Based on the diversity of the landscape and biological diversity, the determination was made that environmental conservation and sustainable development could be implemented in conjunction with a total of 54,070 ha. In this regard, economic development can be achieved in this area by actively developing culture in accordance with nature and developing in a creative manner. In other words, this area can creatively inherit the values and wise usage practices that local people have traditionally displayed vis-a-vis the landscapes within these terrestrial and marine ecosystems as well as natural products, and develop local industries and tourism in a manner that seeks to harmonize the lifestyle and aesthetic awareness of contemporary people with the nature and culture found in this area.
– Local fish species and salt, both of which benefit from the nutritional circulation within the tidal flats, represent important natural products. The fishermen in this area determine the value of fish species that they have obtained based on the extent to which the tidal flats have impacted their nutritional level and flavor. For instance, the influence of the tidal flats results in the fish and shellfish and algae that inhabit them, as well as those which reside in the sea adjacent to the tidal flats and in the clefts between rocks, possessing gustatory elements that can clearly be distinguished from the natural products found in other areas.
Salt is another gift that emanates from the tidal flats. Whether created by the sun in conjunction with the abundant minerals found in the tidal flats or by man, salt was long perceived as a symbol of wealth. The fact that the quality of the salt produced in this area has not only been reevaluated in Korea but also gradually accepted abroad can be construed as a sign that the development of a local industry linking the tidal flats with salt would help to maximize the value of natural products and activate the local economy. In addition, that the local practice of pickling and fermenting fish species indigenous to this area has now been accepted at the national level as a unique cultural attribute means that there exhibits a strong possibility for the formation of a new industry that combines local fish and salt to emerge as the main local industry (Ministry of Oceanic and Marine Products 2002).
– The establishment of a sustainable fishing industry and of a production and distribution system for local products can also be envisioned. The collection of marine products in tidal flats and coastal areas has traditionally been controlled by the village organization called ‘jubi.’ The main functions of this organization have been to ensure equal access to resources and ensure the presence of conditions conducive to the reproduction of resources. Currently, a cooperative body called the eochongye has played the role of the ‘jubi’. In addition to the collection of marine products, the eochongye has also been in charge of coastal fishing and aquaculture. The further entrenchment of a consumption-based economy and society has resulted in the functions of these organizations declining, weakening, and being distorted. Under these circumstances, the UNESCO Shinan Dadohae Biosphere Reserve (SDBR) must play an important role in reviving these organizations and functions so as to alleviate poverty among the lower class. In addition, the exploitive fishing activities that lead to resources depletion must be countered by guaranteeing the reproduction of resources, and fishing methods and distribution structures through which to stabilize the income of residents must be established.
– The relevant technology and information systems developed up to this point by specialized organizations and administrative agencies can be utilized to develop a sustainable fishing industry. Local leaders also possess knowledge and experience, as well as their own awareness, of the resources problem. It is now vital that the designation of the UNESCO Shinan Dadohae Biosphere Reserve (SDBR) be utilized as an opportunity to secure the area’s status as a prominent place, and that a sustainable fishing industry be connected to the obtainment of economic goods emanating from these values. Furthermore, it is also necessary to transform existing fishery organizations into something akin to the Korean co-ops and producer-consumer cooperative organizations that have greatly influenced the market economy and other sectors.
– It is also important to link the fishing industry to the food culture and to distinguish it. At the heart of the Honam area, which has been recognized as having the most advanced food culture in Korea, are foods that directly and indirectly include marine products (Ministry of Oceanic and Marine Products 2002). In addition to using these traditional foods, a nationwide slow food system can be established by extending the slow city activities taking place within the SDBR to the rest of the country. At this point, the focus can be placed on the traditions established up to the present. Moreover, a series of food culture coordination methods that revolve around the serving of marine products prepared by local residents as part of the local food culture for everyday and ritual purposes to visitors and guests can be established. Furthermore, by developing environment-friendly storage and distribution technologies, a nationwide marine products supply system can be forged and a distribution and consumption system linking together fishing villages and urban areas established. As such, the SDBR can represent an opportunity to eventually lead to the establishment of a nationwide ‘slow food’ system.
– In addition to marine products, active use can also be made of the agricultural products and herbs grown amidst the area’s unique environment. For example, although abundant sunlight and soil conditions found on the islands have allowed spinach production to develop; the isolated nature of these islands, which results in minimizing the risk of a virus spreading, is also conducive to the development of underground stem and root crops. Moreover, the evergreen broad-leaved forests found in the area are ideal for the production of herbs. In this regard, such products should be cultivated as part of an environment – friendly production and collection system that is rooted in adaptation to the local environment. As such, the value of this area, as well as of the goods produced therein, can be enhanced by directly introducing a slow food system or through the promotion of body-local area-food and body-local area-herbs linkages.
– The developmental potential of the SDBR in large part revolves around the 1,000 or so islands located within its confines. The landscape of these islands, which float in the sea during high tide, is uniquely altered during low tide when they suddenly find themselves surrounded by deep and widespread tidal flats and tidal waterways. Every day, the landscape made up of the islands scattered in the SDBR is altered as low tide gives way to high and vice versa. Fishing activities, rituals, and leisure are carried out in accordance with the lunar calendar that is itself based upon tidal currents. These islands boast forests called Woosil that surround the villages and, in their capacity as a belt, protect them from unwanted influences. These forests are composed of black pine and evergreen broadleaved trees (Hong 2011).
– Another resource that can help foster the economy of the SDBR is its own unique landscape. The uniqueness of the ecosystem can attract tourism. Furthermore, it is possible to develop unique and original programs such as silver retreats that focus on tidal flat and sand geology, nature and cultural resorts that combine traditional culture with the natural calendar, tracking that makes use of geological diversity and waterways, cruises and adventures through tidal waterways, observation of animals and plants in migratory places, sustainable fishing, and marine product collection experiences. Under such conditions, the following plans should be drawn up to use the UNESCO Shinan Dadohae Biosphere
Reserve (SDBR) as a means to achieve strengthened conservation and sustainable development.
First, this plan should be established in a manner that allows humans to access the landscape and resources in this area, should have cultural implications, and be able to foster the formation of an interdependent conservation and development structure linking together man and nature.
Second, there is a need to establish a system that can utilize space and resources in a manner that reflects the increasingly nature-friendly desires of contemporary people. This system should encompass the area’s complex ecosystems that range from sea to forests; residents’ knowledge and cultural activities prepared in accordance with these ecosystems (Maffi 2001); and plans to interpret customs in a modern manner. For example, in keeping with the cultural expectations of those who visit this island area, a visitor center can be established as a resort retreat or for cultural enjoyment purposes. This center is designed to, on the outside, connect complex ecosystems ranging from the sea to forests, and on the inside, based on the use of the garden concept that serves as one of the main elements of traditional culture, introduce the borrowed scenery method as a garden technique through which to establish a garden design that symbolizes the aesthetics of island ecosystems. It is thus necessary to inherit the stream of traditional culture and island nature, and create spaces for resorts and cultural enjoyment that emphasize ecological spaces and functions. Another aesthetic factor that can be used in conjunction with such goals is the tulips and other bulbs and tubers whose growth has been made possible by the environmental conditions affecting the islands in this area.
Third, the comprehensive ecosystems within the SDBR and the roads in these ecosystems should constitute the main elements employed in conjunction with ecotourism and cultural tourism. In this regard, the marine routes can be linked to forest roads, the watersheds on the mainland, roads of Woosil (island village forests), and tidal waterways. The tidal waterways and marine routes, as well as the wide-open marine routes, can be used as elements for ecological and cultural tourism. Shaped like a fishing net and featuring various currents, the tidal waterways and marine routes are closely related to the indigenous knowledge of fishermen. Further, the wide-open marine routes connect this area in which the ‘Shinan ship’ was sunk during the fourteenth century to the marine routes that were plied by this trading ship in Korea, China, and Japan.
– The development of the SDBR must be carried out in a manner that contrasts with the existing method of establishing tourism facilities that lead to the destruction of ecosystems and reckless development. This aim can be achieved by creating, based on the wisdom amassed in accordance with the adaptive culture that has taken root within this ecosystem, nature-friendly spaces that can be used for residential, tourism, or resort purposes, and by creating wealth for local residents through the heightening of the value of this area. The aforementioned measures are in keeping with these objectives.
– Low carbon urban functions should be ensured by developing and using renewable energy (Fig. 9.2). Solar, wind, tidal, and biogas energy have been identified
Fig 9.2 Scheme of Grand Island Design of SDBR to realize a low carbon island
as very important energy sources with which to cope with climate variability. Alternative energy sources have been emphasized as a means of not only resolving the environmental crisis, but also of mitigating the increase in the price of fossil fuels such as oil. It is expected that the value of these alternative energies as economic resources will also increase. The difficulty associated with providing electricity to isolated islands within the SDBR has raised the necessity for these islands to produce their own electricity. These conditions have led to the development of solar photovoltaic power generation facilities in Jeungdo that make use of the island’s abundant sunlight. In this regard, the designation of the SDBR should serve as an opportunity to further develop the tradition of renewable energy. In addition, potential energy shortages resulting from the geographic environment of islands should be mitigated through the transformation of marine waste into energy.