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New forests minister pledges innovative policies

Park Chong-ho, the new minister for the state-run Korea Forest Service, vowed to drive “innovative and people-centered” forest policies in his inauguration last week, the organization said Monday.

During the ceremony held Friday in Daejeon, Park emphasized the importance of all people benefiting from the full value of forests.

After briefly introducing the nations’ forest policies, ranging from forest welfare to tackling fine dust pollution, over the last 10 years, Park emphasized the new forest policies’ innovation and development has to be pursued on the foundation of solid forestry businesses.

 
New KFS Minister Park Chong-ho delivers the inaugural speech on Friday in Daejeon. (KFS)
New KFS Minister Park Chong-ho delivers the inaugural speech on Friday in Daejeon. (KFS)

He suggested that the Korea forest authorities’ core tasks are supporting forestry workers, expanding jobs in the forestry industry, developing areas near mountains and carrying out people-centered forest welfare policy.

“We will focus on building up a solid base such as by creating forest resources and management, expanding management infrastructure and fostering the timber industry. Further, we will work on spreading smart forestry by applying high technology such as satellite imagery, big data and drones,” Park said.

He also promised to introduce a new grading system to create high-quality jobs for regions.

Minister Park pledged to connect forestry-related decisions with job creation to provide stable settlement opportunities for those moving to rural areas.

He vowed to enforce a forest welfare policy that can meet the people’s demands, such as by carrying out an urban forest and garden policy, enhancing forestry education and strengthening forests’ roles in reducing fine dust.

“We’ll expand infrastructure so that every citizen can enjoy forestry welfare near their houses and neighborhoods. Moreover, we’ll work on fostering various service industries with the private sector,” he added.

The new minister also noted the KFS’ contributions in building and preserving forests worldwide, pledging to continue cooperating in projects throughout Asia with the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization, an intragovernmental group aimed at strengthening regional forest cooperation by transforming technology and policies into actions.

Park is the 32nd head of the state agency.

By Jie Ye-eun (yeeun@heraldcorp.com)
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