NATIONAL

GGGI inks MOU with Korea Forest Service, aims to collaborate on reforestation in NK

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Jan 16, 2019 - 16:23
  • Updated : Jan 16, 2019 - 16:23

The Global Green Growth Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korea Forest Service on Wednesday as it seeks to open projects related to reforestation and energy in North Korea.

The international organization based in Seoul said it has made contact with the North Korean government to discuss collaborative projects on reforestation and renewable energy there. It is currently arranging the schedule for an actual meeting.

GGGI director Frank Rijsberman (left) and KFS Deputy Minister Park Chong-ho (GGGI)

The partnership with the KFS will allow the two to create synergy in their goals of spreading the use of clean energy and aiding reforestation in North Korea, Frank Rijsberman, GGGI director-general, said at the ceremony Wednesday.

“The MOU we sign today is a start of our collaboration on a number of fronts. We are exploring ways to achieve 100 percent renewable energy on the Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Their cooperation is expected to generate financial, social and natural capital returns, the GGGI said.

KFS Deputy Minister Park Chong-ho also expressed hope that their ties would lead to positive results for forestry in Asian countries and North Korea.

“One of our advantages is that we have built a strong network and connections in Asia over the past decades. We very much look forward to strengthening collaboration with the GGGI,” Park said.

Rijsberman said his organization has written to the North Korean government about project offers, and received positive responses. It plans to hold a meeting with the North, hopefully in March, the organization told The Korea Herald.

“We are both prepared and ready, and we have started to engage,” Rijsberman said. “We are aware that not everything is possible, given that we have a sanctions regime. But we hope humanitarian actions are allowed, and reforestation (works) should be able to go under that.”

The GGGI has partnered with research institutes and private-sector companies to launch feasibility studies on the potential of completely using renewable energy on the Korean Peninsula.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)