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 a mausoleum of King Sejo of Chosun dynasty. Thus, over the last 500 years it has been strictly managed in order to minimize human disturbance.
The Gwangneung arboretum, which belongs to the Korea Forest Research Institute, was established in 1987 and has been open to the public since then. In May 24. 1999, it became the Korea National Arboretum. In KNA, there are 15 specilaized plant gardens, forest museum, wildlife conservatory, forest zoo, herbarium and seed bank. KNA was designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in June 2010.
The missions of Arboretum are to conserve and develop plant resources through comprehensive research, and to promote the public's understanding of the forests.The methods to carry out our missions are as follow :
Korea National Arboretum is providing forest environment education service in subject of research, collection, classification and conservation of Korean forest bio species, conservation and restoration of rare and indigenous plants, development of domestic and foreign useful plant resources investigation and usage 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 1,018ha of natural forest, 100ha of specialized garden, forest museum, herbarium, wildlife conservatory, temperate house, tropical plant resource center. We started to create specialized gardens in 1984 and were completed in 1987, it is composed of 15 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 with Korean forestry history and present status. Opened in 1991, Wildlife conservatory has 17 species of wild animals including Siberian tiger, asiatic black bear and wolf.
Forest herbarium was constructed in 2003, forest herbarium has 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. And KNA is also running the National standard plant list committee with Korea plant classification institute in common for the domestic plant name standardization and naming.
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 Joseun 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 Korea Forestry Service.