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Ecological Corridors: Legal Framework for the Baekdu Daegan Mountain System (South Korea) I IUCN

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This case study of the Baekdu Daegan Mountain System (BDMS) in South Korea is an example of how
a specific piece of legislation has been used to establish a biodiversity corridor in Asia. The BDMS is
a series of mountain ranges that runs from Mt Baekdu in North Korea to Mt Jiri in South Korea—the
backbone of the Korean peninsula. The mountains are high in ecological value and hold great cultural
and spiritual significance, yet they are under threat from increased road, rail and especially agricultural

Through the Act on the Protection of the Baekdu Daegan Mountain System (BDMS Act) 2003, South
Korea has taken decisive action to protect the southern part of the BDMS. The Act designates an area
of 263,427 hectares, of which 86 per cent is made up of 183 protected areas existing at the time the
Act entered into force, and 14 per cent consists of new buffer and core areas created to complete the

The BDMS includes 11 different types of protected areas, governed by six separate laws and under the
administrative jurisdiction of three government ministries. Recognizing the importance of this national
initiative, the BDMS Act prevails over all other legislation, including planning law.

This case study examines in detail the relationships among the governing laws, the management
mechanisms established through the Act, and includes a summary of protected areas that have
been incorporated into the BDMS. It provides insight into how such seemingly complex legal and
administrative arrangements can work, through a combination of legislative design and a cultural
commitment to consultation at all stages of decision making

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