The creation of the National Institute of Ecology began as a national alternative project to preserve mudflats instead of constructing the industrial complexes by reclamation, and achieve regional development. On the other hand, at the national level, the research institute for ecology was needed to cope with the worsening conditions for maintaining biodiversity due to accelerated climate change such as global warming and increased demand for development. In order to meet these needs, the National Institute of Ecology has the following objectives: (1) carries out studies for ecosystem change due to climate change and biodiversity conservation, (2) performs ecological education to the public through exhibition of various ecosystem models, and (3) promotes regional development through the ecological industry. Furthermore, to achieve these objectives, the National Institute of Ecology thoroughly followed the basic principles of ecology, especially restoration ecology, in the process of its construction. We introduce the principles and cases of ecological restoration applied in the process.>
We minimized the impact on the ecosystem in order to harmonize with the surrounding environment in all the processes of construction. We pursued passive restoration following the principle of ecological restoration as a process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem degraded for all the space except in land where artificial facilities were introduced. Reference information was applied thoroughly in the process of active restoration to create biome around the world, Korean peninsula forests, and wetland ecosystems. In order to realize true restoration, we pursued the ecological restoration in a landscape level as the follows. We moved the local road 6 and high-voltage power lines to underground to ensure ecological connectivity within the National Institute of Ecology campus. To enhance ecological diversity, we introduced perch poles and islands as well as floating leaved, emerged, wetland, and riparian plants in wetlands and mantle communities around the forests of the Korean Peninsula in the terrestrial ecosystem. Furthermore, in order to make the public aware of the importance of the intact nature, the low-lying landscape elements, which have disappeared due to excessive land use in most areas of Korea, was created by imitating demilitarized zone (DMZ) landscape that has these landscape elements.>
The National Institute of Ecology was created in an eco-friendly way by thoroughly reflecting the principles of ecology to suit its status and thus the impact on the existing ecosystem was minimized. This concept was also designed to be reflected in the process of operation. The results have become real, and a result of analysis on carbon budget analysis is approaching the carbon neutrality.
Keywords: Biodiversity; Climate change; Landscape ecology; National Institute of Ecology; Passive restoration; Restoration ecology