Analysis of the Implementation Status and Characteristics of Ecological Restoration Projects in Korea: Ecosystem Conservation Charge Return Projects
While preparing the business plan during the demand survey, research on the target site and in-depth analysis of the location characteristics are limited. Consequently, even if a project is approved, the target site of the ECCRP will still require approval and permit administrative procedures depending on the land category, zoning district, and area in the land use plan. Therefore, the conditions of the target site locations have become a critical factor owing to the nature of the project, which must be completed in the given year. Among the 35 ECCRPs selected in 2022, five were not completed because of the approval process and were carried over to 2023. Therefore, the Ministry of Environment is pursuing measures to administratively accelerate the timing of demand surveys for projects in 2024.
To prioritize native plant-centered species selection, minimizing the use of cultivated plants is necessary. The target species are selected from biological species that are either historically or currently present in the target area, with consideration given to keystone, umbrella, and flagship species.
In the present study, we sought to identify key target species for ecological restoration projects. To this end, data on the current status of target species selection in implemented projects were collected and analyzed based on various criteria, such as the Korean Red List and the list of endangered species. This research can guide the selection of target species in ecological restoration projects. However, additional studies might be necessary to develop representative habitat models for restoration projects based on the results of this study.
2. Materials and Methods
2.1. Research Scope
2.2. Analyzing the Location and Type of Project Sites
2.3. Analysis Type According to Land Use Plan
For the ECCRP, the administrative procedures of licensing and permitting, as well as the functional aspects of the biological habitats of the target species, are considered essential in the project site selection process. In this respect, we analyzed the items related to the restrictions of the project site on the land use plan. Owing to the nature of the ECCRP, which must be completed in the corresponding year, the approval and administrative procedures are crucial to the project implementation process. For each project site selected by the Ministry of Environment, the first step is to identify land use-related information, and the second step is to determine the laws and regulations on which the project is authorized. The third step is to review and implement the administrative procedures for project approval and permit. The use area and land category are closely associated with the approval process of the return project.
The use areas were identified according to the Enforcement Decree of the National Land Planning and Utilization Act and other laws and regulations. The classification by use area was categorized as urban, management, rural, and natural environment conservation areas. Thus, 247 projects with verifiable addresses and land use information were analyzed.
Regarding the classification of land category, the land status of the project site was divided into 28 land category types according to the regulations under the Act on the Establishment and Management of Spatial Data. Regarding the classification by land category, we analyzed 259 projects where the land category was identified.
We also analyzed the land ownership status of the project site into state-owned, military-owned, city-owned, or province-owned, and privately owned lands for the 258 projects in which the owner can be identified. As the current and future land use status of the project site is closely related to the project implementation process, in this study, we analyzed comprehensive information on the project site land.
Information on the location, land number, land category, owner status, and region/district of the project site was analyzed using the comprehensive real estate information site operated by the Korea Land and Housing Corporation. In addition, the type of project site was analyzed via frequency analysis using Excel (Microsoft 365, Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA, USA).
2.4. Analysis of Target Species
By examining the characteristics of the project sites, the ecosystem type and zoning district, selection status by local governments and basin and regional environmental offices, and owners and land categories of the target lands were analyzed. The ecosystem types of the sites were classified as urban, rural, wetland, river, forest, abandoned facility site, or others. The ecosystem types were in accordance with the National Land Planning and Utilization Act, as most of the project sites were urban.
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