Ecological and Scenery Conservation Areas

Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas

Korea is found to harbor a variety of plants and animals. But human activities, such as land development, have disrupted ecosystems and caused the decline of biodiversity. In order to protect natural ecosystems from degradation, the government of Korea designates and manages ecologically outstanding areas that require conservation as Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas.
These areas are designated by the Minister of Environment, in accordance with the Natural Environment Conservation Act (before the revision on Dec. 30, 2004, marine areas were designated by the Minister of Oceans and Fisheries). Similarly city mayors or provincial governors may also designate local areas that are deemed necessary to be conserved as Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas.
As of December 2022, a total of 32 sites had been designated covering 285.934㎢, with 9 state-designated areas (248.029㎢) including Jirisan Mountain, and 23 city- or province-designated areas (37.905㎢) including Bamseom Island in Hangang River.

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What are Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas?

  • An ecologically intact or biodiverse area with high conservation and research value
  • An area with unique topographical or geological features that requires conservation for the purpose of academic research or maintenance of natural landscapes
  • An area that may represent diverse ecosystems or a sample area of an ecosystem
  • Other areas, such as rivers and mountain valleys, with outstanding natural landscapes that require conservation

Designation of Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas (as of December 2022)

  • Legal basis : Article 12, Natural Environment Conservation Act
  • Designated areas : 32 sites covering a total of 285.934㎢

Designation process

  1. Field assessment
  2. Designation planning
  3. Collection of feedback from city mayors/provincial governors and local residents
  4. Consultation with relevant ministries
  5. Designation and notification

List of Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas designated by the Ministry of Environment : 9 sites covering 285.934㎢

The above is a list of Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas designated by the Ministry of Environment, with corresponding name, location, area, features, and date of designation.
Name Location Area(㎢) Features Date of designation(Date of change)
Jirisan Mountain Simwon Valley, Samdong-myeon and  Piagol Valley, Toji-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do   20.20 Primary climax forest (Korean fir (Abies koreana)) Dec. 29, 1989
Otter habitat in Seomjingang  River Muncheok-myeon, Ganjeon-myeon and Toji-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do   1.834 Habitat for otters (Lutra lutra) Dec. 1, 2001
Red bat  habitat in Gosanbong Peak Daedong-myeon, Hampyeong-gun, Jeollanam-do 8.78 Habitat for red bats (Myotis rufoniger) May 1, 2002
Donggang River basin Yeongwol-eup, Yeongwol-gun; Mitan-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun; Jeongseon-eup and Sindong-eup, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do 79.259 Outstanding topographical features and landscapes, habitat for rare wildlife Aug. 9, 2002
(Expanded on Dec. 31, 2019)
Wangpicheon Stream basin Seo-myeon and Geunnam-myeon, Uljin-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do 102.841 Outstanding topographical features and landscapes, habitat for rare wildlife Oct. 14, 2005
(Expanded on Jul. 17, 2013)

Sohwang sand dunes

Sohwang-ri and Doksan-ri, Ungcheon-eup, Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Coastal dunes, habitat for rare wildlife
Oct. 28, 2005

Hasidong-Anin sand dunes

Hasidong-ri, Gangdong-myeon, Gangneung-si, Gangwon-do
Outstanding topography and landscapes of dunes
Dec. 17, 2008

Unmunsan Mountain

Unmun-myeon, Cheongdo-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do
Outstanding landscape; habitat for endangered species, including otters (Lutra lutra), flying squirrels (Pteromys volans aluco), martens (Martes flavigula) and woodland peonies (Paeonia obovata Maxim.)  
Sep. 9, 2010

Jeokdaebong Peak in Geogeumdo Island

Jeokdaebong Peak, Geogeumdo Island, Goheung-gun, Jeollanam-do
Habitat for endangered species and specific wild species
Jan. 7, 2011

List of Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas designated by city mayors or provincial governors : 23 sites covering 37.905㎢

The above is a list of Ecosystem and Landscape Conservation Areas designated by city mayors/provincial governors, with corresponding name, location, area, features, and date of designation.
City/province Name Location Area(㎢) Features Date of designation(Date of change)
Seoul Bamseom Island in Hangang River 84-4, Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu; 314 Dangin-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul 0.279 Habitat for migratory birds Aug. 10, 1999
Dunchon-dong 211 Dunchon-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 0.030 Natural urban wetland Mar. 6, 2000
(Expanded on Jul. 4, 2013)
Bangi-dong 439-2, Bangi-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 0.059 Urban wetland Apr. 15, 2002
(Expanded on Nov. 24, 2005)
Tancheon Stream Garak-dong, Songpa-gu; Suseo-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 1.151 Urban habitat for migratory birds Apr. 15, 2002
Jingwannae-dong 282-1, Jingwannae-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul 0.017 Natural urban wetland Dec. 30, 2002
Amsa-dong 624-1, Gangdong-gu, Seoul 0.270 Urban riparian wetland Dec. 30, 2002
Godeok-dong 396 Godeok-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul
661 Gangil-dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul
(From Godeok Riverside Restoration Area to Hanam-si limits)
0.320 Abundance of native species; habitat for a variety of birds, including protected species, such as swallows (Hirundo rustica Linnaeus, 1758) and kingfishers (Alcedo atthis (Linnaeus, 1758)) Oct. 20, 2004
(Expanded on Dec. 27, 2007)
Wonteogol in Cheonggyesan Mountain San 4-15, Wonji-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 0.146 A community of deciduous broadleaf trees, including oriental white oaks (Quercus aliena) Oct. 20, 2004
Heoninneung Royal Tombs San 13-1, Naegok-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul 0.057 Abundance of native species Nov. 24, 2005
Namsan Mountain San 5-6, Yejang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
San 1-5, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
0.705 An established community of Mongolian oaks (Quercus mongolica); pine forests in Namsan Mountain Jul. 27, 2006
(Expanded on Dec. 27, 2007)
Sahmyookdae in Buramsan Mountain San 223-1, Gongneung-dong, Nowon-gu, Seoul 0.204 An established community of loose-flower hornbeams (Carpinus laxiflora) Jul. 27, 2006
Secret Garden in Changdeokgung Palace 2-71, Waryong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 0.441 An established community of oriental white oaks (Quercus aliena) Jul. 27, 2006
Bongsan Mountain San 93-16, Sinsa-dong, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul 0.073 A community of Korean mountain ashes (Sorbus alnifolia) Dec. 27, 2007
Inwangsan Mountain San 1-1, Hongje-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 0.258 Outstanding natural landscape with oddly-shaped rocks and pine trees (Pinus densiflora) Dec. 27, 2007
Lower reaches of Seongnaecheon Stream 88-6, Bangi-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 0.070 Natural urban river Nov. 26, 2009
Gwanaksan Mountain San 56-2, Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 0.748 Indigenous habitat for a community of boxwood trees (Buxus microphylla var. koreana) Nov. 26, 2009
Baeksasil Valley San 115-1, Buam-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 0.133 Rich in biodiversity Nov. 26, 2009
Ulsan Taehwagang River Lower reaches of Taehwagang River, Ulsan 0.983 Habitat for wildlife including migratory birds Dec. 24, 2008
Gangwon-do Sohan Valley Chodang-ri and Hamaengbang-ri, Geundeok-myeon, Samcheok-si, Gangwon-do 0.104 Korea’s one and only habitat for freshwater laver (Bangia atropurpurea) Oct. 5, 2012
Jeollanam-do Baegunsan Mountain in Gwangyang Okryong-myeon, Jinsang-myeon and Daap-myeon, Gwangyang-gun, Jeollanam-do 9.74 Outstanding natural landscapes and primary natural forest Apr. 26, 1993
Gyeonggi-do Myeongjisan Mountain and Cheonggyesan Mountain in the upper reaches of Jojongcheon Stream Gapyeong-gun and Pocheon-gun, Gyeonggi-do 22.06 Rich and diverse rare flora and insect fauna Sep. 1, 1993
Busan Seogeundeom Valley San 101-1, Byeongsan-ri, Jeonggwan-myeon, Gijang-gun, Busan 0.02 Large populations of rare wild plants Jun. 10, 2015
Jangsan Wetland San 51-188, Bansong-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan 0.037 Mountainous wetland home to rare wild plants Aug. 9, 2017