Posts Tagged ‘korea’

Conflict conservation: Biodiversity down the barrel of a gun (Economist)

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

[Editor’s note: Featuring the DMZ on the Korean peninsula and Chagos Islands (Diego Garcia) of the Indian Ocean. Both of these features can be found in Natural Earth, the free GIS map of the world.]

Republished from the Economist. Feb 8th 2010

THERE was a time when conservation meant keeping people away from nature. America’s system of national parks, a model for similar set-ups around the world, was based on the idea of limiting human presence to passing visits, rather than permanent habitation.

In recent years this way of doing things has come under suspicion. To fence off large areas of parkland is often impractical and can also be immoral—in that it leads to local people being booted out. These days, the consensus among conservationists is to try to manage nature with humans in situ. But there are still “involuntary parks”, to borrow a phrase from the writer and futurist Bruce Sterling, that serve to illustrate just how spectacularly well nature can do when humans are removed from the equation.

Some such “parks” are accidents of settlement, or its absence. Nature is preserved in those rare places that people just have not got round to overrunning—for example the Foja Mountains in western New Guinea, an area of rainforest that teems with an astonishingly rich variety of plants and animals. Others are accidents of conflict: places from which people have fled and where the fauna and flora have thrived as a result.

Continue reading at the Economist . . .

Limitations on Passport Use (Wikipedia)

Monday, September 14th, 2009

[Editor’s note: I dug up this interesting list of sovereign states who have passport problems at Wikipedia while working on Natural Earth.]

Most countries accept passports of other countries as valid for international travel and valid for entry. There are exceptions, such as when a country does not recognise the passport-issuing country as a sovereign state. Likewise, the passport-issuing country may also stamp restrictions on the passports of its citizens not to go to certain countries due to poor or non-existent foreign relations, or security or health risks.

Continue reading at Wikipedia . . .

Name that Body of Water: East Sea or Sea of Japan?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Last week an unnamed group (commentary elsewhere) ran this full page ad (below) in The Washington Post disagreeing with the use of Sea of Japan over East Sea for the body of water between the Korean peninsula and Japan. The series of ads has also appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The group also has informational pamphlets on several other contested issues.

In the US English, the conventional, Federal Board of Geographic Names toponymn for this body of water is “Sea of Japan”, and the conventional alternative name is also “East Sea” (Tong-hae romanized from Korean native script). When space is available, the placename is shown as “Sea of Japan (East Sea)”. As with any placename, alternatives are dropped under space constraints (such as with a 1 column map).

When the 8th Edition National Geographic Atlas of the World was published earlier this decade, a similar campaign (though more threatening) was run about the Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf).

errorinwpseaofjapan

North Korea Issues Heated Warning to South (Wash Post)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

korea

[Editor's note: The Egypt-Sudan boundary post reminds me that North Korea says it will no longer respect the legal status of the five islands South Korea administers west of the South's mainland allocated during the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War. So many small details.]

Republished from The Washington Post.
By Blaine Harden. Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TOKYO, May 27 — North Korea announced Wednesday that it is no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War, the latest and most profound diplomatic aftershock from the country’s latest nuclear test two days earlier.

North Korea also warned that it would respond “with a powerful military strike” should its ships be stopped by international forces trying to stop the export of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

The twin declarations, delivered by the country’s state news agency, followed South Korea’s announcement Tuesday that it would join the navies that will stop and inspect suspicious ships at sea. North Korea has repeatedly said that such participation would be a “declaration of war.”

They followed other developments in North Korea that have added to the sense of jangled nerves across northeast Asia since Monday’s underground nuclear test.

Continue reading at The Washington Post . . .