A new Seoul Forest (15,793 m2) was opened in Ulan Bator, Mongolia in an effort to halt rapid desertification and to introduce Korea’s advanced landscaping skills throughout the world. “Seoul Forest was formed with many trees and Korean traditional landscaping facilities in the Bayanzurkh wasteland in southeast Mongolia,” announced the Seoul Metropolitan Government. The ‘Seoul Forest’ has been developed under the sister city agreement signed between Seoul Metropolitan Government and Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.
The initiative actually began in 2010 with a prize contest to design the forest, in accordance with the agreement signed in June 2009 between the two cities for closer environmental and economic cooperation. The work started in April 2012 with a working design – drawn up over a period of almost two years – that is based on the beauty of Korean traditional gardens.
Seoul Forest boasts many typically Korean features including a Korean traditional pavilion with a pond, a terraced flowerbed, a Korean-type wall, and two Haechi Statues (an imaginary animal of Korean mythology) among other things. The Bayanzurkh National Park of Ulan Bator, in which Seoul Forest has been established, has been planted with 725 trees of 10 species including white birches, 1,155 shrubs and plants of 5 species, and 2,580 fruit trees, etc. All the components of the facilities were made in Korea before being transported to the forest for assembly.
Seoul Forest in Mongolia is the second project to introduce Seoul following the establishment of Seoul Street in downtown Ulan Bator in 1996 pursuant to the sister city agreement between the two cities. The opening celebration took place on Tuesday, September 10, with the mayor and vice mayor of Ulan Bator and the Director-General of Green Seoul in attendance.
To introduce the beauty of Korean parks throughout the world, the Seoul City Government developed a Seoul Forest in six locations – including Cairo, Paris, and Berlin– in five countries. The city government is planning to develop another such forest in Tashkent, Uzbekistan by the end of this year.