Documentation:Open Case Studies/FRST522/The World Heritage of Jeju Island Ecotour Village in Jeju Biosphere Reserve Core Area, Republic of Korea

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Jeju Island is a resort island nicknamed Hawaii of Korea. Jeju Island has traditionally been designated a UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve in 2002 and the area expanded in 2019. To protect the beautiful natural environment, the government and local residents have designated eco tourism villages for eco tourism and developed and implemented programs at a national level. Jeju Island has various stakeholders, including those seeking to generate profits through various development, environmental protection groups trying to preserve the island, the government, and local indigenous people.

Background History

Jeju Island/ Jejudo (Korean: 제주도)

Jeju Island is an island located in the southern tip of Korea. It has four seasons and has warmer climate characteristics than inland areas.


The major industries in Jeju Island include tourism, agriculture and fishery. In addition, Jeju Island has a diving tradition dating back to 434 C.E. called Haenyeo (sea women). Haenyeo is the only traditional occupation in Korea to catch seafood in the ocean without any machinery equipment.The life cycle for Haenyeo is from 15 years old until the women divers have difficulty to move freely in the sea. Once retired, they take an important role as marine intellectuals and guards protecting marine resources. As of 2010, 4,996 Haenyeo reside in Jeju Island. However, they are in the process of aging. Due to the lack of successors in accordance with economic development in other industries, Haenyeo is on the brink of extinction. It is therefore necessary to establish a preservation policy of the Haenyeo culture[1]

The topography of Jeju Island can be classified systematically into 6 major land forms: volcanic, coastal, weathered, fluvial, wetland, and pericardial. Among these, the land forms representing Jejudo are volcanic and coastal, whereas others are observed partly. Wetland land forms are not frequently seen, but the fact that they are typical crater wetlands developed in conjunction with volcanic craters is truly noteworthy. In general, volcanic, coastal, and wetland land forms constitute an interconnected system; thus, the overall topography of Jeju Island forms a unique landscape. [2]

Jeju island is a treasure trove of ecosystems with about 2,000 species of plants and about 5,000 species of fauna living across temperate, polar and sub alpine climate zones. Its unique and diverse species of flora and fauna and well-preserved natural environment earned Jeju the designation as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in December 2002.[3]

Jeju Island

Special plants in Jeju Island

Endemic plants that have been found to live in Jeju Island are 87 taxonomic groups including 39 families, 70 genus, 59 species, 16 strains and 12 varieties.

Representative species: Mankyua chejuense B.Y.Sun et al. (Jeju grapefern), Arabis serrata Fr. et Sav. var. hallaisanensis (Nakai) Ohwi, Euphrasia coreana W. Becker[4]

Biosphere Reserve

UNESCO launched the "Biosphere Reserve" system in 1971 to protect the ecosystems of human habitation and coastal areas and to protect biodiversity. The purpose of the project is to understand the close relationship between mankind and the environment and find the direction of symbiosis also achieving the three interconnected functions are conservation, development and logistic support.[5] Biosphere Reserve focusing on a multi-stakeholder approach with particular emphasis on the involvement of local communities in management.

Man and the Biosphere program (MAB)

The UNESCO Human and Biosphere Plan Man and the Biosphere program (MAB) was launched in 1971 as a cross-country research program to broaden understanding of human interaction with natural environments. The plan was initiated to promote interdisciplinary access in the fields of natural science and social science, to promote sustainable use of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity and the relationship between human and global environments.[6]

Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve

In 2002, Yeongcheon, Hyodoncheon, Munseom, Beomseom, and Neptune islands were designated as biosphere conservation zones, focusing on Mt. Halla. Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve comprises an area of an altitude of 200 meters and above, including Mt. Halla National Park, Yeongcheon and Hyodoncheon streams along with an area within a 500-meter radius of these two streams, and the waters ranging from Seogwipo Marine Park to downstream of Hyodoncheon stream. Hallasan National Park, Yeongcheon and Hyodoncheon Stream Protected Area, and Seopseom-Munseom-Beomseom Protected Area are located in core area.

UNESCO led the listing of biosphere conservation areas in 2002, and as of 2017, the listing of five UNESCO sites, world-class natural landscapes, intangible cultural assets and one agricultural heritage site, and cultural heritage management of Jeju Island were separated under the "Act on the Management of UNESCO's Registered Heritage."

Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve Logo

Oval shape : Earth and Jeju Island

Green : ecosystem

Sky-blue : streams

Blue : the ocean

White silhouette : Mt. Halla

Letters : Basalt rock that is worn away by wind and waves[7]


  • March, 1999: A consultative meeting of the MAB National Committee of the Republic of Korea to discuss the application for Mt. Halla to become a biosphere reserve 6 August, 1999: Discussion on 19 agenda to promote the application, between the MAB National Committee of the Republic of Korea and Jeju Provincial Office.
  • 20 December, 1999: Establishment of the working-level committee and the promotion team for the designation as a biosphere reserve
  • 13 January, 2002: A meeting of the working-level committee was held. (Establishment of the managing organization, program development, and additional work on the application with better-defined terminology)
  • 20 March, 2002: A meeting for the final review of the proposed application for the Jeju Biosphere Reserve with experts invited to finalize it
  • 13 April, 2002: A working-level meeting to discuss and finalize the proposed application for the Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve.
  • 30 May, 2002: Submission of the application to UNESCO
  • 23 August, 2002: Submission of the first supplementary document to UNESCO
  • 31 October, 2002: Submission of the second supplementary document to UNESCO
  • 8 November, 2002: Decision of MAB Chairs’ meeting to designate Jeju as a biosphere reserve
  • 16 December, 2002: Designation of Jeju as a biosphere reserve[8]


Clause 2 of Article 3 of the Ordinance stipulates the establishment and operation of the Jeju World Natural Heritage Center separately for systematic and integrated management of UNESCO heritage in Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, and Article 4 of the Ordinance must also lock in the continued designation, registration and certification of UNESCO registered heritage.[9]

Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve Map

Designated area

A Biosphere Reserve is divided into three zones.

Core area (39,951 ha): Hallasan National Park, Yeongcheon and Hyodoncheon Stream Protected Area, and Seopseom-Munseom-Beomseom Protected Area

Buffer zone (72,286 ha): The state-owned forest near Hallasan National Park and some of the mountain's northern area and some part of Seogwipo Provincial Marine Park.

Transition area (274,957 ha): Mid-mountain areas (at an altitude of 200 to 600 meters, except for urban planning areas), areas within a 500-meter distance of Yeongcheon and Hyodoncheon streams, the Seogwipo Provincial Marine Park and the waters off the mouth of Hyodoncheon stream.[7]

Sisterhood zone

Philippines: Palawan Bio Reserve

China: Wu Lian-Dachi Bio Reserve

Eco tour Village

Hare-ri is an eco tour village in Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve located in core area. Eco tourism will be carried out with village groups and Jeju Ecological Tourism Company.

Eco Tour Program[10]
Five Sense Trekking Hyodoncheon Ecological Expeditionary Force
Prgrams Feel the old growth forest and experience forest bathing through trekking Hyodoncheon and Hareri area As a program to promote nature to our children who will protect the nature of Jeju, we can learn about the importance of nature by exploring Jeju's unique ecosystems and plants. Change 3 programs weekly
Operating period: In all the seasons of the year Operating period: In all the seasons of the year
Place Hyodoncheon and Hareri
Cost Inquiry
Tel +82-064-767-0144



During the 26th year of King Yeongjo's reign of Joseon Dynasty, the names of the current "Shinnyori" and "Hare-ri" were called "Hochon-ri" and the eastern part of "Hare-ri" as "Yechon-ri" were called <Ojiji-ri," which was originally called "Gwigimaru" because the topography of the area was like a house of crow. In the 13th year (A.D. 1813), the town was frequently divided, so the crow o's were removed and replaced by a mural o'jiri, which was then called "haeryechon" again by 1820 A.D. In 1915 after modifications of the Regions in accordance with the effect of Hare-ri. In 1965, Haengjeong-ri is divided into 「Hare1ri」, and「Hare2ri」[11]

Hyodoncheon, known in the past as Hochoncheon. Hyodoncheon used to be called Hochoncheon. Harye was the heart of Hochon Prefecture, one of fourteen prefectures during the 26th year of the reign of King Chungryeol of the Goryeo Dynasty. Its name was later changed to Hoa Prefecture, but this is how the name Hochoncheon originated. In 1861, Jeju Sameup Jeondo (The Map of Three Eups in Jeju) and Dongyeodo (The Map of the East Land) produced by Kim Jeong-ho marked Harye as Hochon, its stream as Hochoncheon, its port at the estuary as Hocheonpogu, and Yechonbong as Hocheonbong.

Yeongcheon and Hyodoncheon descending from Mt. Halla are major streams flowing all the way down to the estuary at the Seogwipo coast. The streams stem from springs about halfway up the mountain. The streams snake all the way down from Bang-ae Oreum through Seosanbeolreun-nae and Sanbeolreun-nae, meet at the upstream of Mt. Miak, flowing down to Donnaeko. [3]


95, Haryejungang-ro, Namwon-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, Republic of Korea

Tel: +82-064-767-0144


Hareri is located 7 kilometers east of Seogwipo City in the west and 7.5 kilometers west of Namwon in the east, with Route 12 pierced east and west

Longitude: West (Mt. Halla) 126° 32", East (Mang-jang-dong) 126° 38"

Latitude: North (Sari-orum): 33° 22", South (Yechonmang): 33° 15"

Area: 719 ha (Forest 383 ha, Orchard 323 ha, Farm 3 ha)

Educational facilities (School: 1, Kindergarten: 1)

Village property (Village community center: 1, Warehouse: 2, Ranch: 1)

Population: 1154 (488 families)

Major industries

People work mainly in the citrus industry, and there are some residents working in fishing in Mangjangpo[11]


Eco tourism status in Jeju Island

Statistics on tourists do not exist, so it is difficult to estimate the exact number. However, when considering the opinions of the villagers, the concentration is concentrated in spring and fall by season, and the number is higher on weekends than on weekdays. The number of tourists is around 1,000 for the peak weekend, according to the interview [provide a reference].

  • Economic impact

Positive: Revitalizing the Village Economy, Creating Jobs

Negative: Land prices are rising, Foreign land ownership ratio is increasing

  • Social and cultural impact

Positive: Residents' pride, Village image improvement

Negative: Unique traditional and cultural decay, Increased crime, Daily inconvenience

  • Environmental impact

Positive: The improvement of the living conditions in the village

Negative: Traffic congestion, Garbage problem[12]

Current Problems

Currently, Jeju Island is developing for profit. More than half of the village's communal ranches, which were run in the form of cooperatives, have also disappeared. This not only means the disappearance of the place called ranch, but also the disappearance of Jeju's traditional pastoral culture, which dates back more than 700 years to the Goryeo Dynasty. The Jeju provincial government is pushing for the Sangari Village Joint Ranch, which is owned by Jeju Island, to build a tourist entertainment facility.

Even after the designation of the biosphere reserve zone, Jeju Island has focused its capabilities on building large-scale tourism facilities by attracting large capital from outside and abroad, rather than sustainable development like agriculture and eco tourism.

As a result of this reckless development, the golf course on Jeju Island is already overpopulated. Currently, seven golf courses have gone bankrupt and other golf courses are in bad shape. This means that bankruptcy will continue in the future. If we do not change the direction of our development policy, dark clouds will be created not only for the destruction of the middle class but also for the future of Jeju Island.[13]



Government is an interested stakeholder. The government is highly likely to promote a management plan centered on the use plan rather than the conservation plan. With the expansion of Biosphere Reserve, the government is already planning follow up work, citing the use of local products as its biggest achievement.

The Government has two positions. For the environmental department, the Biosphere Reserve zone was further expanded in 2019 by continuing efforts to further increase it to preserve biodiversity. On the other hand, the Road Traffic and Facilities Management Department seeks to generate revenue by increasing leisure facilities such as golf courses, roads and accommodations to attract tourists.

Local Communities

Local Communities are affected stakeholders. The Biosphere Reserve area became more of town on hold for people living in local development, which makes it more difficult to do. Local people mostly engage in agriculture, fisheries and tourism. with the expansion of the area having big regulations on fishing and agriculture to preserve biodiversity, locals are opposed to expanding their territory because they are no longer allowed to manage their own land at will, making it difficult to generate profits.

As in Clayoquot Sound, Canada, the beautiful natural environment has led to a sharp rise in real estate prices as outsiders come in, raising concerns about local residents' residences.


Environmentalists are interested stakeholders. Environmental activists claim that there are 12 species of natural monuments, eight endangered animals, eight endangered wild plants, and four endangered insects, which must be protected from development.[14]Therefore, they argue that we must protect nature without developing it.


To preserve the natural environment, the ultimate goal of installing Biosphere Reserve, Jeju Island has designated an ecological tourism village. The following are suggestions to preserve nature and continue to grow with various stakeholders.

Instead of traveling for entertainment purposes, the focus should be on eco tourism, a new paradigm of sustainable tourism. Ecotourism can be defined as a responsible trip to natural areas with the aim of environmental protection and the welfare improvement of local residents in mind. In Jeju Island, several eco tourism and tourism agencies, including Jeju Ecology Tour, are engaged in ecotourism, but their share of the tourism industry is still small. However, ecotourism has grown 20 percent to 34 percent annually worldwide.[15] Therefore, local residents, the government and environmental groups should think about how to implement sustainable eco tourism around Hareri Village.

Currently, Korea lacks awareness of eco tourism. To raise awareness of eco tourism, social media and young people are encouraged to create an experienced group to promote them. Then, as many people become more interested in nature and more aware of the environment, the government and businesses will invest more in sustainable eco tourism for nature rather than planning trips for one-off entertainment.

For eco tourism to be maintained well, we need manpower to operate eco tourism well. If the eco tourism Academy is provided by the government to educate local residents and use it as a human resource, local residents will get jobs without damaging animals and plants to survive, and the government and environmental organizations will be able to preserve nature.


  1. "Ecological Sciences for Sustainable Development". UNESCO. 2017.
  2. Seonghoon, Cheong (2014). "The Relationships between Residents' Perceptions of Impacts of Tourism Development and Support for the Development: The Case of Tourism Regions in Jeju Island". Tamra culture. 47: 253–277.
  3. 3.0 3.1 You, Won-Hee (2017). "A Comparative Study on Residents' and Visitors Perceptions on Six Heritages in Jeju Designated by UNESCO and UNFAO". Korean Institute of Traditional Landscape Architecture. 35: 134–143.
  4. Korea R. Jeju Special Self-governing Province. (2013). Best Practices of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Republic of Korea: MAB Program – UNESCO
  5. "Main Characteristics of Biosphere reserves". UNESCO. 2017.
  6. "Man and the Biosphere Programme". UNESCO. 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Jeju Biosphere Reserve". Jeju Biosphere Reserve. 2019.
  8. A guide to Jeju Island Biosphere Reserve. Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Republic of Korea: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province. 2016. p. 5.
  9. "Natural Environmental Conservation Act". Ministry of Law in Korea. 2016.
  10. "The Story about Korea's Eco-tours. Retrieved from". Ministry of Environment, Korea.
  11. 11.0 11.1 "Introducing the village of Hare1ri, Namwon-eup, Jeju-do".
  12. Oh, Jeong-Joon (2003). "A Study on Sustainability of Ecotourism Destination" (PDF). The Korean Geographical Society. 38: 610–629.
  13. Yang, Sunam (2015). "Is there no alternative? Keep an eye on Gasi, Seonheul, and Sangdori". Jeju Sori.
  14. Kang, Jungman (2016-12-28). "제주 곶자왈 천연기념물·멸종위기 동식물·곤충 천지". Newsis.
  15. "Eco Tourism on the rise". Carbon Consulting Company.

Seekiefer (Pinus halepensis) 9months-fromtop.jpg
This conservation resource was created by Course:FRST522.