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Ceremony
Tree planting – Helpful for climate and hope for peace in Korea

On April 26, the Korean Forest Service organized a commemorative tree planting, almost three days after the Panmunjeom declaration of 2018 and also to confirm the Korean pledge for carbon neutrality until 2050 and the wish for renewed inter-Korean Forest cooperation on the Korean Peninsula. The ceremony took place at the Inter-Korean Forest Cooperation Center in Paju, in view of North Korea across the Han river.

Among the guests of the ceremony were Unification Minister Lee In-Young, local representatives and assemblymen, Vice Governor Lee Hankyu of Gyeonggi province, the Co-president of the Korean Sharing Movement, Yun Yeo-doo, religious leaders and others. The tree planting ceremony was headed by Minister Choi Byeong-Am of the Korean Forest Service.

Hanns-Seidel-Foundation Korea was represented by Dr. Bernhard Seliger and Kim Young-Soo, as the only foreign organization, due to its close connection to environment and in particular reforestation on the Korean Peninsula. Hanns-Seidel-Foundation works since many years in sustainable forestry on both sides of the Peninsula, with model afforestations in North Korea (Taedonggun) and South Korea (Goseong-gun).

(And, on a personal note: I attended quite a few tree planting ceremonies in the past years in Korea. This one involved actual digging of holes, was not wholly ceremonial, for a very welcome change, and I am proud to say that the HSF team planted four trees, Korean Juneberries, by themselves. We hope they blossom and may be a sign for peace and cooperation across the Peninsula.)

The event has also been widely reported in the Korean media – see links about the event here.