AKIPRESS.COM - The Korea Forest Service signed a memorandum of understanding last week with Mongolia’s ministry of environment, green development and tourism to jointly combat desertification, according to The Korea Herald.
The agreement, which was made during Asia-Europe Meeting in Ulaanbaatar, reads that both countries will be in cooperation to contribute to afforesting Mongolian regions where the locals suffer from air pollution caused by its rapid urbanization.
“We are pleased to promote amity with Mongolia through afforesting the deserts from which sandy dusts to Korea come,” KFS Minister Shin Won-sop said at the ceremony.
Both sides also confirmed that Korea will provide support with a joint research project and transfer technologies of afforestation and pest control, Seoul officials said.
The KFS has been engaged in foresting Mongolia for nearly a decade. It launched a project called “Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Project” in 2007 to turn the wastelands into green lands. Korean and Mongolian governments established a local organization to plant trees in deserts, mostly the Gobi.
“Mongolia is a country with a long history of nomadic life, which means they were in no need to afforest the lands. In contrast, Korea is renowned with its advanced forest administration skills,” a KFS official told The Korea Herald.
“Now they need partners to offer advanced expertise for a settled society. Korea sees advantages from reducing sandy deserts from the Gobi desert, but is also proud to make social changes to our neighbor.”
The project indeed encouraged the Mongolian government to go through changes. In 2010, the government established a tree-planting day in 2010. They revised the forestry legislations and carried on campaigns to plant millions of trees last year, the official added.
The project will be completed this year leaving 3,000 hectares of vast forests, equivalent to the size of 3,000 soccer stadiums all combined.