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SOURCE: The Korea Times
DATE: May 31, 2021
SNIP: The Korea Forest Service (KFS) announced on Jan. 20 that it will cut down 300 million “old” trees and plant 3 billion new trees to increase the overall carbon absorption capability of the country’s forests.

Green Korea, a major NGO based in Seoul’s Seongbuk District, accused the National Institute of Forest Service, a state research agency under the KFS, of masterminding the controversial plan, and condemned the state agency for its disregard for trees aged 30 years or older.

“We don’t need a forestry service that is so near-sighted; it can only see the trees but not the forest,” the group said in a public statement on April 19, adding that the government’s tree harvest plan targets about 70 percent of the country’s entire forests. The group highlighted that those trees are part of the country’s rich forests that were planted in barren lands and mountains following the 1950-53 Korean War and have been conserved through decades of national forestation efforts that were launched in the 1960s.

“If the plan proceeds, all the trees 30 years or older in the country’s national parks, protected forest areas and forest reserves along Baekdu Mountain Range will have to be fell,” the group said.

Green Korea was most disturbed by the government considering local forests merely as a national tool for carbon absorption.