Decrease every year due to carbon sinking ‘grassland’ and conversion to development/agricultural land

The area of ​​grassland, a carbon sink, is decreasing every year due to various development projects and conversion of land for agriculture and fishing.

According to the results of the ‘2021 Grassland Management Survey’ announced by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs on the 12th, the area of ​​pasture nationwide (land used for grazing or growing grass) last year decreased by 168 hectares (hectares, 10,000 m2) from 2020. It was surveyed with only 2388 ha. This is about 0.3% of the total land area of ​​10 million hectares as of last year.

The national grassland area has been continuously increasing since 1995 due to the installation of urban planning facilities and roads, conversion to land for agriculture and fishing, restoration of forests, and poor management. The grassland, which was 66,301 ha in 1995, has shrunk to half the current level.

As a result of analyzing the area excluded from grassland in the last year’s survey, 100 ha was converted to agricultural land, urban planning facilities, and roads. The ‘removed area’ due to deforestation, loss of grassland function, and lack of management also reached 150 hectares. On the other hand, 82ha of new grassland was created for the purpose of growing forage crops and breeding livestock.

By city and province, Jeju had the largest area with 115,637 ha (48% of the total), followed by Gangwon (5021 ha), Chungnam (2487 ​​ha), and Jeonnam (1932 ha). In the case of Gangwon-do (-56.7ha), where the grassland area decreased the most, the effect of returning unusable grassland to forest was significant. By type of use of grassland, grazing pasture (166 hectares), fodder crops (5899 hectares), and livestock and auxiliary facilities (996 hectares) were surveyed.

Jeong Gyeong-seok, head of the Livestock Environment and Resources Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, said, “Grassland, classified as a carbon sink, is very important for the creation of a sustainable livestock industry, but the grassland area is decreasing as forest reduction and conversion increases.” We will expand the grassland creation support project targeting those in the country and strengthen the disclosure of unused grassland information,” he said.

Reference-www.khan.co.kr

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