KFS steps up oversight of border area

DATE : 2012-10-23

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KFS steps up oversight of illegal logging near inter-Korean border

The Northern Regional Office of the Korean Forest Service is strengthening its oversight of illegal logging and forest clearing activities on the strip of land wedged between the Civilian Control Line and the border with North Korea.

It has been reported that illegal logging and tree removals for farming continued surreptitiously in that area in the vicinity of farm lands and military bases in the counties of Hwacheon and Cheorwon, Gangwon Province.

The Civilian Control Line  is located 5 to 20 km south of the Military Demarcation Line, which divides South and North Korea, and marks the northernmost boundary that civilians can enter. The strip of land between the Civilian Control Line and the Military Demarcation Line has been beyond civilian access since the 1950-53 Korean War and maintains indigenous forest ecosystems and natural landscapes.

The KFS northern office has put up banners and operates monitoring teams to warn against illegal logging and clearing. Such activities were not punishable until the Special Law on the Management of Forest Land North of the Civilian Control Line took effect in April last year amid rising calls for conservation of ecosystems in the no-man’s land.

“The area north of the CLL has so far been beyond administrative reach, but now it will be persistently monitored to prevent forest degradation and protect ecological systems there,” Yoon Young-kyoon, director general of the KFS northern regional office, said.

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