Island Biocultural Diversity Initiative for Sustainable Society in Asia-Pacific Island Regions

  • Sun-Kee Hong
  • Jae-Eun Kim
  • Tae Ho Ro


At the World Conservation Congress (WCC) 2012 of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the agendum of ‘Strengthening Biocultural Diversity and Traditional Ecological Knowledge in Asia-Pacific Island Regions’ was adopted as a resolution (IUCN Resolution 5.115). As a result, there is a need for the Ministry of Environment (Republic of Korea) to organize an aggressive implementation program for the realization of the agendum by cooperating with the IUCN according to the above results. In addition, there is a need to actively respond by possessing the international leadership regarding the related subjects in the future. Together with the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), the IUCN Resolution 5.115 widened the opportunities for the island countries in the surroundings of the Asia-Pacific to aggressively respond to the diverse issues regarding the preservation of the traditional, ecological knowledge of the biological culture, the preservation of the ecosystem, and the sustainable development by mutually cooperating. Especially, regarding Korea, as a country that possesses over 3,400 islands, the use of the resources by the global island residents, the maintenance of the cultural resources, the environmental protection, and the improvement of the quality of life are directly connected to the policies of Korea too. In the IUCN Resolution 5.115, the biocultural diversity, the use of the biological resources, and the contents of the traditional knowledge industry that are related to them, which not only the IUCN but, also, the CBD, the UNESCO, etc. are interested in, are included. In particular, at a time point when the interest in the island nations and the island regions that are very vulnerable to the rise of the seal level resulting from the changes of the earth environment has been heightening, the need for the preservation of the biological diversity regarding the islands and the need regarding the international interest and support for the traditional knowledge and the safety of the residents have been included. Because, although the level of interest regarding these have been getting heightened at the IUCN and the CBD already, the main activities have been concentrating on the marine biological diversity, the problems related to the islands on which the human beings reside. However, the indigenous biological resources of the islands, and the culture and the life of the islanders who have been using the indigenous biological resources have been considered in less. It is in this regard that the IUCN Resolution 5.115 has the purpose in overcoming such a viewpoint and intensively heightening the level of the international interest regarding the preservation of the biological resources of the islands and the culture and safety of the residents who use them and in expanding the support through a global network. An initiative regarding the biocultural diversity of the global islands for preserving the ecosystems and the biological diversities needed for the biological diversity, the governance, and the sustainability of the islands of the world, for the wise utilization of the ecological knowledge, for establishing an international network regarding the sustainability of the cultural diversity, and others of the like, and for playing the central role of developing, operating, and putting into practice the programs together with the IUCN is needed.



We would like to thank Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea for supporting this work related to IUCN Motion development during WCC2012 (Jeju, Korea). Our thanks are due to Director Luisa Maffi at Terralingua, Mr. Oviedo Gonzalo at CEESP in IUCN, Prof. Matsuda Hiroyuki at Yokohama National University, Japan for developing the concept of Island Biocultural Diversity. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (NRF-2009-361-A00007).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institution for Marine & Island CulturesMokpo National UniversityMokpoRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Korea Environment InstituteSejongKorea

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