Since 1975, urbanized areas have gradual- ly been expanding around major cities such as Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Gwangju, Daejeon, and Ulsan. Areas surrounding the transportation net- works between such metropolitan regions have also become increasingly urbanized. While agri- cultural lands have shrunk in mountain areas due a decrease in rural population, they expanded in coastal plains and hilly areas as a result of active land reclamation. Urban and agricultural expan- sion has also led to deforestation, which may
cause various environmental issues such as global warming and ood hazards. Signi cant efforts are being made in order to minimize these potential environmental problems and also heighten the value of forest areas. As such, forest resources are closely monitored and forest protection areas are designated accordingly. In 2010, forested land was recorded as the largest land cover type, followed by cropland, urbanized and developed land, and others.