Who is Grove commentator
A person who has expertise on culture, leisure, education about forest and grove such as the distribution and history of trees, animals and plants and material and immaterial benefits provided by them to human beings, delivers various knowledge and information systematically and guide visitors to the grove.

How many forest commentators (=interpreters) are there in the country and where are they working?

The Office of Forestry has been operating the forest commentator (interpreter) system since 1999 in national natural recreation forests and national trees and plants garden or arboreta. In 2005, as many as 125 forest commentators in 31 national natural recreation forests offered services to 92,240visitors by leading them to the forests and giving them information to better understand forests. Also, nearly 2,400 forest commentators from more than 100 environment-related civil organizations are working actively in private natural recreation forests throughout the country. The Office of Forestry will extend the forest commentator (interpreter) system into other authorities such as local office of forestry and the management office for national forests, and develop programs for youth to experience forests by generating more opportunities using forest commentators (interpreters).

What should I do to use a forest commentator (interpreter)?

You can ring 31 national natural recreation forests and national arboreta in the country in advance or you can use the internet to ask them for a forest commentator help. The forest commentators (interpreters) will provide you with related information through ‘Soop-e-On’(meaning in the forest ON).

What should I do to become a forest commentator?

You are supposed to take a course offered by related institutions that train and raise forest commentators in the private sector to become a forest commentator (interpreter). With the 「law on the forest culture recreation and relaxation」enforced, those who took the courses authorized and certified by the Office of Forestry will primarily be hired in national natural recreation forests and national arboreta run by the Office of Forestry. The information associatedwith the certification regarding the programs and educational courses for forest culture recreation or relaxation is specified in the articles 7,8 and 9 set forth by the law on the forest culture recreation and relaxation.

Do they have forest commentator (interpreter) system in other countries?

America, Japan, Switzerland and Germany are running the system of forest commentator (interpreter) or some other similar systems. In the US, National Association for Interpretationruns a certification system andthe Office of Environment is developing environmental education programs including forest interpretation. In Japan, they run private certification systems such as Green Saver and Forest Instructors and have CONE, or a committee for natural experience activities, to raise instructors for forest interpretation according to each different level. In Switzerland and Germany, they promote forest experience education and run forest school in which teachers, forest officials and experts take part.

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