I am currently 18 years old and was born in Suncheon City, South Korea. When I was 11, I got the opportunity to travel to Saskatoon, Canada. I returned to Incheon, Songdo, South Korea to continue my education at Chadwick International School. I am currently residing in the United States of America in Bangor, Maine. I attend classes at the John Bapst Memorial High School and I'm starting my senior year there this year. Returning home from America, I got an opportunity to visit my parents in my hometown of Suncheon. Our parent's house, squeezed between the elegant gardens to the left and the bustling commercial center to the right, was my home for a number of years since I was young. Myself, being not much of a naturaphile, often craved a more vibrant and stimulating life outside the sleepy town of Suncheon. However, the Suncheon Bay National Garden, after it was built, became an effervescent place filled with excitement where citizens all over Korea gather around blossoming flowers or view birds enjoying their afternoon swim. The Ramsar Regional Center - East Asia (RRC-EA) gave me the opportunity to enjoy the community built around this area. My experience as a volunteer at the RRC-EA in Suncheon was a valuable educational experience and it changed my view on the importance of wetlands. I had the opportunity to read many proposals for the RRC-EA Wetland Fund and realized the value of mediating between industrialists and nature organisations. Many of the wetlands around the world were being harmed by overdevelopment and government bodies taking an indifferent stance towards conservation concerning the wise use of these resources. This gave me a better understanding of the essential role of the Ramsar organisation to protect and conserve nature. I also appreciated the tightly-knit community of the Ramsar Centre and its staff. The Suncheon Garden, only a few kilometres away from the Suncheon Bay area, was the prime location for this centre. The lively activity and the community built around the Suncheon Garden was pleasurable and gave me a valuable experience concerning wetlands within my life as well. I have lived next to a wetland for a majority of my life (Suncheon Bay, Songdo Tidal Flats, etc.). My experience at the RRC-EA was indeed eye-opening and connected my values in life to nature in a meaningful way.