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Factsheet published
Sustainable Reforestation in the DPR Korea – International Cooperation for the Benefit of People and Nature

Severe deforestation in North Korea has become a major concern and focus of HSF Korea’s work on the Korean Peninsula. The bare and eroded mountain slopes and hills display the hardship that especially the rural population suffers. HSF Korea supports sustainable reforestation with a focus on capacity building and has now released a factsheet to summarize challenges, approaches, and the impact of its activities in the field of sustainable reforestation in North Korea.

The situation is severe. Lack of energy on the one hand has forced the population to exploit its forests for wood as fuel, while lack of food on the other hand has led it to cultivate land on hills and mountains. As a result, almost 40 percent of North Korea’s forest area has disappeared between 1990 and 2015. Administrative mismanagement and lack of awareness in politics for the significance of healthy forests is another cause for the severe deforestation problem. However, in the last few years, North Korea has changed its attitude toward the problem and declared reforestation a state goal.

HSF Korea is trying to support this change through pilot projects in the field of forestry. The currently largest project is funded by the European Union. Moreover, the foundation’s efforts aim towards reintegrating North Korea into international networks and thus providing better access to modern sustainable forestry expertise in other countries. Various trainings, international seminars and workshops serve as a platform for international cooperation and exchange, which is not only beneficial for the forestry sector, but contributes to the improvement of the rural population’s livelihood. To achieve its long-term goals, HSF Korea is working together with the North Korean Ministry of Land and Environment Protection, as well as the Forest Management Research Institute.