100,000 geese, 100 people, 10 days in Korea and 1 international workshop on best practice in design and operation of visitor centres
Marie is currently at the Seosan Birdland Centre in South Korea, attending a workshop hosted by the Korean Environmental Ecology Research Foundation (ERF) and supported by the Ramsar Secretariat and Seosan City. Representatives from Chile, Canada, the UK, the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, Australia and, of course, Korea are discussing worldwide case study examples of best practice in visitor centre and exhibit design and passing on their top tips for successful operation of a wetland centre, be it large or small. The aim of the week is to gather enough information to produce a set of guidelines which will be published online to support others around the world in making their own way in this field. Topics being discussed include the masterplanning process, financial and environmental sustainability, operational management plans, interpretation and exhibit design, integration of activities into the environment, and the more broader topics such as what the overall aim is of a wetland visitor centre and can we use sustainable tourism to create ambassadors for wetlands and conservation in our visitors. Many of our WWT Consulting projects have been used as case studies already.
The nearby Cheonsu Bay is host to over 100,000 wintering geese at this time of year and the group were lucky to spend a morning observing them and enjoying the amazing sound that such numbers of wildfowl make.
And of course no trip to Korea would be complete without tasting the traditional dish of kimchi, which is being enjoyed with every meal.