The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA) is a nonprofit organization that coordinates over 100 United Nations Associations around the world. The Peace Fellows Programme brings together motivated youth, who are interested in the peacebuilding efforts of the UN, especially in the Northeast Asian region. The 2021 Peace Fellows Programme will take place from the 9th to the 13th of August via Zoom and will cover topics such as Asia-pacific security, peace, and issues on the Korean Peninsula.
Felix Glenk of Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Korea will be contributing to the event with a special lecture, titled “Going North From the DMZ - Joint Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Global Engagement in North Korea”. The lecture was recorded at the HSF Korea office and will be presented to the participants of the Peace Fellows Programme in August. Throughout the years, HSF Korea has had unique opportunities to provide know-how and expertise in support of peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. HSF Korea has supported the Peace Fellows Program since 2019.
Mr. Glenk’s lecture will be on the experiences of HSF Korea in its efforts to foster peace on the Korean Peninsula. HSF Korea works in South Korea, especially the DMZ region and in North Korea, as advocates of environment diplomacy. Cooperating through mutually critical issues, such as environmental conservation and sustainability offers the unique opportunity for ideology to be temporarily put in the background. Shared ecosystems between the borders of the two Koreas give further necessity for peaceful collaboration.
Issues such as bird species conservation has become a topic important for both countries. Projects led by HSF have led to increased attention and action in North Korea towards the conservation of wetlands, deforestation, and protection of endangered bird species. In recent years, North Korea has begun to demonstrate recognition of the mentioned issues, and HSF Korea expresses gratification that its efforts may have played a role in such developments. For example, under its working title “The Conservation and Wise Use of Wetlands in the DPR Korea”, the foundation helped strengthen the skills of persons relevant to the management of North Korean wetlands, supported the accession of North Korea to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and increased general awareness about the importance of wetlands. HSF Korea has also led projects in management training, monitoring, and biodiversity surveys at the Rason Migratory Bird Reserve. Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea has an almost 20-year history in cooperative projects with North Korea.
Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea uses Germany’s Green Belt as an example of a potential future in the Korean Peninsula - a once deadly border turned into an eco-corridor, boasting 109 different types of habitats and a reserve for many of Germany’s endangered species. HSF continues to foster environmental protection, cooperation, and peace in the Korean Peninsula.
To read more about the 2021 WFUNA Peace Fellows Programme, click here.