Suncheon, Republic of Korea

Innovative and Collaborative Solution

How does the initiative show evidence of feasibility, including on-going financial and logistical support?

In 2008, Suncheon city divided the space compartment into four major areas, centering on the river (Dongcheon) that vertically connects the city centre and Suncheonman Bay, and reflected them in the urban plan.

  • Urban zone: A potential space visited by locals and many tourists, a transportation hub, and an environmentally friendly space that links various cultural and tourism resources in Suncheon-city.
  • Transition zone: A space that minimizes rapid functional changes between buffer zones and urban zones, and meets the demand for parks and walks in urban areas.
  • Buffer zone: It is an area to protect the Eco-reserved zone, which is a key area, and is basically a space where management, ecotourism, experience, and education are used within a conservative framework.
  • Eco-reserved zone: In order to protect Suncheonman Bay, a key resource of Suncheon-city, activities for habitat conservation and species conservation such as migratory birds, reeds, and tidal flat life are mainly carried out, such as removing environmental hindrance facilities and restoring wetlands.
In what ways is the initiative innovative?

In order to preserve the Suncheon Bay wetland, restaurants and residential facilities that were operated close to the reed forest were relocated, the restrictions on visitor vehicles were taken effect. And 282 electric poles were removed for biodiversity of wetland creatures. In addition, paddy wetlands were created by restoring landfills, agricultural lands, and wetlands in the riverside area. In 2015, the farmland in the Dongcheon estuary adjacent to Suncheonman Bay and 5.394㎢ of river estuary were designated as national wetland protected areas and registered as Ramsar wetlands in January 2016. And Suncheon city established an integrated wetland management system linking major ecological axes of wetlands such as coastal wetlands, estuary wetlands, and paddy wetlands.

How is the initiative supported by collaborative working across disciplines and sectors?

Enactment of the “Ordinance on the preservation Management and Support Project of Suncheonman Bay Wetland”

The Suncheonman Bay Protection Citizens’ Conference, consisting of more than 30 civic groups in Suncheon, received a petition from residents in October 2010 and they passed the nation’s first ordinance submitted by citizen in March 2014. The petition required 5,218 signatures from citizens for ordinance request process, but more than 9,200 signatures was submitted.

In the process, numerous civil-private and academic governance (Suncheon City, Maritime Development Institute, Suncheon National University, Jeonnam Eastern Community Research Institute, Suncheon Environmental Movement Union, and Suncheon City Council) were held.

“Ordinance on the preservation Management and Support Project of Suncheonman Bay Wetland” was passed in March 2014 to restore the healthiness of the Suncheonman Bay mudflats and increase the awareness of wetland preservation among coastal residents.

How does the initiative demonstrate evidence of community support?          

❍ Suncheonman Bay Wetland Committee (2007~present)

  • Purpose of establishment
    • Established as a private-public-academia consultative body for systematic preservation and management of Suncheonman Bay.
    • Reinforcement of the locality and expertise of the Suncheonman Bay Committee.
    • Regular meetings (once a quarter ☞ bi-monthly)
    • Listening to the voice of the site through a committee visiting the village.
  • Main functions: deliberation and advice for the preservation and wise use of Suncheonman Bay.
  • Composition of subcommittees: operation of festival subcommittees, shelter subcommittees, and resident participation subcommittees.
  • Meeting: 50 times in total (including the main committee and subcommittees)
  • Major achievements.
    • Development and deliberation of a resident-led participating program of the Suncheonman Bay Reed Festival.
    • Encourage sales of local food in Suncheonman Bay, such as food and beverages sold in Suncheonman Bay Wetland.
    • Establishment of a 10% Suncheonman bay wetland profit return system for local residents.