Carbon project near N. Korea border gets nod
Korea’s first-ever carbon credit project near inter-Korean border gets nod from government
A clean development project jointly pushed by the Korea Forest Service and SK Forest Co. on a patch of land near the inter-Korean border has won government approval that is expected to help reduce greenhouse gases and boost the local economy.
The prime minister’s office authorized the Afforestation and Reforestation Clean Development Mechanism (A/R CDM) project on September 11. The project’s co-operator SK Forest plans to seek its registration as a U.N.-approved CDM program with a review by the executive committee of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The project aims to transform 75 hectares of neglected pasture land in Goseong, Gangwon Province, near the border with North Korea, into forest by planting larch and birch trees and nut pines over the next 20 years. The KFS expects it to cut 12,416 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions during the period. The effect is on a par with planting 450,000 pine seedlings.
The KFS also believes the afforestation will help restore the environmental and ecological system in the region, enabling the local community to harvest pine nuts and birch liquid extracts believed to have medicinal effects. The site’s geographical proximity to North Korea would be a boon to North Korean reforestation efforts when the frayed inter-Korean relations are recovered.
“As the planned afforestation site is close to North Korea, our hopes are it could be a beneficial factor to restoring degraded North Korean forests in the future,” Kim Yong-ha, the director of the KFS Forest Resources Bureau, said.