Green List

Jirisan National Park


First Listed



Pilot Site

This site is undergoing the renewal of its IUCN Green List Certification

Why is it Green Listed?

Designated as the first national park in 1967, jirisan spreads across1 city and 4 counties in three-provinces – Hadong, Hamyang, Sancheong of Gyeongnam province, Gurye of jeonnam province, and Namwon of jeonbuk , The total area of jirisan National park is 483.02 km2, which makes it the largest mountainous national park in Korea. The name of Jirisan means “the mountain of the odd and wise people.” Perhaps due to this name, many hermits sought for truth, and devoted themselves at jirisan. Since the ancient times, together with Geumgangsan and hallasan, Jirisan has been known as one of the three legendary mountains in Korea, and a hallowed ground of the nation’s faith.

With 4,989 flora and fauna inhabiting it’s grounds. Jirisan is a treasure chest of nature. Various vegetation from warm-temperate forests and temperate central forests to cold forests populate jirisan. Natural treasures such as the Higan cherry tree at Hwaeomsa(Temple) and the Waun Cheonyeongsong(Millennium Pine Tree) are in Jirisan. Which is also native to Hares, Roes, Elks, Wildcats, and other mammals in its hills.

“As one of the managers of Jirisan National Park, I am proud that it is managed as an IUCN green list, an international standard for the sound management of protected areas.”

KIM, Lim Kyu, Superintendent, Jirisan National Park

Site Attributes



IUCN Category

Year Established

Marine Protected Area

Governance Type
Federal or national ministry or agency

Site Agency
Korea National Park Service

Site Manager
Seon-du KIM

EAGL Chair
Jong Geel Je

ASI Reviewer
Matthiew Durnin

Site Summary

Jirisan National Park was added to the Green List during the Pilot Phase in 2014. The Jirisan National Park, a first of its kind in Korea, was designated on Dec. 29th, 1967.

The mountain straddles 16 eups/myeons (they are similar to townships and towns according to the Korean administrative categories), 4 counties (Hamyang-gun, Sancheong-gun, Hadong-gun and Gurye-gun), and 1 city (Namwon city), encompassing 3 provinces (Gyeongnam province, Jeonnam province and Jeonbuk porivnce). Settled in the area of 483.022?, it is the largest mountainous national park in Korea.

Like Mt. Geumgangsan and Mt. Hallasan, the mountain has been admired by the public as paramount because it is a holy birthplace of ethnic Korean religions. 20 peaks (higher than1,500m) are rising surrounded by the unfolded screen of 3 highest peaks (the Cheonwangbong peak (1,915m), Banyabong peak and Nogodan peak).

The mountain also shows off i) various large and small ridges extending north/westward from the main ridge and ii) magnificent valleys like the Daesungggol valley, the Daewonsa-gyegok valley, the Jangdang-gyegok valley, the Hanshin-gyegok valley, and the Cilsun-gyegok valley. Particularly, the Wangdeungjae wetland (the only alkaline high mountain swamp in South Korea) is of great ecological significance. Additionally, the Seseokpyeongyeon (a gravel flat ground) possesses great academic and conservation values since rare species of sub-alpine flora thrive there. Boasting the magnificent and cozy sceneries, the Jirisan mountain works as ‘the Roof of the Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces’, laying the foundation for the livelihood of local residents. Additionally, it has historical·cultural resources rich enough to be recognized as the mountain of life.

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