Wetland preservation in the DPRK

February 2, 2023

A wetland is a natural product in the intermediate stage of ecological succession by which a lake gives way to land and therefore it has the characteristics of the two environments and is inhabited by various big and small living things. 

It includes lakes, ponds, tideland, rivers, dams, offshore farms, coral reefs and paddy fields.

It constitutes an ecosystem essential to human life as it performs various important functions such as the mitigation of the effects of climate change, provision of fresh water, prevention of flood damage, disintegration of pollutants and conservation of biodiversity.

At present more than a billion inhabitants of earth earn income from wetlands and 3.5 billion persons live on foods produced there.

However, wetlands that are valuable natural resources of humankind are now being lost or degenerating due to the competitive development and use of water and land resources, transformation of rivers, lakes and coasts, environmental pollution, excessive fishing and mining, coming of exotic species and climate change.

In order to carry on the work of preventing the rapid loss of wetlands and restoring them on a global scale, the United Nations adopted the convention on wetlands on February 2 1971 and decided to celebrate the day as World Wetlands Day from 1997.

The UN set “It’s time for wetland restoration” as the theme of wetland protection for this year.

The DPRK carries on wetland preservation as an important national undertaking to protect its land and the lives and property of its people and prevent natural disasters caused by abnormal weather.

Many coastal, inland and artificial wetlands are distributed in Korea which is bounded by the sea on three sides.

As it channels big efforts into forest planting and protection which is closely related to wetland conservation, the DPRK energetically undertakes various projects for better protecting and managing wetlands, including surveys into wetland ecosystem, designation of wetland reserves and sustainable use of wetland resources. It restricts development and reclamation of wetlands and takes preventive measures against sources of pollution in order to keep land and river areas from being polluted.

In particular, it intensifies the preservation and management of Rason city, Kumya and Mundok migratory bird reserves which were listed as wetlands of international significance according to the Ramsar Convention and as major stopovers of migratory water birds selected by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.

And successes have been made in scientific research to prevent water pollution, thereby establishing a system of producing quality organic fertilizer by treating deposits in rivers and sewage purifying sites, such factory waste as slag and urban waste in a comprehensive way and introducing a new method of treating dyeing waste water and technologies of manufacturing a composite inorganic flocculant for treating waste water and decontaminating water by a biological method.  

At the Sixth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, General Secretary Kim Jong Un pointed to the need to push ahead with the work to safeguard and improve ecological environment, draw up a national plan for preventing air and water pollution in a scientific way and establish a well-organized and real-time pollution monitoring and notifying system to prevent even a drop of muddy water from flowing into rivers.   

The Nature Conservation Union of Korea will continue to put big efforts into protecting wetlands and restoring damaged wetlands as it promotes cooperation with relevant units. 

Ri Ju Gyong, journalist of the Central Committee of the Nature Conservation Union of Korea

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