‘Forest and Health’

March 21, 2023

The protection and increase of forests are an important matter concerning the existence of humankind.

Forest preforms such functions as of preserving biodiversity, controlling the storage of water, protecting land, purifying air and others and constitutes important resources for the provision of raw and other materials indispensable for human life and economic development.

Forests cover 7.6 billion hectares on the earth, making up over half of its land mass.

However, the acreage of forests continues to decrease for various reasons such as population growth and industrial development. As a result, it was reportedly reduced to a half, 3.8 billion, in 2000 and now dwindles by 10 million every year.

It is also reported that about 3.1 million hectares of forests were planted in the past 10 years till 2020, whereas natural forests are reduced by about 12.5 million hectares a year.

Experts say that forest destruction at this rate would leave no forests on earth after 170 years.

Therefore, to protect forests and sustainably increase the acreage is not a matter which is confined to only one country, region or unit, but an important issue related to human existence.

For this reason, the UN General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as the International Day of Forests in 2012. Many countries conduct a variety of activities including tree planting to mark the day. The theme for this year’s IDF is “Forest and Health”. 

In the DPRK afforestation has been undertaken as a nationwide affair, with millions of hectares of forests having been planted in recent years.

Afforestation and reforestation are in full swing for planting mixed forests according to management purposes in full consideration of biological characteristics and symbiosis of trees and weather and soil conditions.

Trees that grow well in each region are planted on the principle of growing the right trees on the right soil to create timber forests, those for producing fibre and paper and those of wild fruit and oil-bearing trees and efforts are concentrated on the cultivation and management to raise the rooting rate.

Measures have been taken to modernize tree nurseries, put sapling production on an industrial, intensive and scientific basis and plant three- to four-year-old tree saplings.

Many species of tree saplings are grown to diversify the creation of mixed forests.

Sci-tech findings have also positively been introduced into the planting and protection of forests. A program was developed by putting the forms and methods of planting mixed forest, selection of trees and mixing rate on a scientific basis, opening up the prospects for putting afforestation on a scientific footing.

A remote monitoring system has been set up for the protection of forests and drones and other advanced equipment are widely used to prevent damage from forest fire and blights.

Jo Kuk Hyon, officer of the Central Committee of the Nature Conservation Union of Korea

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