Former United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday called for concerted efforts to restore the barren hills of Korea devastated by intensive bombing and decades of colonial mismanagement.
In an address at a five day forest week summit at Incheon, South Korea, Ban Ki-Moon said the barren hills of Korea were in desperate need of restoration.
“Cooperation was key to South Korea’s successful transformation. The tasks are too great for any one country or institution and we need to work together,” he said.
South Korean Minister of the Korea Forest Service, Kim Jae-hyun revealed that South Korea has even bigger aspirations as the country plans to extend the benefits of forests to all people on the Korean peninsula, including North Korea, and perhaps beyond
“Forests will be a vehicle to promote peace and prosperity around the world,” he said.
The Minister further said The Republic of Korea recognized the role forests could play in the newly-formed country’s recovery and made it a national priority to erase the damage caused by intensive bombing and decades of colonial mismanagement.
South Korea has doubled its forest coverage to 65 percent, creating a resource that provides clean air and water, economic opportunities and well-being in addition to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Korea’s reforestation success highlights the opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region, which has the least amount of forested area per capita in the world, of the benefits of healthy forests.