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[K-Wellness] Exploring and serving Korea’s 3,400 islands

Korea Island Development Institute enhances Korea's status as one of top 10 countries with most islands

By Korea Herald

Published : Dec. 19, 2022 - 10:24

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Oh Dong-ho, president of the Korea Island Development Institute Oh Dong-ho, president of the Korea Island Development Institute

The Korea Island Development Institute, under the Ministry of Interior and Safety, was established in October 2021 to conduct systematic research and develop sensible island policies. Specifically, the institute aims to promote the values of islands, improve the quality of life for islanders and create future growth engines.

With approximately 3,400 islands, South Korea is an archipelago and one of the top 10 countries with the most islands. However, the country’s islands face serious crises due to accelerated depopulation caused by poor accessibility and living conditions.

“We will come up with new island policies to make the islands places where people want to live and visit,” said Oh Dong-ho, president of the Korea Island Development Institute.

The institute announced five core strategies and 18 main tasks while declaring the intention to prove itself as a world-renowned island research institute. The five core strategies are the Island R&D Center, the Island Policy Think Tank, the Island Development and Promotion Project, the Island Academy and the Global Island Hub.

The Island R&D Center aims to build an integrated platform on the islands through systematic research and study.

The Island Policy Think Tank plans to develop future-oriented and global policies on islands by seeking truth from facts.

As an institute specializing in island consultations and evaluation, the Island Development and Promotion Project plans to step up efforts to develop creative projects.

The Island Academy will strive to become an island-specializing international education institute to nurture global leaders.

The Global Island Hub, meanwhile, will build a global network, enabling islands, people and research institutes to communicate and exchange information.

Recently, the institute held the Korea Islands Forum to celebrate the first anniversary of its launch. The event was held with the participation of policy developers, experts from relevant agencies, scholars and island residents.

The institute has also enhanced resident satisfaction by remodeling its complex building to turn the rooftop area into a “moonlight yard” for islanders to enjoy.

Furthermore, the institute built an island education campus and smart e-learning center for island residents and student activists. The institute is developing island policies and fostering field leaders through these efforts. For queries on academy education, individuals can visit the institute’s homepage.

“We will play the role of a think tank through education by fostering island experts and identifying excellent examples of island developments,” Oh said.

The institute is conducting research projects on innovative ways to improve transportation systems and tackle the population decline on the islands.

Meanwhile, the institute is committed to solving the problems of islands threatened with extinction due to accelerated population outflow caused by poor accessibility and residential environments.

“We will strive to become a global island research institute so that we can be a country of islands that is envied by the world,” Oh said.

By Yang Jung-won (7toy@heraldcorp.com)