Thursday, November 19, 2009

S.K plans forestation project for N.K.

From the Herald:

[F]orestation has been one of the top priorities among President Lee's North Korea policy tasks ever since he vowed as a presidential candidate to plant 100 million trees north of the border.
The president ordered related ministries on Tuesday to gauge the impact of the planned forestation project on the entire Korean peninsula and review measures to support North Korea's forestation.
Lee made the instruction while presiding over a Cabinet meeting which finalized the South Korean government's plan to cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below expected levels in 2020, or a 4 percent reduction from 2005 levels.
"POSCO went all the way to South America to plant trees," the president said, referring to the steelmaker's ongoing forestation work in Uruguay to secure carbon emission rights.

Images provided by NASA showed that vast forest fires hit a large part of central North Korea last month.
The U.S. space agency said multiple fires had been burning in North Korea since mid-October, with several hot spots located in a mountainous region in the center of the country.

Here is an Lee Myung Bak project I can agree with wholeheartedly.  It seems to have everything one wants in an aid project: benefit to the North Koreans, benefit to the South Koreans and benefit to the world.

For the North Koreans, planted trees will stabilize hillsides, reducing erosion and mudslides.  In the long term, the wood can be harvested.

For the South Koreans, stabilized hillsides and deep tree roots hold water in the soil, reducing floods - like the one that on the Imjin River, starting in North Korea, but killing six South Koreans in late summer.

For the world, well, the article discusses carbon offsets, so that's clear.  There's more.  When a poor country loses it's forests, it becomes a lot poorer, fast.  I am thinking of the world's best/worst example of that: Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  The D.R. side has forests and is relatively well-off, while Haiti is a craphole.

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