[Editor's note: This is a summary of a longer article that will be published in the next issue (51) of The Weekly on June 10.]
On Oct. 3, 2010, at a meeting held on the Greek island of Lesbos, Global Geoparks Network named nine places in Jeju (including Mt. Halla) as part of their Network. That was the moment Jeju attained its "triple crown" status following its naming as a Biosphere Reserve and World Natural Heritage site. However, what’s next for Jeju’s Geoparks and how have the Geoparks been managed and changed since that date?
At a seminar held in the International Convention Center Jeju on May 29, Kang Seong Hu, Director of the World Natural Heritage Manage Management Bureau said the government had re-organized several departments, making it possible to integrate the management of the Biosphere Reserve, World Natural Heritage and Geoparks listing. Now it carries out monitoring of the nine geopark places twice a month.
The government also plans to set up a sister relationship with the Lankawi Geopark in Malaysia, the first UNESCO-mandated Geopark, to learn how it has kept the balance between development and preserve. In addition the government is looking to set up a national Geopark program, to raise people’s awareness.
The seminar was attended by Dr. Guy Martini, a GGN bureau member. He suggested the direction of sustainable development of the Jeju Global Geopark should offer both social equality and the respect of local communities. He added that human diversity must also be celebrated.
Another dignitary Prof. Ibrahim Komoo, coordinator of the Asian Global Geopark Network and GGN bureau member agreed adding: ”As a member of GGN, we should strengthen the geoheritage conservation, enhance socio-economic development of local community and uphold sustainable development principles.”
[For more on last year's GGN announcement and Jeju Island, see http://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=1017]
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