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Protection of Baekdudaegan Mountains and Forest Ecosystem

Baekdu Daegan Electronic Book

Although rapid industrialization over the past thirty years has devastated Korea's ecosystem, significant pockets of biodiversity remain and is in need of urgent protection. One of the main efforts can be found in the preservation of Baekdudaegan Mountains. Baekdudaegan Mountains is ranges of mountains forming the backbone of the Korean peninsula that extends about 1,400 km from Mt. Baekdu in the north down to Mt. Jiri in the south. As the core of biodiversity, it is the nest of great variety of flora and fauna.

Recently, the Act on Protection of Baekdudaegan Mountains was established to preserve the continuity of rich forest ecosystem in Korea.

The protected areas of Baekdudaegan Mountains were created based on the Act, however, local communities protested against such action. The government put much effort in eliciting public consensus and understanding of the underlying principles in creating protected areas. Furthermore, assistance for local income projects were provided for the residents and the government purchased private properties that are included in the protected areas to minimize inconvenience and complaints.

This process made it possible to reach an agreement that the network of rich ecosystem in the Baekdudaegan Mountains is indeed an important national asset.

It is apparent that the forest is home to diverse living creatures interlinked by food chain. Due to the geographical characteristic of the Korean peninsula stretching from north to south along with its complex topographical features, there are wide variations in temperature and rainfall which create diverse flora and fauna. As the KFS gives a great deal of importance to wildlife conservation, it designates protected areas for wildlife and reserves parts of national forest for scientific researches. The protected areas cover over 2 million ha. More local and national arboretums, museums, and eco-forests are to be established nationwide to provide special protection for quality genetic resources. As of 2006, there are 38 arboretums and 8 forest museums.

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