Photo by Tomasz Pezold
Tb eNEWS - 11 - October 2017 - newsletter cover
Tb eNEWS - 11 - October 2017

IN FOCUS: Saxon-Bohemian Switzerland in the heart of Europe

A conservation atlas for transboundary conservation areas

Restoration of the Rio Bravo-Grande

Transboundary conservation helping promote peace and cooperation
Photo: Boris Erg
Photo: Boris Erg

“Conservation goals can be achieved across international boundaries through cooperative models, including enhanced nature conservation outcomes, sustainable socio-economic development and the promotion of peace”. This was the core of a statement made by Todd Walters on behalf of Maja Vasilijevic of IUCN’s Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group at the International Symposium on Biodiversity Conservation and Peace Building in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The symposium took place during the 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity that was held in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, in October 2014.

The Statement called for the engagement of all relevant sectors of society in the governance of Transboundary Conservation Areas, as well as for promotion of generation of social, cultural and economic benefits for local communities and indigenous peoples through transboundary conservation and cooperation. Specially referring to the Korean DMZ, the Statement encouraged mutual cooperation and the exchange of knowledge among scientists, protected area managers, civil society and other interested parties from the Korean Peninsula and other countries in the region, with the view of the future Korea DMZ Eco-Peace Park being at the heart of cooperative efforts in north-east Asia. This will help people recognise the important natural and cultural values and the historical importance of the area as well as connecting it to biodiversity conservation in the wider region.

Dr Jane Smart, Global Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group, spoke on 'Harmonization of Biodiversity Conservation and Peace in Transboundary Protected Areas', signalling the support of international organisations like IUCN to support transboundary dialogue at local, national and regional levels.

IUCN encouraged the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to work towards consensus and to apply for international recognition of the DMZ as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It was also advised that the two countries work towards establishing a permanent ecological monitoring station and sites within the DMZ to foster scientific and educational cooperation between scientists and students and the international community.

The long term strategy, as highlighted by the Statement, is to secure the sustainability of biodiversity values in the DMZ and adjoining areas while carefully balancing socio-economic progress and conservation, and undertaking a coordinated approach in planning the future of the DMZ.

For more information please see

or contact Maja Vasilijević,