“Desertification is one of the most severe and most serious problems we are now facing. We are trying to stand up in action in preventing and combatting decertification. We are dedicated and devoted and determined to do every effort to prevent desertification”
Born in 1938, Amb. Kwon, a national of the Republic of Korea, is a lawyer by profession. He has served in various diplomatic capacities in Australia, China, Japan, Myanmar and the United States. His exceptional achievements earned him both the Red (1979) and Yellow (1992) Orders of Merit for Excellent Civil Service and the Order of Merit for Outstanding Diplomatic Performance (1987) from the Government of Korea. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Pittsburgh in the United States, the second such award to a foreigner, and holds the 2nd Annual Award of international cooperation for North East Asia, sponsored by the Association of the North-East Asia Community and supported by Ministry of Unification and the Daily Economy Newspaper. Amb. Kwon has also served as Invited Eminent Professor at Myungji University, Korea, and Professor Emeritus at Luo Yang University, China.
Upon retirement from the civil service, Amb. Kwon set up the Future Forest organization to raise awareness on the issues of desertification and yellow dust storms, to promote the participation of young people in environmental activities and to establish friendship among youth all over the World. In 2005, he begun ‘constructing’ the “Korea-China Friendship Great Green Wall” made of natural forests to ‘tame the yellow dragon’, that is, deserts. His target is planting one billion trees in China’s Kubuchi Desert as part of this Wall to demonstrate that degraded land can be reclaimed, and to provide a research site on reclaiming degraded land. The Great Green Wall is already taking shape, with a 70 percent success rate in tree planting.