Award for Merit 2015

Professor Gea Jae Joo, Pusan National University / Republic of Korea

Professor Gea Jae Joo has worked in wetland conservation and wise use for over 25 years in different fields.

As a teacher at Pusan National University since 1993, he has always taken a strong interest in fostering education of individuals and groups regarding wetlands, their conservation and cultural values. He has published approximately 100 articles, book chapters and books associated with wetlands. He was one of the founders and organisers of the Korea-China-Japan “Kodomo” wetland events (child- focussed events on wetlands and Ramsar Sites).

Professor Gea Jae Joo has been the government representative and a principal advisor to the Republic of Korea government on issues related to Ramsar Sites and the Ramsar Convention. He was instrumental in promoting Changwon as the venue for the Ramsar COP10, and he was one of the drafters of the Changwon Declaration, and of resolutions on rice paddies and agriculture-wetland interactions.

Professor Gea Jae Joo has ensured the broad dissemination of wetland information and wetland culture, and has, in particular, been involved in the development of three wetland education centres in Korea and the establishment of the Ramsar Cultural Centre at Junam and Ramsar Regional Centre-East Asia, of which he is Honorary Director.

We are delighted to present the Merit Award to Professor Gea Jae Joo for his support to the key principles of Ramsar and his championing of the importance of culture in wetlands.