Minister Nam Sung-hyun of Korea Forest Service (KFS) said, “Korea, an exemplary country when it comes to reforestation, will be devoted to being a global leader by demonstrating diplomacy corresponding to its reforestation power.”
“Forests are a core part of green official development assistance (ODA) to address the pending issues of the earth, such as the climate crisis, bio diversity and desertification, so we will proactively cooperate with the international society to make a healthy earth with forests,” Minister Nam said in a vernacular economic daily on July 27.
“An increasing number of countries wants to take their cue from Korean reforestation tactics, such as forest management and disaster response using ICT, forest recreation and healing policies, and demand on the ODA projects in the forest sector is on the rise,” he said.
The ODA for international forest cooperation is getting more important to cope with climate change and realize the initiative of being a global leader, the minister added.
The ODA for the forest sector has become the subject of keen attention from not only Korea but also major countries.
The reason is that forests have played as key roles to not only cope with climate change, but also reduce disaster dangers, and to address several environmental issues, such as preservation of biodiversity.
The COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) adopted the Glasgow Climate Pack in November 2021, aiming to turn the 2020s into a decade of climate action and support.
The declaration calls for 145 member countries, including Korea, to prevent forest losses and land desolation and restore land by 2030.
The 2023 Korea-Pacific Islands Summit, held in Seoul in May, adopted a statement, setting ways of promoting forest cooperation to overcome the climate crisis as an important agendum.
Minister Nam said, “Korea, once an aid recipient from international society, had become an aid donator country in the late 2000, and Korea, celebrating 50th anniversary of reforestation of the territory, plans to raise to 43 the number of countries with which the nation establishes a forest cooperation relationship.”
Starting with Indonesia in 1987, he said the number of countries with which Korea has established bilateral forest cooperation networks has increased to 38 in six continents, including Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
KFS has prioritized activities to plant trees, restore forests and strengthen neighborhood residents’ capabilities in Asia’s vulnerable forest areas in Myanmar, Indonesia, China, Vietnam and Mongolia, he said.
Korea has offered diverse support, such as forest resources management technology, forest insect and disease infection technology, forest recreation technology, eco-tourism expertise and Korean forest welfare technology, Nam said.
Minister Nam said “KFS saw the budget for the ODA project soar to 19.6 billion, a 16-fold jump from 1.2 billion won in 2007 when the project was launched, and as not a few countries have learned from our experiences, Korea’s standing has been stepped up and its influence is going up in the international forest cooperation sector,” he said.
Korea spearheaded the establishment of the Asia Forest Cooperation Organization in 2018 and successfully hosted the 15th World Forest Congress last year, so the nation’s standing in the international forest cooperation sector has further improved, he said.
Minister Nam cited rising demand from the international society that Korea, a leader of land reforestation, will play a bridge between developing and advanced countries.
“Korea has been so far actively engaged in assistance activities, such as a green belt project in Mongolia, a peatland restoration project in Indonesia, and a mangrove forest restoration project in Vietnam.
KFS does its utmost to make the international forest cooperation projects lead to raising of national interests, such as securing carbon credits abroad and expanding of forest product exports, he said.
7 Forest Products See Production Costs Rise Last Year
A survey, released by Korea Forest Service on May 31, showed that seven forest products saw production costs increase last year.
According to the survey, production costs of jujube surged 8.4 percent year-on-year to 36,152,000 won last year per hectare.
KFS Fire-Fighting Squad Returns Home after Accomplishing Mission in Canada
Korea Forest Service said on Aug. 8 KFS’s 70 core fire-fighting members, part of Korea Disaster Relief Team (KDRT), returned home after accomplishing a one-month-long fire-fighting mission in Canada from July 2.
The KFS members joined forces with an American contingent to extinguish bush fires in the Lebel-sur-Quevillon area in the province of Quebec.