Korea Environmental Policy Bulletin - Policies on Conservation of the DMZ District Ecosystem

Republic of Korea, Ministry of Environment (2007)

The Korean Peninsula has been divided by the 248km-long Military Demarcation Line (MDL) from East to West across the areas of Ggeutseum Ganghwa-gun, and Myeongho-ri Goseong-gun since the end of the Korean War in 1953. Along this line a 2km-wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was set up on both sides of the line. As a historical relic of national division the DMZ is unique because it allowed the conservation of the natural ecosystem as both North and South Korea have strictly restricted access to the area. Along with the Baekdudaegan Mountain Range and Coastal areas the DMZ is one of the three Core Eco-Networks for the conservation of the national natural environment (See Fig.1). To systematically manage the DMZ District thorough analysis of the ecosystem including the natural environment should come first. In line with this there have been a number of studies beginning in 1965 with an investigation of the ecosystem along the northern part of the Civilian Control Line (CCL) conducted by The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. However since the studies place disproportionate emphasis on partial aspects of the ecosystem and maintenance plans an effective plan has yet to be introduced. In particular as environmental conservation plans are not embodied development plans and actions are not controlled so the area that needs conservation is not managed properly.