Green Tourism in a Demilitarised Zone

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings

The interest in green/environmental/sustainable tourism has grown massively over the last decade and just about every destination preaches its green credentials. Brighton, for example, has been voted green capital of the UK. Kent has recently won £700,000 funding from the European Union for “coastal actions on sustainable tourism” whatever that means and Anglesey received funds a little while ago for coastal improvements. From further afield comes an example from South Korea where it is suggested that the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea becomes an ecological preservation area to protect wildlife.
Given that the zone has been the subject of the odd skirmish going back over 50 years, it is heavily fortified and that nobody really can really live there then its no wonder that the local flora and fauna has flourished. Apparently there are some 3,000 rare species to be found. So now the South Koreans intend to develop the whole area into a protection zone with a cycle path and transport links around the area adjacent to the zone. There will also be a peace park and a new university majoring on international peace.

At the risk of being called cynical, it seems to me that the South Koreans are being pretty shrewd by creating something out of a situation they have to put up with anyway. Until the North and the South agree a lasting peace there is little that can be done with the zone. Turning it into a green attraction so that visitors can see in but not get right up to the border seems a great way of making money from an existing problem. Not only that but anything that the North Koreans say or do can be branded as being anti-environmental. South Korea has managed to achieve a win win situation as those marketing people say.



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