Korean Site

ECOLOGY: information on biodiversity, nature, flora, fauna, habitats, life science of the Korean DMZ region.

The international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992, and entered into force on 29 December 1993. Over 150 member nations, signed the document at the Rio conference and since then more than 180 countries have ratified the agreement. The CBD is the first global agreement to cover all aspects of biodiversity. It has three main goals:

  • to conserve biodiversity;
  • to sustainably use the components of biodiversity; and
  • to share the benefits arising from the commercial and other use of genetic resources in a fair and equitable way.

Both DPRK and ROK are signees, and have submitted updated plans to the convention:


IUCN the International Union for the Conservation of Nature is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network - a democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and almost 11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.

            Red Listed Plant and Animal species within ROK

            Red Listed Plant and Animal species within DPRK                         

Korean Forest Service (ROK): outlines forest statistics, types, programs


Korean Long-term Ecological Research Network (LTER) part of global network of observation systems to understand long-term ecological changes                        


Korean Marine Institute (KMM) ROK, has developed and seeks cooperation on the development of a Marine Peace Park within the western regions of the DMZ.


Korean (ROK) Ramsar Wetland websites: dedicated to wetland protection, helping to inform and engage stakeholders on the importance and critical services that wetlands play, in ROK and around the world. Also included are a wide range of Ramsar and Korean (ROK) wetland resources.


Korea Wetland Project, a partnership of the UN-DP and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), very well-done website containing a wealth of information, links to field visits, and detailed information on ROKs wetland systems and issues.


Well-written piece compiling and documenting many of the disparate efforts to date (2007) to help design, develop and establish collaborative platforms for the protection of the DMZ as a peace and nature park. Healy. H. 2007. Korean Demilitarized Zone: Peace and Nature Park.    International Journal on World Peace. Vol. 24, No. 4.

             Healy 2007 DMZ Peace and Nature Park.pdf
Combined reference of bibliographic and field surveys of Korean DMZ region. (circa   2004). Kim, K., D.L. Cho. 2004. Status and ecological resource value of the Republic of Korea’s De-militarized Zone.Jour Landscape Ecol Eng (2005) 1: 3–15


Important work on developing wetland classification procedures in ROK.Kim. et al. 2006. ROK wetland classification types. J. Landscape Ecol. Eng.                                 

Seminal paper in the journal Science, by one of DMZ Forum’s founders, outlining the need and pressing urgency of preserving the DMZ biota. Kim, Ke Chung. 1997. “Preserving Biodiversity in Korea’s Demilitarized Zone.” Science, Vol. 278

             Kim 1997 Science Preserving DMZ Biodiversity.pdf
Editorial offering by Drs. Ke Chung Kim (co-founder of DMZ Forum) and E.O. Wilson outlining the pressing needs for conserving the DMZ regional biota via establishing a peace and nature park. Kim. K.C and E.O. Wilson 2002. The Land That War Forgot. New York   Times. Article

            Kim-Wilson 2002 NYTimes Land That War Forgot.pdf

Cogent article appearing within World Watch’s magazine, linking the importance of the DMZ ecological as an intact system as well as culturally, as a war memorial. Shore. W. B. 2004. Sanctuary: For Nature and the Dead- Preserving the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Excerpted from Nov\Dec. 2004 World Watch magazine.

           Shore. 2004. World Watch. DMZ Sanctuary.pdf

Thomas, J.A. 2009. No-Man’s Land: History and Nature Between States in the Korean DMZ. National University of Singapore\Univ. of Notre Dame. Conference presentation.


Compelling essay, delivered at the 2009 DMZ Forum Reception (Nabi Gallery, NY City), making the case of the importance of the Korean DMZ in helping to preserve some of the last remaining sustainable ecosystems and high quality examples of biodiversity arrays within the Korean peninsula.

Westing, A.H. 2009. Environmental Sustainability for the Korean Peninsula: Role of the DMZ. Presented at DMZ Forum Special Event. Nabi Gallery, NY City.

             Westing. 2009. DMZ Special Event. DMZ Sustainability.pdf

Important historical document in the evolution of a DMZ peace and nature park, outlining and providing detailed documentation both on the value and importance of trans-boundary reserves as well as the political challenges entailed.
Westing. 1998. Establishment and Management of Trans-frontier Reserves for Conflict Prevention and Confidence Building. Based on an invited paper presented to the Intl. Conference of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) plus Peace Parks Foundation on ‘Transboundary Protected Areas as a Vehicle for International Co-operation’, Somerset West (Cape Town), South Africa. 1997.

             Westing. 1998. Transfrontier Reserves.pdf

Detailed (37 pg.) treatise on the importance of and methods for utilizing protected areas for maintaining adequate levels of biodiversity areas within the Korean MZ. Westing, A. H. 2001. A Korean DMZ Park for Peace and Nature: Towards a Code of Conduct. In The Korean DMZ- Reverting Beyond Division (Kim, Chae-Han ed). 2001. SOWHA publishing, Seoul.

             Westing. 2000 Korean Peace Park Code of Conduct.pdf

Invited paper presented as keynote address at 2006 DMZ Forum annual meeting.Outlines environmental and political benefits to be gained from the establishment of a DMZ Transfrontier reserve. Contains valuable references and a listing of key multilateral treaties of importance to the subject.

Westing.A.H. 2006. A DMZ Transfrontier Reserve as the Hidden Key to Korean Collaboration. Key note address for DMZ Forum Annual Meeting, Korea Society, NY, NY.

             Westing. 2006 DMZ Reserve as Key to Collaboration.pdf