For the Restoration of Ecosystem

June 5 is World Environment Day.

The day, designated to heighten worldwide concern about environmental protection and encourage it proactively, serves as an important occasion in promoting the advance of the environmental sector for attaining the goal of sustainable development.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) set the theme of World Environment Day for this year as “Ecosystem Restoration” in order to prevent the global ecosystems from being washed away or destroyed, and stop and reverse the trend.

In general, an ecosystem is a material world which consists of all living things that live together in a particular area and the environment surrounding them. It is a functional system formed with ceaseless interaction between creatures making biocoenosis and abiotic environment (inorganic environment).

Remarkable progress was made in the economic sector with the rapid development of science and technology, with the result that people could lead an affluent and civilized life. But, on the other hand, wanton destruction of geoecosystem plunged them into a grave crisis of their existence, the most serious of which are the shortage of water due to climate change caused by global warming, soil loss and degradation, environmental pollution, loss of biodiversity, and ever-worsening shortage of freshwater resources and energy sources.

The destruction of geoecosystem poses a great threat to the existence and sustainable development of mankind and the Earth. At present, 3.2 billion people, equivalent to 40% of the world population, suffer from the continued degradation of ecosystems, for example by losing access to fertile soil or safe drinking water.

Given the situation, the 74th UN General Assembly held in 2019 has declared the years 2021 through 2030 the UN decade on ecosystem restoration. It aims at reviving hundreds of millions of hectares, covering terrestrial as well as aquatic ecosystems.

Many countries around the world regard ecosystem restoration and its sustainable development as an important undertaking to protect environment and develop the economy simultaneously, and are making positive efforts to this end.

This year is the first year of signaling the launch of the UN decade on ecosystem restoration.

The DPRK pushes ahead with environmental protection in close combination with socio-economic development on the basis of a national environmental management system.

The adoption of the Law of the DPRK on Protection of Environment, the Law of the DPRK on Evaluating the Influence of Environment, the Law of the DPRK on Prevention of Marine Pollution and the Law of the DPRK on Prevention of Air Pollution laid foundations for guaranteeing environmental protection by law.

The industrial establishments are provided with harmful gas purifiers, dust collectors, waste water purification facilities and other pollution-preventing equipment. The networks of sewerage and sewage treatment plants are found in the urban areas, and a well-regulated system of procuring disposed daily necessities has been established to recycle organic garbage at the locally-run factories after classifying them.

Besides, agricultural and livestock farms and rural villages have established a food production cycle which makes it possible to produce organic fertilizer by collecting domestic animal excrement and night soil.

Biosphere and nature reserves have been designated, and modern tree nurseries to industrialize the production of saplings have been built in different parts of the country, thus laying material and technological foundations for covering the whole country with trees and flowers and turning it into an orchard.

Various kinds of publications are giving wide publicity to give a correct understanding of environmental protection to all the working people to help them acquire practical knowledge about it, and education in environmental protection is now in full swing. In the periods of general mobilization drive for land administration every spring and autumn, all the people turn out as one for afforestation, forest conservation, land realignment and river improvement to beautify the land of the country.

At the same time, the DPRK acceded to more than 10 international conventions, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention of Biodiversity and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and has made proactive efforts to implement them. It is also intensifying international cooperation and exchanges, including sponsoring international seminars, workshops and joint research for environmental protection.

At present, it is briskly conducting the survey and evaluation of protecting forests, rivers, wetlands and other ecosystems and promoting designation and registration of reserves and restoration of damaged ecosystems, while rendering active support to ecosystem restoration on a global scale.

Chae Ryong Jin, section chief of Biodiversity Institute
under the State Academy of Sciences

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