In October, 1994, Korea joined Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which was born with three goals including biological diversity conservation, sustainable use of biological diversity components and Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS), and is taking part in international conservation efforts by establishing and implementing "National Biological Diversity Strategy and Action Plan according to recommendations of CBD.

The 10th CBD Conference of the Parties held in Nagoya, Japan, in October, 2010, adopted the protocol on “Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS)” (on October 29, 2010). In the future, great burdens associated with the use of biological resources including each country's sovereignty reinforcement on biological resources and obligatory benefit sharing are expected to take place, and competition between countries surrounding biological resources is also expected to grow fiercer. Korea participated at the 10th CBD Conference of the Parties (in Nagoya on October 10), contributed to the adoption of ABS Protocol by coordinating opinions from advanced and developing countries from the perspective of balancer, and signed the Protocol in September, 2011.

Thus, the Ministry of Environment discussed how to respond to the Nagoya Protocol by establishing a pan-government level cooperation system through the organization of Task Force Team consisting of experts from 10 ministers (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Knowledge Economy, Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Korea Forest Service, Korean Intellectual Property Office and Korea Food & Drug Administration) and led by the vice environment minister. The government also drew up "Pan-National Countermeasures to the Nagoya Protocol" (in November, 2011) by operating a forum consisting of specialists from various fields of biological resources in order to raise professionalism in our response and gathering opinions from interested parties and experts as well as consultations between relevant ministries, and established detailed action plans of relevant ministries for materializing and practicing the Pan-National Countermeasures (in June, 2012). The content of "Pan-National Countermeasures to the Nagoya Protocol" is as follows:

As Korea is not rich in indigenous biological resources, more than 2/3 of companies using biological resources are dependent on imports. Biological resources in the territory of Korea are estimated to account for some 100,000 species, and some 37,000 species have been excavated as of 2011. Thus, the Ministry of Environment plans to build Comprehensive Management System for securing and managing indigenous biological resources in order to strengthen our sovereignty on biological resources. To begin with, the ministry plans to build the list of traditional knowledge consisting of more than 50,000 pieces with high value (including 32,200 pieces excavated to date) in the industry in respect to biological resources by increasing the speed of excavating biological resources to 2,000 species from 800 species a year and investigating or excavating around 60,000 species of indigenous biological resources by 2020 (including 36,921 species excavated to date). In addition, the ministry is planing to continuously conduct research on samples of biological resources indigenous of the Korean Peninsula collected by overseas organizations, to investigate the current status of biological resource samples indigenous of the Korean Peninsula collected by 53 organizations in 15 countries by 2017, and to secure image or video materials.

The ministry is planning to conserve, manage and use Korean biological resources effectively by building database on biological resources data excavated this way and establishing Comprehensive Management System for national biological resources in association with biological resources databases built by the fields of forestry, fisheries, marine life, etc.(in December, 2012) The Comprehensive Management System for national biological resources, which is basis for securing biological sovereignty, will build a systematic database on biological resources by classifying some 37,000 species of indigenous biological resources and biological resources managed by different ministries according to organized classification categories including habitat, will contribute to raising the utilization in the biological resource industry by linking information derived from analysis data of biological resources properties (DNA information, etc.) to DB centered on real biological resources, and will improve users' access to biological resources information through the standardization of biological resources and linkage to relevant detailed information.

To respond to the Nagoya Protocol effective, the ministry is preparing follow-up countermeasures including national level organization of relevant domestic  institutions and enactment of relevant laws.「Act on Biological Diversity and Use」,characterized by framework law for management of domestic biological diversity reflected in the framework of the Nagoya Protocol including biological resources benefit sharing and traditional knowledge protection, was enacted in February, 2012, and became effective since February, 2013. The government also drew up a draft of tentatively named「Act on Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing」(in July, 2011) including access to domestic biological genetic resources and use procedures, designation of organization in charge and obligation observance according to the use of biological genetic resources through consultations between relevant ministries, has been conducting complementary work on the draft, and is planning to legislate the draft, considering follow-up negotiations on the Nagoya Protocol and stands or movement of other countries including EU.

Ramsar Convention, which recognizes the importance of wetlands with ecological, social, economic and cultural values and is intended to protect wetlands by controlling loss or erosion, is directly linked to biological diversity protection. This Convention was adopted in Ramsar on February 2, 1975 and came into effect in December, 1975. Korea joined this Convention in March, 1997. The number of wetlands registered in the Ramsar Convention accounts for 2,098 as of February, 2013, and there are 18 registered wetlands including Upo Wetland in Korea.

In 2008, Korea successfully held “The 10th Ramsar Convention Conference of the Parties” in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, and 11 delegates from the government, Korea National Park Service, local governments and NGOs led by international cooperation officer from the Ministry of Environment participated at The 11th Ramsar Convention Conference of the Parties held in Bucharest, Romania, from July 4 through July 13, 2012. At The 11th Ramsar Convention Conference of the Parties, the international cooperation officer from the environment ministry chaired the first day's meeting and operation committee as chairperson of the previous conference, and presided over the 44th and 45th standing committees held during the Conference of the parties smoothly as chairperson, meeting with favorable reviews. Korea, which was elected as a standing committee member country during the period from 2008 to 2012, is reelected as a member country of Ramsar Convention Asia Standing Committee during the period from 2013 to 2015, confirming our national status in the international community.

The delegation showed Suncheon Bay PR video clips during Asian regional conference sessions and showed a documentary 'The Great Flight' during a side event of East Asian Regional Ramsar Center, which encountered favorable comments. Many participants asked the delegation to hand out PR video clips. In this way, our delegation developed varied PR activities during the period of the Conference of the Parties.


Last modified : 2013-10-24 19:54

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