RCE Inje - 2024

Training Workers for Sustainability and Proposing Public Policies for Residents
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Training Workers for Sustainability and Proposing Public Policies for Residents
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Inje
Contributing organization(s) : 
Inje County Office, Inje County Regional Innovation Council, Inje County Experience Villages (Wolhak 1-ri Stream Village, Seoheung-ri Yongneup Ecology School, Korean DMZ Peaceful Life Land, Sangnam-ri Maui Prince Village, Namjeon-ri Sunshine Village, Seohwa-ri Peace Village, Yongdae-ri Baekdam Village, Hachuri Mountain Village, Bangdong-ri Bangbang Village, Jindong-ri Valley Village), Inje Livestock Cooperative (Injechukhyup), Inje Agricultural Cooperative (Inje Nonghyup), Haneul Naelin Inje Local Tour Business Team, Inje New Village Movement Association (Daehan Noinhoe Inje Gunsibu), Korean Senior Citizens Association Inje Branch (Daehan Noinhoe Inje Gunsibu), Inje County Cultural Heritage Foundation, Inje County Social Economy Support Center.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Chang heum -Kim
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Inje
Format of project: 
face-to-face delivery of workshops and online forums
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Sunday, January 7, 2024
Rules and Regulations for the Operation of Inje County Regional Innovation Council(2019)
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Korea, South
Address of focal point institution for project: 
within Inje County
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
During the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, Inje County was a battleground, and it remains a region caught in the standoff between North and South Korea, with the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at its center. Inje County is located at the intersection of the Baekdu Mountain Range and the DMZ, making it a significant ecological hub. Due to military reasons, its geographical location, and natural conditions, development activities have been restricted, making it one of the areas in Korea with the highest biodiversity and abundance of ecosystems.
Inje County is considered an ecological treasure in South Korea, with a population density of less than 20 people per square kilometer. It is characterized by its mountainous villages and is known for having the highest oxygen content in the country. The water quality of 19 rivers using surface water is exceptionally good, with 18 locations classified as very good and one location as good. In summary, Inje County is a pristine area with clean air and water.

To experience such a natural environment, Inje County attracts over one million tourists annually. It is home to Seoraksan National Park, designated as the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Korea, as well as Daeamsan Yongneup, the first Ramsar Wetland in Korea. Other notable attractions include the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), self-growing pine tree forests, and Baekdamsa Temple.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The entire global community is facing a crisis due to global warming, and societies are further threatened by issues such as neoliberalism, ideologies, and conflicts, leading to the destruction and fragmentation of communities. Recognizing the problems of aging and population decline in the region, there is a need to cultivate workers who will acknowledge these issues, work together for change, and propose public policies to build a foundation for a sustainable society.
April, 2020
Cultivating Practical Workers and Building Networks for Sustainable Inje County
1.Cultivating Workers with a Philosophy of Sustainable Life, where Humans and Nature Coexist
2.Cultivating Workers who Build a Social Structure of Autonomy, Cooperation, Coexistence, and Circulation
3.Cultivating Workers who Build a Social Structure of Autonomy, Cooperation, Coexistence, and Circulation
4.Cultivating Workers as Just and Democratic Citizens who Communicate, Empathize, Care, and Coexist
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Education Curriculum
①To create a sustainable society, open an educational program where people learn and practice together through global trends in culture, economy, environment, community, etc. - 12 sessions annually, a 1-night 2-day program.
②Form specialized groups for residents based on their interests, conduct discussions to identify local issues, and derive solutions.
③Acquire practical examples applicable to the region through excellent cases such as community-led village communities.
④Propose public policies for happiness in various fields that all residents of Inje County can participate in.

Education topics:

①Fundamental themes: Earth's life, climate crisis, biodiversity
②Basic themes: Community, social integration
③Realistic themes: Society (democracy, labor, cooperation, education, regional understanding, communication and empathy, peace), economy (social economy, agriculture), environment (energy, forests, ecology)"

"Education method: In Inje County, there are a total of 85 villages, and among them, there are 21 communities operating rural experiences and ecotourism based on natural ecology. These villages have educational facilities, restaurants, and accommodations, and the income from visitors is used as public funds for the village. The Inje County Regional Innovation Leader Training Program is conducted twice a month in these communities, and in addition to educational topics, participants engage in village stories and experiences."

Size of academic audience: 
From 2020 to 2023, approximately 80 participants completed the course.
Through education, participants recognized the importance of a sustainable society. They formed subgroups based on their interests and proposed approximately 23 public policies through the process of discussion.
Lessons learned: 
To foster the growth of the region, there is a need for numerous opportunities for residents with good ideas to come together and discuss local issues. I believe that the capacity of such communities serves as a driving force for sustainability throughout society.
Key messages: 
Inje County is an area where development activities are restricted due to natural conservation areas, national parks, and military bases. As a result, the natural environment is well-preserved compared to other regions. The county utilizes its ecological resources for tourism and offers a favorable environment for experiences and leisure due to its proximity to the metropolitan area geographically.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Inje County is receiving assistance from organizations like the Kyushu Sustainable Development Council and GLOBAL ARENA in Japan, which have experience in addressing rural issues such as aging population and closed schools while preserving natural ecology for sustainable development. By visiting places like Yufuin (rural ecological recreation), Kurate Village (repurposing closed schools), Grano 24K (6th industry), Itojima Tourism Association, and Oshima Island, they are learning about potential solutions to these challenges.
Inje County provides an annual budget of around 120 million won, and each student pays a membership fee of 200,000 won, which is used for operating expenses.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: