Cho, N.W. and Lee, M.J., 2020. Exploring changes in coastal environment policy using text mining: A case study in South Korea. In: Jung, H.-S.; Lee, S.; Ryu, J.-H., and Cui, T. (eds.), Advances in Geospatial Research of Coastal Environments. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 102, pp. 47-53. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Land development activities performed in coastal areas are accompanied by environmental impacts, and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is used to mitigate such impacts. The characteristics of coastal environmental policy can be determined based on the content of EIA reports for development projects However, owing to the vast amounts of information regarding various environmental factors, including air, water, and soil, contained in such reports, their potential for analysis is limited. This study analyzed the terms of agreement for development projects—the result of EIA of coastal areas—using bibliometrics, a method that is widely used to analyze trends in academic research. Data on the EIA of coastal development projects conducted in South Korea over the past 25 years were collected, and the surveyed period was sub-divided into five-year periods to build datasets through text mining. Subsequently, trends in coastal environmental policy were analyzed over an extended period. The results of the analysis indicated that keywords related to the water environment showed the highest appearance frequency for the entire period due to the characteristics of coastal development projects. Keywords related to the natural ecological environment continued to show an increasing trend, while those related to the land environment showed a continuously decreasing trend. Based on correspondence analysis, the five sub-divided periods were broadly classified into three groups, and the principal inertia of the analysis was found to be approximately 89.6 %. The characteristics of the coastal environmental policy that were emphasized for each period were determined; land and life environments were found to be emphasized for the period between 1994 and 1999; water environments were emphasized between 2000 and 2009; and natural ecology environments were emphasized between 2010 and 2019. By contrast, atmospheric and socio-economic environments did not show a significant correlation. This study proposes methods of utilizing information provided by EIA reports to analyze environmental policy and offers new insights specifically applicable to coastal environmental policy.