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Lessons learned from the Republic of Korea's national reforestation programme

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  • Lessons learned from the Republic of Korea's national reforestation programme
  • Korea Forest Service
  • Korea Forest Service


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Title Lessons learned from the Republic of Korea's national reforestation programme
Similar Titles
Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Korea Forest Service

Publisher

Daejoen,South Korea : Korea Forest Service

Date 2015-01
Pages 31
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Territorial Development < National Land Development
Holding Convention on Biological Diversity
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Abstract

In the early 1960s, the Republic of Korea (ROK) was one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with a nominal GDP of $82 (USD) per capita. It seemed unlikely that the ROK could rehabilitate its forests, which had been devastated during the Japanese occupation (1910-1945) followed by the Korean War (1950-1953). Despite the unfavorable economic climate, the Korean government began a massive tree planting effort in 1962 through the newly instituted National Reforestation Programme. At the time the programme was instituted, the impacts of deforestation and forest degradation were catastrophic. Each year, repeated floods sank the nation deeper into poverty. During the 10- year period from 1955 to 1964, an estimated 1,300 people lost their lives, and the livelihoods of an additional 220,000 people were destroyed due to floods. An estimated 200,000 ha of farmland was damaged or lost. The problem of forest degradation was further exacerbated by the fact that fuelwood was the primary resource for heating and cooking in most households.