The tidal flats of the Yellow Sea, mainly belonging to Korea and China, are of high international importance as "refueling" site for migratory coastal birds flying between New Zealand / Australia and Northern Siberia / Alaska on the East Asia Flyway. The birds feed on the tidal flats and stockpile the energy needed to fly great distances. The flats at the west coast of South Korea are visited annually by more than a million birds of about 340 species, 34 of them globally threatened. It is therefore of great value that the government of Korea has submitted an application to UNESCO for the Tidal Flats on the southwest coast of Korea, distributed in Gomso Bay, Yeoja Bay, and Hamhae Bay (seashores) and the Sinan archipelagos, to become a World Heritage Site. The distinctive feature of Korean tidal flats on the southwest coast has attracted global attention. International discussions about and national protests against the recent embankment of 41 000 ha of tidal flats at Saemangeum have triggered an increased understanding of the global importance of these coastal habitats. It may be therefore a matter of national pride and international responsibility to protect all remaining tidal flats against any further decrease or devaluation.