Forests and Human Health July-1-2009

Brief Introduction: The Korean Forum on Forests and Human Health

Although evidence-based research has been conducted only in recent years, Korea has a long history of forest utilization for human health purposes. Korea is about 65 percent forest land, therefore, people use the forest to promote and maintain their health. Obtaining herbal medicine, exercise, meditation, trekking, and so on, are the traditional health related activities in forest in Korea. Recently n atural-being and well-being with nature are emerging issues in Korea. The Korean Forum on Forests and Human Health was organized to combat increasing demand of forest use for human health in Korea. The forum had an inaugural meeting on December, 20th, 2005.

The Forum is composed of more than 80 professionals in forestry, landscape architecture, medical, sports and nutrition sciences. The Forum will provide valuable research results, theories, and management alternatives for improvement of forest and human health.

To date, the Forum has organized several conferences in the field of forest and human health including two international symposiums in 2005 and 2008.

The Forum is playing an important role in research and consults for government and industries in forest and human health related areas (eg. four years research on development of forest and health programs in Korea funded by Korea Forest Service).

The future of “Forest and Human Health” area and the Korean Forum on Forests and Human Health is bright. Pharmaceutical and foot industries and telecommunications have shown interest in developing their own “Forests for Health” for customer services or public relations. Local governments are also planning to develop “Forests for Health” cooperating with local hospitals. The Forum could be a major partner with them.

Won Sop Shin


Future events of the ForHealth Task Force

  • Conference on Ecology and Forests for Public Health, 18-20 September 2009, Oslo, Norway.
  • Side event "Forests, human health and well-being: findings of IUFRO's recent science initiatives" at the XIII World Forestry Congress, 18-25 October 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina ( Side event is Oct. 19 th.
  • Steering committee meeting of the Task Force on Forests and Human Health at the XIII World Forestry Congress, 18-25 October 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Open for all interested. The most probable date is Oct. 20 th.
  • Sessions on Health benefits of forests and Health risks of forests at the XXIII IUFRO World Congress "Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment", 23-28 August 2010, Seoul, Republic of Korea (

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