Status of Forest in Korea

Status of Forested Area and Forest Growing Stock

The forested area in Korea covers 6.3 M ha, accounting for 63% of the total land area.
Additionally, estimated data from satellite observations suggest that around 7.2 billion trees are growing. As of 2020, Korea's average growing stock is 165㎥/ha, 29 times higher than in 1953. This figure exceeds the OECD average of 131㎥/ha.

Status of Forested Area and Forest Growing Stock
Changes in Growing Stock The growing stock in South Korea has undergone significant changes. In 1953, it was merely 5.7㎥/ha. In 1972, Korea's growing stock was 10㎥/ha, in 1988 it increased to ㎥/ha, in 2000 it further rose to ㎥/ha, by 2010 it reached 126㎥/ha, and in 2015 it was 146㎥/ha. As of 2020, Korea's average growing stock is 165㎥/ha, 29 times higher than in 1953. Finland, Sweden, Japan, Korea As of 2020, the forest area ratios are as follows: Finland 74%, Sweden 69%, Japan 68%, and South Korea ranks fourth among OECD countries with a ratio of 63%. Korea, OECD average As of 2020, the growing stock in South Korea is 165㎥/ha, while the OECD average is 131㎥/ha. It means that South Korea's growing stock per hectare is 1.26 times higher than the OECD average.
Status of Forest by Ownership and Forest Type
Forest Ownership, Growing Stock by Ownership
Forest Ownership This infographic is about Korea’s forest ownership. Among South Korea's total forest area of 6.3 Million ha, 66.1% consists of privately owned forests, while national forests make up 26.2%, and the remaining 7.7% are classified as public forests. Growing Stock by Ownership This infographic represents Korea’s growing stock by ownership. Growing stock, the volume of standing trees per ha within a certain area is highest in national forests at 182㎥/ha, followed by public forests at 173㎥/ha, and privately owned forests at 158㎥/ha. The average growing stock is 165㎥.
Forest Types, Age of Tree
Forest types This is about Korean forest types. In South Korea, forests consist of 36.9% coniferous trees, 31.8% deciduous trees, 26.5% mixed forests, and 4.8% other types. The distribution of forest types shows a generally uniform pattern across the country. Age of tree This infographic represents age of tree in South Korea. In South Korea, trees aged 31 years or older constitute 77.2% of the total forest area. Trees less than 30 years old make up 18%, and non-stocked land and others account for 4.8%.

Status of Forest Industry and Public Benefits

Status of Forest Industry

As of 2021, the forest industry’s revenue of Korea reached USD 124 billion. A total of 163,000 industries and 612,000 people are involved in the creation, management, preservation and restoration, development, production, and utilization of forest resources. Trees planted through people's painstaking efforts are now economically enriching the lives of the nation.

Status of Forest Industry
Forest Industry Survey This infographic explains about results of forest industry survey conducted in 2021. First, when it comes to the forest industry’s revenue of Korea, it reached 124 billion dollars. The forest industry that generates the highest revenue is wholesale and transportation which is 52.1 billion dollars, accounting for 42%, followed by processing and manufacturing which is 38 billion dollars, accounting for 31%. Support services have a value of 18 billion dollars, representing 15% of the total. The input industry accounts for 10.2 billion dollars, 8%, while forest product manufacturing takes up 4.2 billion dollars, accounting for 3%. Finally, the forest recreation industry holds a value of 1.5 billion dollars, making up 1%. Second, when it comes to employees, 612,000 people are involved in forest industry. 212,000 people, 34% are engaged in wholesale and transportation, 183,000 people which is 30% work in processing and manufacturing, and 97,000 people, 16% are involved in support services. Additionally, 67,000 people which is 11% are in the input industry, 30,000 people 5% work in forest product manufacturing, and 23,000 people, 4% are employed in the forest recreation industry. Lastly, there are 163,000 businesses involved in forest industry. About 89,000 companies, 55% are involved in wholesale and transportation. There are 34,000 businesses which is 21% engaged in processing and manufacturing, 17,000 businesses, 11% in the input industry, and 15,000 businesses, 8% in support services. Forest product manufacturing and forest recreation industries each employ 4,000 workers, constituting 2% of the total.
Status of Public Benefits

Furthermore, Korea's forests provide various public benefits, such as absorbing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and offering beautiful landscapes and recreational spaces. Lush forests have now become green spaces responsible for the health and healing of people. The public benefits of Korea's forests are estimated to be worth USD 199 billion as of 2020. When the benefits that each citizen receives from forests are turned into economic value, it amounts to an annual USD 3,850 per person.

Status of Public Benefits
Valuation of Forest Benefits by Function The public benefits of Korea's forests are estimated to be worth USD 199 billion as of 2020. When the benefits that each citizen receives from forests are turned into economic value, it amounts to an annual USD 3,850 per person. When evaluating public benefits provided by forests, the assessment indicates that greenhouse gas absorption and storage hold the highest public benefit at 75.3 billion dollars. Following that are forest landscapes at 24.5 billion dollars, forest recreation at 21.9 billion dollars, erosion and sediment control at 20.1 billion dollars, purifying forest water at 11.7 billion dollars, cultivating water sources at 9.3 billion dollars, oxygen production at 8.9 billion dollars, biodiversity preservation at 8.9 billion dollars, landslide prevention at 8.8 billion dollars, forest healing at 5.1 billion dollars, improving air quality at 4 billion dollars, and heat island mitigation at 0.46 billion dollars.
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