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Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

Jeju Batdam Agricultural System


Site location:  Jeju Island, Republic of Korea

Area of GIAHS: 541 km2

Population working for this system: -

Topological Characteristics: sandy volcanic ash soil

Climatic Classification: warm temperate oceanic

Ethnic Groups/Indigenous People: -

Primary Income Sources: agriculture


Called Black Dragon, Batdam is the result of the ingenuity of Jeju inhabitants to survive in a windy volcanic Island. Utilizing the stones, it is 22,000 kilometer of fences which have been built since 1000 years. Allowing preventing winds, loss of soil and preserving the agricultural culture of Jeju, Batdam have been the condition to grow food on the Island.

Built in various structures, depending on the soil condition or environmental condition Batdam blocks off strong winds, helps reducing evaporation, favouring seeds sprout, soil erosion, but also helps separating cattle from the fields. Cultivating crop selection depended on the height of Batdam and the quality of volcanic or non-volcanic ash soils.

A mosaic of Batdam spreads out across the island, have created more refined and unique cultural landscape of Jeju. Moreover, cultural life is strongly influenced by the Jeju way of life and agriculture. Nowadays, Batdam must face new challenges like farm land arrangement and widespread urbanization.