Youn Yeo-Chang, abstract

Governance of forest ecosystems services – role of traditional knowledge and local people

Youn Yeo-Chang, Kim Yeoyeon, Park Sohee, Youn Sojin
Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Changing demand of societies for services from forests has not been properly acknowledged by decision-making process, resulting in conflicts among stakeholders, inefficiency and inequity. Theory tells us that values of forest ecosystems can be realized more equitably and efficiently if the social needs reflected in the values of forest ecosystems services be accommodated. In this paper some cases from Korea will be presented in support of the thesis. Traditional forest commons called Songgye, village groves, greenbelt in Korea and a communal forest in west Java, Indonesia  will be analyzed in terms of their origins, functions, and institutions associated with social, economic, cultural and political background. As demonstrated in the success of forest transition in South Korea, external regulation is not sufficient, but self-regulated control systems are necessary for sustainable forestry. A sheer external control without due care to the needs of local people can lead to ecological and economic inequity leaving potential risk to sustainability of forest ecosystems. Therefore, political economic governance is a necessary condition for sustainable forestry. The DNA of political and economic governance for common pool resources such as forest can be sourced from traditional knowledge and local people.