The DMZ Forum is an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), working with other international and national environmental and peace-seeking NGOs. Started in 1997 by two Korean-Americans, it has attracted worldwide support because its mission is globally important—diplomatically and environmentally.
The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone)is 2.4 by 155 miles. ROK also maintains a contiguous Civilian Control Zone with limited farming, 3-12 miles wide across the peninsula. Together, they contain:
- Five rivers—important to both Koreas’ water supply--forests, mountains, wetlands, prairies, bogs and estuaries.
- Over 1,100 plant species; 50 mammal species, including Asiatic Black Bear, leopard, lynx, sheep and possibly tiger; hundreds of bird species, and over 80 fish species. Birds migrate through the DMZ to Mongolia, China, Russia, Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines and Australia
In 2003, the Forum organized a conference in New York City on the importance of preserving the DMZ for the world. Professor Edward O. Wilson, Ambassador/Dean Stephen Bosworth and Ms Cora Weiss, President, Hague Appeal for Peace, and John Klotz, Sierra Club representative to the UN, spoke and spent several hours helping to chart the Forum’s future.
The Forum held annual conferences in each of the previous 6 years.
The New York Times published three prominent articles about the Forum—on the 2004 conference, on the 2003 50th anniversary of the DMZ and an op ed piece by Drs. E.O. Wilson and K.C. Kim. WorldWatch magazine published an article about the Forum in November 2004.
Forum leaders have met with
- ROK Minister of Environment and senior officials of that and other ministries, including Unification and Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT); provincial governors and mayors of towns bordering the DMZ
- Mr. Ted Turner, Ted Turner Enterprises; Mr. John Turner, Assistant Secretary of State-Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; and US Congressional Representatives Mr. Curt Weldon and Mr. Mark Kirk; Mr. Donald Gregg, Chair, The Korea Society; Peter Hayes, Executive Director, Nautilus Institute; Dr. Thomas Walsh and Dr. Mark Barry of the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace; Ambassador Harry Barnes when he was at the Carter Center; Selig Harrison; American Friends Service Committee staff working in North Korea; Mr. Richard Solomon, President, U.S. Institute for Peace; Steven Linton, President, Eugene Bell Foundation and many others.