TOP 10 Forest News of 2019
The year 2019 was one of the fruitful years for the Korea Forest Service (KFS).
Here are top 10 forest news of 2019 selected through a survey of journalists and KFS staff.
1. Early suppression of a harsh forest fire
A big forest fire broke out along the costal area of Gangwon province in April 2019.
For early suppression and fast response, the KFS immediately committed helicopters as many as available including four jumbo helicopters to the fire scene. Together with fire-fighters, the KFS made all-out efforts and managed to put out the biggest of all forest fires with no further hazards to the forest ecosystem.
2. Operation of E-forest Excursion
An one-stop recreational forests reservation system called “E-Forest Excursion” is in operation now.
This integrated reservation web-site (www.foresttrip.go.kr) is user-friendly: you can book any of those 147 recreational forests nationwide and make payment at once. “E-Forest Excurtion“ was awarded for the most innovative public web-service by Minister for Public Administration and Security last year.
3. Creation of urban forests against fine dust and city heat
The KFS set out to create fine dust break forests in outworn industrial complexes with the view of reducing fine dust and diminishing summer heat and traffic noise. A filter forest on 60 ha is under construction to reduce pollutants and 11 breazy forests are being created on the outskirts of big cities to cool down the city heat during summer.
4. Improvements in the treatment of forest firefighters
In the aftermath of the big forest fire in Gangwon province last April, the KFS has expanded forest fire-related workers from 300 up to 435 and planed to improve the treatment and working conditions.
5. Symposium on “Forests on the Korean Peninsula”
The Symposium on “Forests on the Korean Peninsula” took place to discuss ways forward inter-Korea forest cooperation among officers from the central government, local governments and the private sector and NGOs. Further, a new slogan “New Forest Korea” was presented at the symposium, which is used for public campaigns on inter-Korea forest cooperation.
6. Support for eliminating African Swine Fever
Last autumn Korea was battling an outbreak of African Swine Fever. As part of preventative measures, the KFS supported aerial prevention against this epidemic by mobilizing 70 helicopters to the demilitarized zone and the civilian control line and deployed around 300 staff to search carcasses of wild boars.
7. Tree doctor license examination
The KFS initiated a tree doctor license examination for the first time last year.
A qualified tree doctor will work for a tree hospital, tasked to prevent impacts on trees and make diagnosis and treatments.
With the growing demand for green space in the living zones, a tree doctor is expected to be one of promising green jobs in the future.
8. The 2nd National Garden in the city of Ulsan.
Following the Suncheonman Bay National Garden, Taewha provincial garden in the city of Ulsan was reborn as the second national garden last June. This designation was made in recognition of the garden’s ecological value.
9. UNESCO designation of Gangwon Eco-Peace Biosphere Reserve
Gangwon Eco-Peace Biosphere Reserve in Korea was designated by UNESCO last year.
The Biosphere in Gangwon Province borders the southern limit of the Demilitarized Zone and reaches the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. It is home to a wide range of rare and endangered flora and fauna so the KFS is developing plans for conserving the Biosphere.
10. Inside promotion to Korea Forest Service Minister
Dr. PARK Chongho, who served KFS as Deputy Minister and Director General of International Affairs Bureau, has been promoted to KFS Minister.
It has been 10 years since the last inauguration of Minister promoted from within the KFS.
At his inauguration speech, KFS Minister Dr. PARK brought focus in people-oriented forest policy.