S. Korea seeks UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status for DMZ

South Korea is looking to register its areas
near the Demilitarized Zone…. to be part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves,…
an inter-governmental initiative to promote environmental sustainability. It hopes this can open the road for joint
environmental protection projects with North Korea. Kim Hyo-sun reports. South Korea has registered five counties in
Gangwon-do Province, located along the inter-Korean border and Yeoncheon-gun County of Gyeonggi-do
Province as UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. They include Cheorwon, Hwacheon, Yang-gu,
Inje and Goseong counties encompassing an area of over 180-thousand hectares. The whole of Yeoncheon-gun County, excluding
the DMZ, which spans over 58-thousand hectares has also been registered. While the five Gangwon-do Province counties
registered for the initiative in 2012,… such a move lacked support from local residents. South Korea’s resort island of Jeju is also
seeking to have the entire island registered as biosphere reserve,… expanding from the
currently designated area of Hallasan Mountain and its surrounding areas. Taking this opportunity,… South Korea’s Ministry of Environment hopes
to carry out environment preservation projects jointly with North Korea. A total of 686 sites across 122 countries
have been registered as UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News.