Dr. Eui Rae Noh
The President of the Forestry Research Institute, the Republic of Korea.
Distinguished guests and participants!
I am pleased to be here, and to have the opportunity of an address of welcome at the opening of this conference. Long-Term Ecological Research and Biodiversity Conservation, the theme of this conference are of concern to us all. Biological diversity is of enormous value to the entire population of the world.
The challenge confronting us as scientists or decision-makers is to make a good knowledge base for a good ecosystem management. If we are to succeed, we must first establish a good Long-Term Ecological Research Network across local, national, regional and global ecosystem like this effort.
In Korea, forests cover about 65 percent of the land, so the efficient management of mountains and watersheds has been considered as a fundamental national policy for a long time. Unfortunately, however, we have experienced a complete destruction of forests during the Korean War.
We have rehabilitated the bare land since 1970s, and have achieved what you can see now as a result of people's devotion and efforts of the government. My country has been regarded as one of the most successful country for reforestation in a short period, although the forest is still young. About 84% of forests are under 30 years of age, and this means we should keep on managing the forest.
The Forestry Research Institute of Korea set up the missions as "Development of forestry technologies to conserve and utilize forest resources, to promote forest industry and to increase services provided by forest ecosystems".
We have several research fields including (1) development of technology for silvicultral practices and tree breeding, (2) conservation of forest ecosystems and enhancement of their services, (3) development of technology for the control of forest diseases and pests, (4) reasonable utilization of forest resources and development of their new perspectives, (5) rationalization of forest management and economical structure, (6) development of short-term income source in forests.
In Korea, the Forestry Research Institute has the overall responsibility for developing technology relating to the conservation and utilization of forest resources and ecosystems. We need the results of long-term ecological research to achieve the mission.
The forest management and conservation has been one of the main issues of the world after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held at Rio de Janeiro. Since this International Conference on Long-Term Ecological Research in the East Asia-Pacific Region is held under the international circumstances, I sincerely expect many practical outcomes which will be achieved through the conference.
The need for rational forest use strategies and forest ecosystem management policies are much more urgent for small countries like Korea with high population density.
I really expect the LTER Conference to contribute the technical development of the world forest science and to suggest the vision and direction for the 21th century's forest research policy in the East Asia - Pacific Region as well as Korea.
I wish you to be comfortable during the conference and to have great opportunities to understand about Korean culture, history, and traditions as well as nature.
I hope you to take the greatest achievement through this conference. Thank you again to all the participants, distinguished speakers and organizing committee for the 3rd International Conference on Long - Term Ecological Research in the East Asia - Pacific Region.
Thank you for your attention.