for biodiversity. Yellow Sea coastal wetlands, especially tidal flats, also provide diverse ecosystem services—from natural protection against storm surges and rising sea levels to sustaining fisheries. However, coastal development has resulted in a decline of more than 65% of tidal flat area since the 1950s. Moreover, many remaining tidal flats and adjacent waters are negatively affected by pollution, overharvesting of natural resources and changes to feeder rivers. There has therefore been a remarkable decline in fisheries and in biodiversity, including tidal flat obligate waterbirds. However, especially in the past two decades, growing recognition of the benefits of wetland conservation—and of the multi-faceted costs of reclamation—has resulted in all three Yellow Sea nations increasing their efforts to address these declines at the national level. Increasingly, in recognition of shared threats and potential solutions, the PRC, DPRK and ROK are now also moving towards the wise use of the Yellow Sea’s coastal wetlands through international frameworks, including through the designation of World Heritage sites. Still, as reclamation continues in all three nations, the need remains to raise awareness of the importance of Yellow Sea tidal flats and to mainstream their conservation into policies focused on sustainable development and climate change mitigation and adaptation through both national and international mechanisms.


Wetland conservation Wise use Coastal flats Yellow Sea Climate change mitigation International cooperation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nial Moores
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lew Young
    • 2
  • Spike Millington
    • 3
  • Shaoxia Xia
    • 4
  • Liu Yu
    • 4
  • Xiubo Yu
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kyong Sim Ri
    • 6
  • Tae-Sung Kim
    • 7
  • Jeongcheol Lim
    • 7
  • Felix Glenk
    • 8
  1. 1.Birds KoreaBusanSouth Korea
  2. 2.East Asian-Australasian Flyway PartnershipIncheonSouth Korea
  3. 3.International Crane FoundationBarabooUSA
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.Ministry of Land and Environment ProtectionPyongyang, DPRKorea
  7. 7.National Institute of Environmental ResearchNational Wetlands CenterChangyeongSouth Korea
  8. 8.Hanns Seidel Foundation – KoreaMunichGermany

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