DMZ Meeting with Ted Turner CNN
The Demilitarized zone is a strip of land between north and South Korea app. 4 km wide and 250km long. Due to the strong barrier fencing and the presence of a vast number of military from both sides, the landscape remains undisturbed for many years. During 2004 Dr Nelson Mandela, during a visit to South Korea, mentioned the idea of a Peace Park for the DMZ to the government in the South Korea. Later that year Prof Willem van Riet travel to South Korea to make a presentation at a conference on the idea of conservation area for the DMZ and some draft planning work he had completed. The concept was to expand the existing conservation areas in South Korea into a link across the DMZ into North Korea to form a conservation and tourism area in the north and to anchor the rest of the DMZ to this block. Other delegates at the conference in Seoul also mention the undisturbed status of the ecosystem due to absolute lack of any presence of people inside the 4 km strip of land stretching 250 km from south to north. We also met with the governor of the province bordering on the DMZ as well as Mr Ted Turner and spent two days traveling along the DMZ inspecting the landscape. Later that year I was called to a surprize visit to South African foreign affairs office for a meeting with a delegation to South Africa from North Korea. They had expressed an interest in this idea and wanted to enquire about the work we had done. They invited Prof van Riet and a South African delegation to visit the area but that did not materialise. After retiring from the Peace Parks Foundation I still retained strong interest in this concept and would really liked to play a part in the revitalization of this dream. I cannot think a more powerfull event to popularize the idea of Transboundary Conservation in the honour of Dr Nelson Mandela.
Click on the Images to enlarge.
View from the South-East and Seoel
View from the North-East
DeLorme base map and Conservation area