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Response to Climate Change and Ecotourism at Jeollabukdo

On December 27th, the Jeollabukdo Ecotourism Sustainable Center hosted the ‘With Forum 2021.’ Dr. Bernhard Seliger, the representative of HSF Korea, has also given a keynote speech on ‘Ecotours in Saemangeum and suggestions for eco-tourism in the Korean West Coast’.

The seminar to discuss the future of Jeollabukdo ecotourism started with opening remarks by Jeollabuk-do(North Jeolla Province, Jeonbuk) Governor Song Ha-jin. For the congratulatory message, Jae Jong-Gil, CEO of Korea Ecotourism Society, Yoon Joonbyeong, the member of the National Assembly of South Korea, and Lee Myung Yeon, the head of Environmental Welfare Committee of Jeollabuk-do Council delivered messages.


As the first keynote speaker, Dr. Bernhard Seliger, the representative of Hanns Seidel Foundation Korea, explained eco-tours in Saemangeum and suggested eco-tourism in the Korean West Coast. Looking at Saemangeum from the biodiversity perspective, he dealt with the hidden value of preserving the habitat of Saemangeum as an eco-tourism site, the rebranding of Saemangeum with its former image of environmental destruction, and cooperation with North Korea on the theme of biodiversity on the west coast. The second keynote speech was made by Ahn Byung-il, the secretary-general of the Korea Scout Association. He explained that the World Scout Jamboree, attended by 50,000 teenagers from 171 countries, will be held in Saemangeum in 2023. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of environmental education for youth, and he shared the plan for implementing it through a zero food waste and zero waste campaign during the World Scout Jamboree. Lastly, Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainable Tourism Council made a speech on International Sustainable Tourism and ecological rips of Carbon Neutrality.


The second session was organized as a roundtable to discuss concerns about tourism methods that protect ecological resources that are directly related to human life. Jeon Jae Kyung, the representative of the National Nature Trust, compared tourism legislation overseas with Korea’s and argued that ecotourism should be conducted at the level of protected/conservation areas such as national parks and should not be limited to ecotourism destinations. Second, Kim Bo-guk, head of the regional research department at J-Think, reviewed the problems of the Jeollabuk-do ecotourism promotion project and proposed a model of an ecotourism-type resident council to revitalize the community. Finally, Kim Hyun, head of the Jeonbuk Culture and Tourism foundation’s tourism division, previewed the potential for ecotourism, which has the characteristics of social pledge activities as part of ESG management, not only limited to environmental aspects.


For the third session, experts from each civil society organization discussed the difficulties and problems in the ecotourism field, and lastly, how young people can travel ecofriendly.

To watch the full version of the seminar, please check here.