MOU with Portugal on Pine Wilt Disease Control
beetween the Korea Forest Service and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sea of the Portuguese Republic
Pine wilt disease is still threatening pine forests despite research and control activities over the last decades. Recently impacts of pine wilt disease are getting severe and spreading rapidly since climate change such as spring droughts and high temperatures increasingly causes environmental changes in forests.
This recent environmental issue is not a problem pnly Korea is facing but a common threat to Asian countries like China and Japan and European countries including Portugal. Against this background, the Korea Forest Service (KFS) and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Sea of the Portuguese republic agreed to establish the forest partnership with the aim of developing environmentally friendly prevention methods and exterminating pine wilt disease control.
The MOU concerning cooperation in the field of pine wilt disease was signed by Deputy Minister of KFS Dr. KIM Yong Ha and Mr. Nuno Vieira e Brito, Secretary of State for Food and Agri-Food Research on 12 May, 2015, Seoul.?At the signing ceremony, both sides briefed on the current state of pine wilt disease and shared comments on prevention activities.
Upon the request by the Portuguese side, the MOU was established. Pine wilt disease is spreading in Portugal since the first outbreak in 1999. In Korea 9 million pine trees have been infected and withered out since the first detection in Busan, 1998.
For the objective of this MOU to prevent and exterminate pine wilt disease, both sides will join hands to promote technical cooperation including experts exchange and joint research and to protect forests from such a disease.
Deputy Minister Dr. KIM Young Ha underlined that in order to protect pine trees which symbolize the national spirit of Korea, KFS has declared to fight against pine wilt disease and is carrying out the pine wilt disease extermination plan by 2017. He added that through the cooperation with Portugal, KFS makes its upmost effort to reduce impacts of the disease by improving prevention technology and taking effective methods.