Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

War Zone Could Promote Peace By Conserving Environment

Date:
October 13, 1997
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
In the current issue of Science magazine (Oct. 10), Penn State scientist Ke Chung Kim, professor of entomology, recommends the official conversion of the DMZ into a system of bioreserves that would offer havens for rare and endangered species of animals and plants, as well as an economic boost for North and South Korea.

University Park, Pa. --- The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) once symbolized war andconflict, a 366-square-mile area rigidly separating North and South Koreatotally unhabited by humans. Today, the DMZ may represent a major hope forpeace between the two Koreas.

Related Articles


In the current issue of Science magazine (Oct. 10), Penn State scientistKe Chung Kim, professor of entomology, recommends the official conversion of theDMZ into a system of bioreserves that would offer havens for rare and endangeredspecies of animals and plants, as well as an economic boost for North and SouthKorea.

"The preservation of DMZ ecosystems is basic to Korea's preservation andenvironmental restoration efforts," says Dr. Kim. "The Korean Peace BioreservesSystem that I proposed in 1994 provides a strategy to preserve the DMZ's richbiodiversity that is critical to conservation efforts in Korea. Jointdevelopment of the KPBRS will foster trust, understanding and respect betweenthe Democratic People's Republic Of Korea (DPRK) in the north and the Republicof Korea (ROK) in the south."

Korea's ecosystems and landscapes have been systematically compromisedby aggressive economic development and military buildup along with rapidurbanization, Dr. Kim notes. For example, in South Korea, most naturalecosystems, including large sections of the coastline and salt marshes, havebeen converted into industrial estates and urban centers. Such efforts resultedin severe pollution of waterways and farmlands and destruction of habitats foranimals and insects. In North Korea, rampant deforestation has caused severesoil erosion and flooding, he says.

This massive environmental degradation in both Koreas has led to theloss of plant and animal species in areas outside of the DMZ, says the PennState researcher. "The 1994 biodiversity study showed that 14 percent of birds,23 percent of freshwater fishes and 60 percent of amphibians, for example, havebeen destroyed or endangered."

Because of its isolated status, rare animal and plant species arecurrently found in the DMZ. The ecosystems of the DMZ and a buffer zone, theCivilian Control Zone, provide wintering grounds for two of the world's mostendangered birds: the white-naped crane and the red-crowned crane.

While the ROK government in South Korea has voiced support for thepreservation of the DMZ ecosystems, the Construction-Transportation Ministrythis month announced plans to seek legislation to drastically erase green beltregulations, the result of lobbying by land developers.

Dr. Kim acknowledges the political and economic pressures, saying "TheKorean population of the whole peninsula may reach 100 million by the year 2025,and continued economic development activities will require additionalappropriation of lands and natural resources. But the lack of a commitment topreserving biodiversity in favor of short-term economic development will hurtKorea's economy in the long-term by destroying its natural resources."

Creating a bioreserve system in the DMZ could result in economicopportunities such as international parks for resource conservation andecotourism, like the La Amistad International Park (Biosphere Reserve) betweenCosta Rica and Panama, says the Penn State scientist.

Working together on a joint project to create and manage a Koreanbioreserve system could gradually eliminate the distrust between the twocountries and lead to further collaboration, Dr. Kim suggests.

In late September, the preliminary round of the Korean peace talks hadbroken down. "Environmental issues may be the least provocative way of breakingthe ice," he says.

Over the past two years, Dr. Kim has been talking with groups ofgovernment officials, scientists and other agencies to promote and build supportfor the concept of the Korean Peace Bioreserves Systems not only from bothKorean governments, but also in the United States and througout the world.

"The processing of building Korean Peace Bioreserves System will notonly foster close relationships between the two Koreas, but it also willultimately improve environmental security and nurture cultural revival, thusbuilding human security on the Korean peninsula," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Penn State. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Penn State. "War Zone Could Promote Peace By Conserving Environment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063321.htm>.
Penn State. (1997, October 13). War Zone Could Promote Peace By Conserving Environment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063321.htm
Penn State. "War Zone Could Promote Peace By Conserving Environment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971010063321.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins