COS 137-8 - Role of ownership and access right in conservation of village groves: The case of municipalities around the Jirisan Mountains, Korea

Friday, August 12, 2011: 10:30 AM
18A, Austin Convention Center
Yeo-Chang Youn1, JA-Choon Koo2, Juok Yun3 and Deogkyu Kweon2, (1)Forest Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South), (2)Department of Forest Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South), (3)Jirisan People, Korea, Republic of (South)

There are many villages which still maintain village groves in Korea. We can think of village groves as a traditional heritage, since a village groves is built and managed by traditional knowledge closely related to the lives of the villagers. Many village groves have been lost and remaining ones are now faced with risk of loss. There are many driving forces to drive village groves out. The ownership change from commons to private is considered as one of the main causes of village groves loss. Because the new land ownership registration system enforced by Japan in early 20th century made the ownership and use rights of forest commons separated. This paper aims to analyze the relationship between healthiness of wood and status of village groves, with emphasis on ownership structure. We formulate a hypothesis that if the right to use and manage to village groves is given to the community it is more likely the village groves to be conserved well. We postulate that the recreational services and landscape conservation benefits of woods, religious function and existence of management body will make more conscious management of village groves possible, and thus leading to healthy woods.


The data collected from survey in four counties around the Mt. Jirisan in 2010, 2011. There are more than 100 village groves still remaining the villages around Mt. Jirisan. Data show that (1) 45% of village groves are in the hands of villagers. (2) Main functions of village groves regarded by villagers are recreational and landscape conservation services, and as the place for their community religious events. (3) Two thirds of village groves have some kind of body in charge of management of village groves while there are many village groves without managers looking after. This supports a hypothesis that village groves could be more likely conserved with participation of local people in ownership and management. Another speculated hypothesis that groves more used and regarded by villagers could be conserved was confirmed by the survey result.

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