Unbearable legacies: the politics of environmental degradation in North Korea

Hayes, P 2009, 'Unbearable legacies: the politics of environmental degradation in North Korea', The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, vol. 41, pp. 1-9.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Unbearable legacies: the politics of environmental degradation in North Korea
Author(s) Hayes, P
Year 2009
Journal name The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
Volume number 41
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 8
Publisher Japan Focus
Abstract Nearly 15 years ago, I wrote Enduring Legacies: Economic Dimensions of Restoring North Korea's Environment. This essay not only described a set of urgent environmental problems in North Korea, but also described its institutional and legal framework for environmental management. At the time, I had no idea that so many years would pass with no improvement in North Korea¿s situation. It has actually become far worse than I could then imagine. In 1994, I led a UN mission charged with helping North Korea to compile its first greenhouse gas emissions inventory for its national report under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which North Korea had signed. Part of the justification for providing Global Environment Facility (GEF) funding for greenhouse gas reduction projects in North Korea was the creation of other benefits such as biodiversity. For this reason, I was looking into reforestation in North Korea as a way to capture carbon from the air as a way to preserve and restore biodiversity. I was talking over dinner with the head of North Korea¿s biodiversity program about such a project. He offered to pour me a shot of liquor from a bottle containing a snake. I demurred but he insisted, saying the snake liquor for public sale was low grade whereas this one - a snake with a diamond head not a square one - was the real thing, made from a rare and endangered species!
Subject Defence Studies
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