Policy Forum

Preserving Biodiversity in Korea's Demilitarized Zone

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Science  10 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5336, pp. 242-243
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5336.242

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Amidst international tensions and military posturing, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea has, for 45 years, provided sanctuary to endangered and threatened animals and plants. The DMZ has been rigidly enforced: It is uninhabited by humans, and its inaccessibility has allowed damaged forests to rehabilitate and farmlands that are thousands of years old to return to a natural state. The DMZ has, in fact, become a unique nature reserve containing the last vestiges of Korea's natural heritage. The Korean Peace Bioreserves System provides a strategy to preserve the rich biodiversity of the DMZ. Joint development of the Korean Peace Bioreserves System will foster trust, understanding, and respect between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north and the Republic of Korea in the south.

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