- This report deals with forestry in Korea in its various aspects and what has been done about forestry problems in Korea.
The ratio of forest land to total area of country is so high
that it is sometimes compared to Finland's, but the similarity with Finland stops there.
The adverse effects of forests left unpreserved, as well as the low density of trees in the forests of Korea, furnish one of the worst examples of forestry in the world. According to history, it seems that the forestry situation was not bad at all before World War II. However, by the continuing social disorder due to World War II and the Korean War, more than 50 per cent of the growing stock was destroyed. As a result, 49 per cent of forest land is wasteland where practically no trees grow, and the remaining 51 per cent of forest land has mostly seedlings. As a matter of fact, less than 20 per cent of the area grows what may properly be called useful trees. In particular, many areas not covered by trees are rapidly turning into wasteland because of the heavy rain in the summer. Of these, about 1,715,000 acres require urgent erosion control, without which the land will deteriorate into conditions defying rehabilitation. As a result of these conditions, frequently occurring floods have been a serious roadblock against the advancement of various industries.
An attempt has been made to explain how the government has been trying to solve forestry problems in Korea. Considering the alarming situation in the country, the government has planned and tried to solve many problems. It has made an effort to reduce the consumption of forestry resources by the development of substitutes for timber in building and for other commercial uses, of alternative fuel both for industrial and domestic use, and by the development of heating systems affording maximum economy in the use of fuel.
But it has been difficult for Korea to rehabilitate its forests, facing so many forestry problems, as well as its present economic situation.
Still the main problem of forestry in Korea is over-exploitation caused by timber demand, which is greatly in excess of the increment that the solution of the problem for some years does not lie altogether in the field of forestry.
This report also has discussed what solution should be taken for forest problems. The forest problems in Korea should be solved by intensive forest management and by great government efforts.