Take all of the natural wonders of Jeju, put them together and what have you got? A World Geo Park, hopefully. Or at least that is the goal of the Jeju government, which recently hosted a workshop laying out a battle plan for gaining World Geo Park status for all of Jeju.
The government plans on applying for the designation for seven sites in 2010, to include Mt. Halla, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Manjang Cave district, Mt. Sanbang and Yongmeori Beach, Suwol Peak, Jisatgae hexagonal stone pillars, and Seogwipo stratum and Cheonjiyeon Falls.
A second application in 2014 would include Woodo Island, Biyang Island, Seonheul Gotjawal, Mt. Songak footprint fossil site, and Beom Island, Mun Island, and Seop Island.
It was also recommended that the phase three application should include Sangumburi Crater, Hallim Park, Mt. Songak, Seopjikoji, Hanon Crater, Mulyeongari to ensure that all of Jeju Island is designated as a World Geo Park in the end.
The April 20 workshop in Jeju-si covered relevant matters such as application procedures and management plans for UNESCO World Geo Park designation. Also, it was intended to promote World Geo Park nationwide by inviting officials from the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea and local autonomous organizations.
With this workshop, the Jeju government hopes to secure the support of the central government and seek cooperation from residents of the candidate regions, by highlighting successful examples of World Geo Parks.
The designation is expected to shift tourism from “seeing” to “doing,” including an increase in geology education tourism. The government is also seeking way for local residents to gain income from the designation.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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