The DMZ Forum aims to win approval from both the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to apply for UNESCO World Heritage Site status and work with an international team of environmental and peace park experts on fulfilling the Forum's mission.
While doing this, the Forum is working toward preservation and enhancement of rare bird and animal habitats throughout the Korean peninsula and toward reforestation, organic farming, high-performance building and other environmental improvements. But the main mission is creating a Peace Park in the DMZ, which can spin off broad environmental and economic benefits to the whole peninsula.
Planning and Implementing an Environmental Peace Park
A priority is obtaining satellite images of the DMZ and adjacent areas so we can begin identifying sites for study, seed beds for re-introduction of species, places for careful eco-tourism. We will enlist international scholars to work on the plan for the several uses of the DMZ and its protection and for species re-introduction: biologists, botanists, entomologists, wildlife experts and experts on peace parks and eco-tourism.
We will consult the two governments on ownership issues and compensation for private property.
Outside the DMZ, we will continue to work with DPRK and ROK officials, scientists, farmers and foresters on general improvement of the Korean peninsula biodiversity and sustainable practices.
To finance these activities, beyond day-to-day operations of the DMZ Forum, we will organize a DMZ Foundation, seeking honorary directors from among prominent environmental and peace leaders.
A. Landscape Analysis of the DMZ Ecosystems
The goals of this project are to summarize the available data on the landscapes and ecosystems of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) corridor and to develop a digital database for the design and planning of a peace park in the DMZ ecosystems. This project involves satellite imagery and photography and GIS technology and will produce digitized mapping databases.
This project will require a scientific field survey team comprised of experts in wildlife biology, forestry, agronomy, soil science, and hydrology. They will collect field data to establish an ecological database shared between North and South Korea and international scientific agencies. Satellite data will be calibrated to ground information in order to refine both forms of data.
B. Additional DMZ Database
Information on the Korean DMZ not available via satellite is scattered throughout the world. The objectives of this project are to bring together all relevant information on the DMZ including the Armistice Agreement, political and military documentation, geology, climate, biodiversity, ecology, and other information, to develop a Koreas DMZ database (KDMZD) for all relevant information on the Demilitarized Zone corridor and ecosystems.
C. Development of the Peace Park
The DMZ Forum, as a neutral organization, will assist North and South Korean governments on developing the Peace Park by: 1) encouraging the inclusion of the DMZ preservation in North-South talks; (2) bringing together scientists from North and South and other countries to discuss cross-boundary peace parks; (3) providing expertise on ecological information gathering and monitoring, parks planning and management, and sustainable development; (4) assisting North and South in fund-raising for the peace park; (5) providing training to protected areas personnel; (6) establishing mechanisms for regular information exchange (newsletter, web page, database).
D. Outreach Program
Specific effort will be made to actively engage the ROK NGOs, government agencies, and news media, the government of the DPRK, and worldwide academic and conservation leaders in preserving the DMZ ecosystems for conservation and peace. This program includes writing and publishing articles for news media and inviting scholars, scientists and policy makers in conservation from the DPRK to the United States. Similarly, we will make a concerted effort to visit academic and research institutions in the DPRK.