The reason of the successful forest reclamation in Korea was that the political, administrative, economic and social conditions were harmonized with one another. At that time, it was lucky for Koreans to have all these favorable conditions while overcoming the destruction and hunger caused by the brutal Korean War in 1950. Such environment was created by the legitimate and transparent government and the diligent citizens.
4) Inducement of active participation of farmers through creation of profits and incentives.
5) Development of new erosion control technology and new tree cultivars for reforestation.
6) Supply of coal as an alternative energy for the fuel wood through earning more income in the villages.
7) Cheap and abundant labor in the early stage, and decrease of village population in the later stage, resulting in less forest damage.
B. Ripple Effect
The thick forest shows a great ripple effect, providing people with various benefits. It provides both the economic and public benefits which can be calculated into monetary or non-monetary values, respectively.
2) Reduction of the natural disasters such as floods, droughts and landslides. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##The function of the forest for prevention of natural disasters is widely known. In Korea with frequent storms and heavy rain in summer, the dense forest prevents landslides and large-scale soil erosion, while reducing floods and droughts. Recently, the global warming has induced the frequent floods and droughts with a high level of damages. Therefore, the forest is currently more important than ever before.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##
3) Promotion of water resources through the improvement of the water-storage capacity of the forest. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##In Korea, forest occupies 64% of the national territory. The amount of water stored in forest nationally is 18 billion tons, which is greater than the amount of water (14 billion tons) contained by 50 dams in Korea. Thus the water storage and purifying capacity of the forest are quite high.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##
4) Accomplishment of the self-sufficiency of the major grain rice through proper watershed management. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##The staple food of Koreans is rice. The rice farming requires much water. Since the population density (currently 500 people/km2) is quite high in the small land (10 million ha), it was impossible for Korea to produce enough rice throughout its history. In the late 1960s, the population exceeded 30 million people. At that time, there were many bald mountains with poor irrigation facilities, which led to the lack of water for the rice farming all the time. As the forest reclamation started, Korea was able to produce enough rice to feed the whole nation for the first time. Nowadays, there is an excessive quantity of rice inventory, causing unexpected problems.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##
5) Promotion of ##3D_LAYER##forest recreation##3D_TEXT:[Figure 11. Forest recreation in Jeju forest park] Now dense forest (Sugi forest) has become familiar scenery that can be seen anywhere around the country. People visit forests to promote physical health and to reduce mental stress. Source: Lee (2012).##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/forest-recreation-jeju-forest-park-%EC%82%B0%EB%A6%BC-%ED%9C%B4%EC%96%91-%EC%A0%9C%EC%A3%BC%EB%8F%84-%EC%82%B0%EB%A6%BC%EC%9A%95%EC%9E%A5--01201605120144546.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_NA#.V4N6h9KLSUk##3D_LAYER_END##, forest culture and forest therapy. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##In the thick forest, there is much clean water available year round. Distinctive changes of forest in four seasons are so attractive that people are gratified with the natural scenes. Forest recreation such as hiking, camping, mountain climbing and nature expedition have been popular. Also, there seem to be many leisure activities related to the forest culture and human health, such as forest interpretation, forest education for children, forest concert and forest healing.##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##
6) Provision of the public benefits of forest equal to 2.16 million won annually for each citizen. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX##Among the many functions of the forest, there is a public function, that cannot be easily calculated in the currency. The Forest Service quantifies and evaluates in the currency such a function of the forest for public benefits. Among the many benefits of the forest, followings have been quantified: prevention of the soil erosion, conservation of the water resources, purification of the air, protection of the wildlife, forest recreation, preservation of biodiversity and forest healing. As of 2010, it was estimated that the forest in Korea provided free each person with the benefits worth of 2.16 million won every year. ##MORE_LAYER_BOX_END##
C. Meanings of Success
The successful forest reclamation has several meanings other than the above ripple effect.
2) Inspiration of self-confidence for the nation and expectation for becoming an advanced country.
3) Future ##3D_LAYER##international cooperation##3D_TEXT:Lee et al. (2012). Korea Forest Service: International involvement.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/koreforest-service--05201603290143927.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_NA|TP_TER_EN#.VxXInjCLQhc##3D_LAYER_END## and dissemination of the reforestation technology to other countries.
Korea has provided the recipient countries with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) since 1991, helping the reforestation projects of such countries as China, Mongolia, Myanmar and Indonesia. In 2010, Korea became a member of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and changed itself from the recipient to the provider of assistance. As the only country showing such a change, Korea has becomea role model for many developing countries. Also, the Forest Service has invited the forest officials from such countries as Indonesia, Dominica, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Jordan, Liberia and Ethiopia to provide them with forestry training since 1984. Recently Korean government has expanded the projects to Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
D. Lessons & Suggestions
The Korea’s successful forest reclamation has left several lessons and suggestions. It is believed that the Korean experience will be regarded as a guide for other developing countries.
D.1.) Representative public-private partnership (PPP)
It was possible to perform the forest reclamation in Korea by maintaining a close partnership between the government and the residents in the farming village. The government established proper ordinances in order to promote the active and voluntary participation of the farmers. It was possible to successfully establish the fuel wood forests thanks to the enactment of the related laws and the government support system which made it possible for the farmers to provide the fuel wood by themselves. In the initial stage, the government provided relief grains, while providing incentives or more income in the later stage for voluntary participation.
D.2) Confirmation of the correlation between the national income and the successful forest reclamation.
In a developing country, it is said that the forest reclamation is a task which is as difficult as the economic development. Therefore, if the problems related to the fuel wood are not basically solved in the farming village or if the national income is low, it is impossible to prevent the residents from exploiting the forest resources. In case of Korea, the forest reclamation was carried out together with the economic development, making a great contribution to the distribution of the alternative fuel.
D.3) Importance of the mental attitude of the people
In Korea, the forest reclamation was carried out together with the Saemaul Movement, which put the emphasis on mental attitude of the people:diligence, self-reliance and cooperation. The Movement changed the farmers’ mind by educatingthem that forest reclamation would make it possible for farmers to do farming properly by preventing further flooding or drought. Through such mental changes, the farmers started to plant trees actively and started to trust the government.
D.4.) Effects of the UNKRA, AID, ICA and UNDP
Korea received special supports from the international societies for about 30 years from 1945. Such international supports and cooperative projects by United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA), AID, International Cooperation Agency (ICA), United Nations Special Fund (UNSF), USOM and UNDP, which were backed up by the United Nations and the United States, were quite helpful for the reconstruction of Korea ruined by a war. These supports enabled Korea to prepare a basis for its independence by developing science and technology.##3D_LAYER####3D_TEXT:[Table 12] Summary of allocation of foreign funds to forestry sector. Source: Korea Forest Policy Research Association (1975).##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/forest-recreation-jeju-forest-park-%EC%82%B0%EB%A6%BC-%ED%9C%B4%EC%96%91-%EC%A0%9C%EC%A3%BC%EB%8F%84-%EC%82%B0%EB%A6%BC%EC%9A%95%EC%9E%A5--01201605120144546.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_NA#.V4N6h9KLSUk##3D_LAYER_END##
E. Its Applications to Developing Countries
In Korea, it was possible to successfully perform the forest reclamation within a short period with the help of the cooperative spirit among the residents of a village (the Durae spirit) which had been traditionally handed down, and with the help of high level of education fever based on the Confucian society. Based on the Korean experience, it is possible to apply the following matters to developing countries.
E.1) ##3D_LAYER##Establishment of the Locally-customized Forest Policies##3D_TEXT:Chung and Kang (2011). Korea-Vietnam joint project for building framework of disseminating green growth in Southeast Asia.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/korea-vietnam-joint-project-building-framework-disseminating-green-growth-southeast-asia--04201602160143388.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_EN|TP_ODA|TP_ODA_AS#.Vuo0DuKLSWg##3D_LAYER_END##.
Since each country has its own unique culture, society, religion and national emotion which are different from those of others, it is impossible to apply the forest policies which have been successful in Korea to other developing countries.. However, for each country, such tasks as reexamination of the government organizations related to the forest reclamation, establishment of the comprehensive forest reclamation policies based on the residents’ participation, preferential selection of the projects which are urgent on the site, method to establish the fuel wood forest which is suitable for the site, forest reclamation using the natural vegetation, and policy plan to mobilize the farmers’ manpower may be selected with the advice given by international experts before confirming their own projects.
E.2) Reinforcement of the Roles of the Forest Experiment Station & the Forest Training Center.
The Forest Experiment Station develops the technologies for stock raising, restoration of the vegetation, tree planting, erosion control and preservation of the soil, which can be applied to the forest reclamation, while introducing excellent foreign tree species or developing ##3D_LAYER##new species##3D_TEXT:[Figure 12. New cultivar of suwon popular plantation.] Populus alba x glandulosa is a hybrid poplar inheriting only the strong points of its parents. It is easily propagated by cutting and strong against diseases and harmful insects. It grows fast and straight on dry mountain slopes, too. Source: Korea Forest Service (1984). ##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/new-cultivar-suwon-poplar-plantation-%EC%8B%A0%ED%92%88%EC%A2%85-%ED%98%84%EC%82%AC%EC%8B%9C%EC%A1%B0%EB%A6%BC%EC%A7%80--01201605120144545.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_NA#.V4N7rtKLSUk##3D_LAYER_END##. The Forest Training Center provides the training of forest officials for the technologies related to the forest reclamation.
E.3) Development of the Forest Reclamation Project in connection with the Income.
The forest reclamation is a long-term project which makes it hard to have short-term benefit or income. Therefore, in order to promote farmers to participate in the project, government must provide rewards (incentives) for mobilization of farmers. Such incentive becomes a catalyst to help the farmers to actively participate in the project. It is the most appropriate to make a connection to income. It is necessary to develop such projects as fuel wood forest establishment project which provides self-sufficiency, stock raising nursery project which creates income, subcontracted erosion control project, and reforestation project which makes it possible to produce forest products in the early stage (for example: the plantation of the fast-growing trees and the nut trees).
E.4.) ##3D_LAYER##International Cooperation through the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Project##3D_TEXT:Lee et al. (2012). Korea Forest Service: International involvement.##3D_LINK:https://www.kdevelopedia.org/Resources/territorial-development/koreforest-service--05201603290143927.do?fldIds=TP_TER|TP_TER_NA|TP_TER_EN#.VxXInjCLQhc##3D_LAYER_END##.
The Official Development Assistance (ODA) project provides the free assistance and the technological support given by advanced countries to their developing counterparts. By using it actively, it is possible to select a system in a way that is suitable for one’s own conditions and based on the successful case of an advanced country. In Korea, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCo) have been established for these purposes.