Viridian Note 00234: Korean Involuntary Park

Bruce Sterling []

Key concepts
Korean Demilitarized Zone, Viridian involuntary parks; PlaNetwork meeting in New York City

Attention Conservation Notice: It's about Korea. Includes a meeting announcement of local interest to New Yorkers.

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This contest ends tomorrow: March 20, 02001

(((The useful concept of a "Viridian Involuntary Park" is a long-term favorite of ours. I could explain this notion all over again, but why? We just installed Google on our Viridian website! Go do a search there, and read all about these areas of the planet that have been abandoned to wilderness against the will of the human race.)))


Korea Now magazine March 10, 2001 200102240019.asp

"DMZ poised to emerge as precious ecotourist destination

"In the wake of the recent reconciliatory mood between South and North Korea, Seoul is taking various measures to preserve the valuable nature in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that bisects the Korean Peninsula.

"According to the South Korean government's six-year study of the ecosystem in the DMZ, the 250-km-long, 4-km-wide no-man's land that separates heavily armed forces has been reconfirmed as housing some of the world's rarest species of flora and fauna.

"Revealing its study conducted from 1995 until Feb. 6 of last year, the Korea Forest Research Institute (...) discovered about 100 rare, endangered and unrecorded species of plants, animals and microorganisms living in the 90,803 hectares of land that separate the two Koreas. Existing as a buffer zone between the two Koreas for half a century has enriched the DMZ's ecosystem. (((Mostly this is through the useful fact that anybody walking around in the DMZ will be shot.)))


"The rare species include eagles, antelope, cranes, frogs and roe deer, or as zoological purists would have them, Aegypius, Nemorhaedus caudatus, Grus japonensis, Rona plancyi chonsenica and Moschus moschiferus, respectively.

"Also found in the DMZ were rare and previously unknown species of flora with the botanical names of Hanabusaya Asiatica, Echinosophora Koreensis, Iris setosa, Epilobium Angustifolium and Iris Dichotoma. (...)

"The Seoul government is pushing ahead with a project to register part of the DMZ with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (TBR).

"UNESCO has so far designated five TBRs: Tatra National Park (between Poland and Slovakia), the Danube Delta (Romania and Ukraine), Krkonose National Park (the Czech Republic, Poland), Vosges Du Nord Park (France and Germany) and East Carpathians Natural Park (Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine). (((What's with that Polish thing?)))

"'We see no reason for North Korea to object to the registration of the DMZ as a UNESCO TBR which allows both South and North Korea to get financial and technical assistance from the world body for the preservation and sustained development of the buffer zone and its vicinities,' said Shim Soo-kyong of the Korean branch of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB), which is in charge of reviewing applications and registration of TBRs. (...)

"(The) initiative came amid concerns that construction of the inter-Korean railroad and highway through the western part of the DMZ would eventually devastate the natural ecosystem preserved for the past half century. (((Oh yeah. Yep. No sooner does the sniping stop, than...)))

"Meanwhile, South and North Korea have agreed to refrain from setting fire to trees and bushes within the DMZ, as part of their efforts to preserve the environment there, the Defense Ministry said on Feb. 9. South and North Korean militaries have adopted the practice of setting fire to trees and bushes for surveillance purposes within the DMZ.

"The military said there were 19 major fires within the DMZ in 2000, which burned 371 square kilometers of land and effectively detonated 703 landmines buried there."


(((We Viridians dote on those PlaNetwork characters. The "CyberGreens" are definitely our kind of people. If you're in the neighborhood, go buy them a beer. Tell 'em the Pope sent you.)))




PLANETWORK: Global Ecology and Information Technology

NEW YORK OPEN CENTER SATURDAY MARCH 24, 2001 7:30 PM 83 Spring Street, New York $12* Registration: 212 219 2527 SPACE IS LIMITED!!

Join ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE, INDYMEDIA, GEEKCORPS and many other 'Cyber Greens' for a lively evening of discussion, networking and strategy for harnessing new digital media tools and the Internet to build a sustainable future.

Focussed on activism and independent media, topics will range from new networking and web-based campaign strategies to click-actions; hacktivism to funding issues, as well as a discussion about the possibilities and challenges ahead in the '' world.

PLANETWORK is a California-based, international, interdisciplinary "link-tank" for Cyber Greens, dedicated to providing forums for innovators from a wide range of backgrounds to share their visions of how the Internet and global information technology might help adaptively transform human culture and activate awareness of both environmental problems and their solutions. (((Yeah brother! Hoohah!)))

In May 2000, PLANETWORK convened a large-scale conference in San Francisco that gathered over 700 people from a wide spectrum of fields, from information technology and green e-commerce, to ecology and biology, the arts, new media and education and environmental activism.

For more information:


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