Korea National Arboretum (KNA) is located in Gwangneung forest, between Namyangju-si and Pocheon-si, in Gyeonggi province. Gwangneung was a royal forest, which surrounding the mausoleum of King Sejo of Joseon dynasty. Thus, over the last 500 years it has been strictly managed in order to minimize human disturbance.
The Gwangneung arboretum, affiliated to the Korea Forest Research Institute, was established in 1987 and has been opened to the public since then. In May 24. 1999, it became the Korea National Arboretum. In KNA, there are various specialized gardens, Forest Museum, Korea National Herbarium and Seed Bank. KNA was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in June 2010.
The missions of Korea National Arboretum are to conserve and to develop plant resources through comprehensive research, and to promote public's understanding on forests.
Methods to carry out our missions are as follow :
Korea National Arboretum is providing forest environment education service in research, collection, classification and conservation of Korean forest bio species, conservation and restoration of rare and endemic plants, development of domestic and foreign useful plant resources investigation and use of technology, designing and management of exhibition garden, forest bio species and forest, forest culture, especially KNA is the best forest bio species research center newly built independently from the central experimental forestry station of forestry research center on 24th May 1999, for the productive promotion of Gwangneung forest conservation measures established as a government measure in 1997.
KNA is composed of 1,120ha of natural forest, 100ha of specialized garden, Forest Museum, Korea National Herbarium, Temperate House, Tropical Pant Resource Center. We started to create specialized gardens in 1984 and were completed in 1987, it is composed of various specialized gardens based on plant characteristics and functions. Opened on 5th April 1987, the Forest Museum has 11,000 pieces of forestry historical materials, remains and wooden products of Korean forestry history and present status.
Korea National Herbarium was built in 2003, here there are more than 400 thousand pieces of domestic and foreign plants, insect specimen, wild animal specimen and plant seeds are in preservation and management. In 2008, 2,700 pieces of genealogic tropical plants were planted for the research activities.
In addition, KNA has built national bio species knowledge and information system to provide information service with forest bio samples and plant information data base of related universities, research agencies, arboretums, botanic gardens and KNA. KNA is also running the Korean Plant Names Index with the Korean Society of Plant Taxonomists for harmonization and standardization of the Korea made botanical names.
Thus KNA is succeeding the culture of Korean forest bio species started in 1920’s, especially we are carrying out important role in securing the sovereignty of forest biology. Also, since it was designated as the royal tomb of King Sejo of the Joseon dynasty in 1468, it has been more than 540 years that the Gwangneung forest has been protected and managed by National Research Institute controlled by the Korea Forestry Service.