Eco-friendly Biopolymer for Sustainable Coastal Erosion Prevention

KNPS
Published: 15 November 2021
Last edited: 17 November 2021
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Summary

Korea National Park Service (KNPS) succeeded in restoring the eroded coast of Gwanmae-do Island, Jindo-gun, in the Dadohaehaesang National Park with eco-friendly technology using biopolymer-based natural paving materials.

The existing techniques to prevent coastal erosion, using cement concrete structures or natural stone masonry, cause physical problems, such as dislocation and cracking over time after construction. In addition, cement structures loose toxic substances, which destroy the surrounding ecosystem and adversely affect nearby landscapes.

A biopolymer-based natural paving material is the blend of high-molecular compounds extracted from plants and natural aggregates such as gravels. It contains many pores on the surface and inside. Therefore, when a strong wave hits the surface, seawater is dispersed between the pores, which significantly lowers the wave energy and increases the durability of the structure.

Classifications

Region
East Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
Ecosystem
Beach
Coastal forest
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Seamount / Ocean ridge
Theme
Adaptation
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Coastal and marine spatial management
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Disaster risk reduction
Erosion prevention
Forest Management
Infrastructure maintenance
Islands
Land management
Mitigation
Outreach & communications
Protected and conserved areas governance
Restoration
Science and research
Species management
Sustainable livelihoods
Terrestrial spatial planning
Tourism
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Species Monitoring and Research
Species Intensive Management (in situ or ex situ)
Species Conservation Planning
Challenges
Land and Forest degradation
Sea level rise
Shift of seasons
Storm surges
Tropical cyclones / Typhoons
Tsunami/tidal wave
Erosion
Ecosystem loss
Invasive species
Lack of access to long-term funding
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 11: Protected and conserved areas
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience

Location

Jindo-gun, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
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Impacts

The use of biopolymer-based natural paving material has been piloted, tested and monitored by the Dadohaehaesang National Park since October 2012. Biopolymer hardens underwater, which helped to consolidate the construction. The strength of the material does not decrease, even when exposed to seawater for a long time and even severe typhoons.

The results of the restored areas monitoring show that sand was deposited between the natural paving materials and various plants living in the sand dune, such as Calystegia soldanella grew well to maintain a natural coastal landscape. The erosion prevention effect was also excellent, and it even played a role in protecting the forest of Pinus thunbergii located at the back of the coast.

KNPS continues to promote restoration projects by using biopolymer-based eco-friendly method, and plans to expand eco-friendly restoration projects to other areas such as trails.

Contributed by

Korea National Park Service - KNPS Korea National Park Service