The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea was established by the Korean Armistice Agreement in 1953 and it is 155 miles (248km) long, and about 2km wide to north and to south. Along with tragic memories of the Korean War, the area has been recognized with its outstanding ecology which ironically has been well preserved because of very few human contacts for the last half a century. Diverse natural monuments and endangered species inhabitate uncontaminated streams and wetlands in DMZ. Although frequent fires have deteriorated conditions of forest in the area, the rich ecological value of DMZ cannot be underestimated.
Recently, concerns over the development of DMZ have risen, accelerated by increasing economic and cultural exchanges between the two Koreas. In the midst of the growing threat, National Trust of Korea aims to protect the area which plays a major role in bridging ecosystems of North and South Korea and ultimately pass uncontaminated natural environment and historical cultural assets on to future generations.
Currently, National Trust of Korea protects the forest woodland in DMZ donated by Shin Joong-Gwan in November 2007. The land has high geo-ecological values and it is the first area in DMZ donated on the public level to protect natural environment of the zone.
Born in 1944, Mr. Shin came from Hwanghae-do which is now a territory of North Korea. Before he was forced to leave his hometown due to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he planted a plum tree in the backyard of his house, which he couldn’t see grow never again. Pursuing his interest in nature, he saved money through a very thrifty lifestyle in order to acquire his own land and plant more trees. With money he saved, he was able to purchase an area near his hometown, which was located inside DMZ. Throughout his life, he was actively involved in environmental activities, which made him decide to donate his land to National Trust of Korea, hoping for permanent preservation of DMZ as a global eco-space with ecological values as well as historical memories. He passed away in 2009 and wished to leave his inheritance with environmental organizations he had supported during his life.
Opening time ｜ all year round
Price ｜ Free
Facilities & access ｜ As the site is located within Civilian Access Control Line of DMZ, if you wish to visit, please inform a NT office in Korea of your visit in advance.
Contact ｜ +82 (0)2 739 3131 / email@example.com