MEMBER UPDATE: Skills-based volunteering in Korea National Parks
A Skills-based Volunteering Programme has been launched in Korea National Parks to promote involvement in national park management. Volunteers who have knowledge, skills, talents and experience in park management participate in pro bono activities in Korea National Parks, and are called “Honorary Park Rangers.”
National park management is becoming more diverse and it requires more skilled human resources. In light of this, the Skills-based Volunteering Programme was initiated in 2018. Pro bono activities can be grouped into five categories: park resources monitoring; story developing; press; village support; and park visitor rescue. The responsibilities of the groups include:
- Park resource monitoring group: field surveys of natural resources, preparation of specimens, bird banding and monitoring
- Story developing group: developing content of nature interpretation based on scientific information and interesting stories
- Press group: developing social media stories about Korean National Parks
- Village support group: improving the living conditions of local people in the national park
- Park visitor rescue group: participating in rescuing park visitors in danger and measures to enhance safety
The Korea National Park Service selected 207 Honorary Park Rangers through a public contest and had an inauguration ceremony on 29 June 2018. After receiving training to enhance their understanding of national parks and the skills required for each pro bono activity, Honorary Park Rangers are now volunteering in Korea National Parks four to five times per month.
About Korea National Park Service (KNPS)
Korea National Park Service (KNPS) is a professional protected area management organisation established in 1987. It manages around thirty percent of Korea’s protected areas including 21 national parks. Guided by its vision: ‘Leading Protected Areas Management by Connecting Nature, People, and the Future’, KNPS commits its resources to achieving conservation and sustainable use of national parks, and provides support to locally-managed protected areas.