The Saemangeum Wetland in South Korea was drained last year by the closure of a seawall. The project was intended to create rice paddy fields but the impact of local wildlife has been disastrous.
The water level of the wetland has dropped from seven meters to 17 centimeters. Mud now covers shellfish beds and plants that once thrived in the area and sustained the numerous birds that fed there.
The estuary was an important stopping off point for migratory birds. At least two bird species, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Nordmann’s Greenshank, face extinction because of the destruction of this wetland.
Birds Korea has appealed to the UK and EU for help in restoring, conserving and maintaining Saemangeum.