CBCGDF's Invited to Attend the Climate Change and Protected Areas Webinar by KNPS and IUCN-WCPA Climate Change Specialist Group
2021/6/16 13:25:00 本站

The webinar of the Korea National Park Service (KNPS) and the IUCN WCPA Climate Change Specialist Group was held online in Korea offline and on June 15, 2021, at 9:00 am Beijing time.  The opening statement was initiated by IUCN World Commission on Protected Area Chairman Dr. Kathy MacKinnon. She introduced the theme of the role of protected areas in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and introduced the risks faced by the world and the impacts of climate change. But at the same time nature is the solution to climate change. Therefore, she hopes that climate change experts will announce well-designed guidelines for expanding protected areas and expanding marine areas, showing new management best practices in the future and showing the importance of ecosystem connectivity. There are two main speakers at the conference, Dr. Risa Smith, chairman of the IUNC WCPA Climate change Specialist Group, and Dr. Lee, Na yeon, team Manager, Planning and Budget department, KNPS presented on each agenda. Dr. Risa Smith shared information on role of protected areas in climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction. And Dr. Lee, Na yeon shared the Research status on Climate change and carbon Neutrality policy in National parks of the Republic of Korea, present the results of recent efforts to implement KNPS’s Carbon Neutrality Policy. The webinar focused primarily on climate change mitigation and the role of protected areas and biodiversity. It was a seminar to share the protection and policies of Korea's national parks and give a broader insight into carbon neutrality policies, making them feel what politics they should take in the future. The world's environmental problems are being promoted between science and politics, and in this context, webinars were very timely and informative for participants from around the world. The world needs to work together on climate change right now. Thus, today's webinar marks the first step in cooperating with managed regions around the world.

Current Status of Climate Change Research and Carbon Neutral Policy Research in National Park in South Korea

   Dr. Lee, Na yeon shared research on the land area of the protected area of South Korea and the status of endangered animals living in South Korea's national parks. Due to the Industrial Revolution, the rapid rise in the Earth's temperature and the expansion of human activity area announced how South Korea's carbon neutrality policy is being implemented to increase carbon emissions and reduce the temperature of the Earth. Various environmental factors, ranging from changes in species habitats to seasonal temperatures, mountain elevations, soil moisture and temperature, natural disasters, natural distribution of animals, and plant development, were reported using various aerial technologies such as AI and drones. She also talked about underwater temperatures, color monitoring of coral, bird habitat analysis, bird breeding analysis, ecosystem changes centered on seagull season, and the increase in subtropical plants on the sea and island. She mentioned about the restoration of natural sites centered on blue carbon and green carbon, as well as the policy of rejuvenating forest areas and marine erosion in Korea's national parks. According to the government shared at the webinar, South Korea is currently implementing a carbon-neutral policy with six main policies: expanding carbon sinks, reducing emissions, spreading carbon-neutral culture to people, including national parks, ecosystem services, exploration welfare and regional cooperation. Finally, she introduced the future plans for Korean national parks and said that South Korea is looking for ways to pursue symbiosis between people and nature. 

The role of climate change adaptation and protection zones in a global perspective

   Dr. Risa Smith’s speech began with reference to the importance of biodiversity. She said last year the world suffered from the coronavirus, but in fact, besides the virus, the biodiversity sector, which is a much bigger problem, such as Recession, Climate change and Biodiversity collapse, is a mountain that the world should work together to overcome. Referring to the importance of simultaneous resolution of the climate crisis and natural crisis, she introduced important factors in protected areas such as land and marine ecosystems that affect green wetlands and carbon cycles. At the same time, she pointed the status of consent from countries around the world to protected areas, and announced the points and plans we should consider about adapting to climate change. Finally, she shared real-world examples of protected areas in Canada, Kenya, Australia, and Congo, and suggested future directions for climate change. In response to the question of "what trees should be planted in the protected area?" in a Q&A session, Dr. Risa introduced the informative solution. She said rather than just planting trees randomly, it is very important to plant trees suitable for each region's ecosystem and climate change. And rather than thinking about how fast a tree grows and how worried it is because it is not a native tree, each country should plant trees that help alleviate climate change in the country. Principles must be established with consideration of the overall voluntary restoration process, and, given the overall ecosystem, biological diversity or carbon control, the right choice for species should be made. Also, no matter how economical and carbon-storage, if a particular tree does not fit into the existing ecosystem, we cannot plant it. Therefore, planting trees randomly is not always good for climate change and that it is suggested to plant trees that help preserve biodiversity. Finally, Dr. Lisa concluded that discovering tree planting principles alone is not the answer to biodiversity and carbon problems, and that it is important for all countries to discover contextual principles.


CBCGDF is honored to have its staff attending this webinar to learn and to share. It’s especially impressive that Dr Risa highly recommended the recently published Biodiversity and Climate report supported jointly by IPCC and IPBES.

In addition, the webinar focused on the synergy between biodiversity and climate change - good measures to deal with climate change may not always be biodiversity friendly. Therefore, the CBCGDF has been trying to convince policymakers to pay attention to the promoted synergies between biodiversity conservation and climate change. For example, we have been strongly opposed to massive trees-planting on the intertidal wetlands of Nanhui, Shanghai. Although such measures can increase more green and help them to achieve the task of planting trees, they have damaged the wetlands’ native ecological environment and biodiversity. We are glad to see that the Chinese government has launched some policies this year, and now things are getting better and better. And, we’re working hard to advise policymakers in establishing a national level China Biodiversity Conservation Law, which, we hope can be successful in the near future.


Author: Jeon Yu kyung

Editor: Linda Wong