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Activities > International Symposium on Forest & Landscape Restoration


International Symposium on Forest & Landscape Restoration
- Korea’s Successful Forest Restoration & Its Implementations For The Greener World

25 - 26 October 2018
Seoul, Korea


The Symposium was successfully held at The Shilla Seoul, Korea, 25-26 October 2018. Organized by the National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) and Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Symposium was also participated by six individuals from APAFRI member institutions: Kasetsart University, Thailand; Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Forest Department Sri Lanka and University of the Philippines Los Baños.

The Symposium provided a forum for showcasing successful evidences of Korea's restoration initiatives taking place at the country level, as well as for discussions on the role of regional and international platforms in drawing attention to such projects.

The Symposium lined up many distinguished speakers from various international organizations. Mr. Robert Nasi, Director General of CIFOR delivered the special lecture on “Forest landscape restoration: Turning the bare land into a great nation”. In his presentation, he listed out seven factors of deforestation and forest degradation in the Republic of Korea during the 1950’s. In the 1960’s, there was a few drivers of deforestation such as the over-exploitation of forests, expansion of agricultural land and the Korean War. In a global scope, around 12 million hectares of land are lost each year to degradation and the drivers vary between the subregions. The challenge for advocates of forest Restoration is to make it financially viable.

The first session was chaired by Prof Youn Yeo-Chang. Profesor Emeritus Kyung Joon Lee from Seoul National University highlighted the history and causes of forest devastation and the implementation of major forest policies which lead to the successful restoration. Mr. Douglas McGuire introduced the implementation of FAO’s Forest and Landscape Restoration Mechanism (FLRM). The ROK experience and funding is the key for FLR and FLRM. The achievements of FLRM could be seen at global, regional and country levels. Dr. Ki Yeon Ko informed that once ROK was an Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipient country, but now ROK is providing ODA to the countries in need. Korea’s support mechanism are by providing bilateral ODA to seven countries and by supporting 11 international organizations. ROK also hosted bilateral forestry cooperation meetings every two years and facilitates the exchange of technology and information through multilateral channels.

Session Two was chaired by Dr. Christopher Martius. Dr. Himlal Barat outlined CIFOR’s strategies which aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. The collaborative project between CIFOR and NIFoS on “restoring land and growing renewable energy” is the example of the effort on how sustainable bioenergy can be developed to avoid-energy-environment trilemma with alternative feedstock while restoring degraded lands in Indonesia. Mr. Craig R. Beatty from International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) introduced the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology (ROAM). ROAM is a methodology to identify and prioritize FLR opportunities at the national and subnational levels. In Asia, there are five countries committed 24 mha to Bonn Challenge and at least six countries are carrying out ROAM to prioritize actions and investment for landscape restoration. Ms Sarwat Chowdhury then talked about the capacity building of developing countries based on the successful case of Korea’s greening. The presentation was followed by Mr. Utchang Kang who gave brief explanation about the implementation of Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) on the Korean Peninsula. Among the objectives of LDN are to maintain or improve ecosystem services and to increase resilience if the land and population dependent on the land.

The last session was chaired by Profesor Yowhan Son. Dr Myungkil Kim highlighted the current status of forests in Korean Peninsula and the future direction of International forest cooperation. Dr. Liu Jinlong from Renmin University of China then pointed out the priorities for the action planning for FLR in DPRK which should be in the form of pilot projects and scaling up of field experiences. Dr. Jae Soo Bae ended the session by presenting the useful information of the win-win forest cooperation between South Korea and North Korea.

A Panel Discussion was held before the closing of the Symposium. A short trip to the Korean Demilitarize Zone (DMZ) was organized on the second day. The participants had a wonderful experience walking inside the Third Infiltration Tunnel and visited the Dora Observatory which was built by the Ministry of National Defence in 1986.


Download the proceeding
Updated on 5 November 2018

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