Korea and Mongolia make new forestation plans

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Korea and Mongolia make new forestation plans

Choi Byeong-am, minister of the Korea Forest Service, right, examines a reforested area in Lun, Tuv Province, Mongolia, on Friday. [KOREA FOREST SERVICE]

Choi Byeong-am, minister of the Korea Forest Service, right, examines a reforested area in Lun, Tuv Province, Mongolia, on Friday. [KOREA FOREST SERVICE]

The Korea Forest Service and Mongolia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism signed an agreement on Friday to work together to combat desertification and sand and dust storms.
 
“The two nations have decided to cooperate actively in combating desertification and climate change, preventing natural disasters, and reducing environmental pollution,” said the Korea Forest Service in a statement.  
 
Korea Forest Service Minister Choi Byeong-am traveled with a delegation to Mongolia to sign the agreement, which is the third phase of ongoing projects on deforestation.
 
Korea has been working closely with Mongolia on its forestation efforts in recent years, having helped plant 3,000 hectares of forest in Mongolia from 2007 to 2017.  
 
The second phase of a bilateral reforestation project included planting some 40 hectares of forest within Ulaanbaatar, the capital, with trees that can endure the dry, cold climate of Mongolia. A completion ceremony for the project was held Friday during Minister Choi’s visit. The urban forest includes a visitor information center, a playground, sport facilities, a natural arboretum and a fountain.
 
In the third phase of cooperation, the two countries have an $8 million project to reforest northern areas of the country that have been damaged by wildfires and carry out research and training on agroforestry from 2022 to 2026.  
 
“The MOU signed today reflects current global trends and recognizes the importance of land-based solutions in achieving land degradation neutrality (LDN), which was adopted as SDG target 15.3 at the UN Assembly in 2015, and in tackling climate change,” said the Korea Forest Service.  
 
Part of the Korean-Mongolian cooperation dovetails with the Mongolian government’s program to reforest areas between the Gobi and Steppe regions through 2035, known as the Green Belt National Program of Mongolia.
 
“The Korea-Mongolia Greenbelt Plantation Project has played a critical role in addressing environmental issues by tackling climate change and desertification,” said Minister Choi on Friday. “It is my sincere hope that the project will be further developed to become an exemplary project in Northeast Asia and help accelerate regional cooperation in the region.”

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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