Implementation of the Convention
Measures Taken to Achieve the 2010 Target
Korea intends to increase by 5% its conservation areas (in comparison to the year 2004). The country is establishing a national ecosystem network by increasing the number of natural parks, ecosystem preservation areas, natural monument areas, wild life conservation areas, wetland protected areas, and marine conservation areas. Korea has also designated for protection those areas indigenous to the country. Furthermore, Korea is establishing a graded system for management and conservation of farmland and forests and a taxonomic system for inland water ecosystems. Korea will complete eco-mapping at various levels. To conserve genetic diversity, Korea is collecting and propagating the seeds of native species, and implementing a number of projects aiming to restore some species, particularly threatened ones. To this end, the Comprehensive Plan for Propagation and Restoration of Endangered Species was developed in 2006, which aimed to propagate and/or restore 54 of 221 endangered species by 2015. The country has established gene banks of genetic resources of animals, plants and microorganisms. It has also established systems of certification of those organic agricultural and marine products and classifying forest plant species, including their name, functions, distribution and habitats. Moreover, Korea is applying the ecosystem approach for sustainable forest management. To avoid unsustainable use, Korea has banned manufacturing products that are derived from threatened genetic resources. Moreover, Korea is restricting the export of native species of plants and animals. The country quarantines agricultural, timber and other products and ballast water to prevent the introduction of alien species. Korea is monitoring the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems. Environmentally friendly farming practices are encouraged to reduce pollution on biodiversity. Also, Korea protects traditional knowledge as cultural assets, and through intellectual rights protection regimes. In addition, Korea is using various mechanisms, such as capacity building, technology transfer, royalty payment, in-kind contributions and collaborative research, to share benefits with those countries providing genetic resources.
Initiatives in Protected Areas
A number of research activities are being implemented, such as those on sustainable use, natural habitats, endangered species distribution and ecological map grading. A number of ecological conservation areas have been designated and expanded, including ecosystem preservation zones, wetland protected areas, natural conservation reserves, natural parks and some islands. In addition, some sound management plans have been established and research, data analysis and information sharing systems have been set up for protected areas. The stakeholders’ involvement in protected areas management is being practiced. Moreover, the National Trust Act on Cultural Heritage and Natural Environment Assets was enacted in March 2006, which aimed to promote the voluntary participation of people in conserving cultural and natural heritage resources. Tax relief and economic instruments are contained in the Act.
Initiatives in Access and Benefit Sharing
A few existing laws contain provisions relating to the sharing of benefits derived from the use of genetic resources, such as rural development laws, basic laws on agriculture and rural areas, and pasture and livestock laws. There is an ongoing process to establish a new law on the conservation, management and utilization of agricultural genetic resources, which is for governing access and benefit sharing. This law stipulates the "continued access to and use of genetic resources in a sustainable manner with fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such genetic resources".
Initiatives for Article 8(j)
Korea’s law on agriculture and rural areas contains provisions that protect traditional knowledge and encourage the participation of local communities in policy making related to traditional knowledge. This law also promotes the active participation of female farmers.