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승인 2010.01.28  18:47:53
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Guides begin training for WCC 2012

Although Jeju’s hosting of the World Conservation Congress 2012 may seem some time away, preparations have begun on the ground with the first of a pilot program to train volunteer guides. Funded by the Ministry of the Environment and run by Hyun Weon Hak of Eco-Consult Jeju, an environ-mental research and education institute, the first training program was held on Jan. 23 and involved a visit to Abu Oreum. Twenty participants, most of whom work as educators, took part in the visit and Hyun said they were some of 500 candidates who had applied to become volunteer guides for WCC 2012.

If selected, it would be a great honor for them, he said. At least 200 will be selected to become official guides for the expected 15,000 participants in the congress. Even those whose second language skills are not good enough to be selected will be trained to guide Jeju residents and Korean-speaking visitors to the island. The training will be focused on Jeju’s unique environment combined with the island’s history and culture, Hyun said, and will concentrate on Mount Halla; the island’s many oreum, or parasitic cones; the Gotjawal; lava tubes; wetlands; streams; and forests. It is envisioned to extend the pilot program to include two to three training sessions each month, again with funding from the Environment Ministry. The program would not end after WCC 2012 but continue to be available to all Jeju residents and visitors to the island, Hyun said.

Police remove naval base protestors


Police were called to the site of the proposed naval base at Ganjeong Port in Seogwipo on Jan. 18, to remove protestors who had occupied the area. The protestors were arrested and questioned on charges of staging a sit-in and setting up tents illegally. A police spokesman said a group of 40 villagers opposed to the location of the base on Jeju Island had occupied an excavator to stop construction workers from doing their jobs. The Korean Navy requested police assistance so it could continue to prepare the area for a groundbreaking ceremony, scheduled to take place on Feb. 5. About 400 police officers were mobilized in the early hours of the morning to remove the protesting villagers.

Just hours later, police removed 10 more villagers, including Ko Yu Gi, a leader of a civil alliance that opposes the base, and charged them with interfering with official work. The alliance criticized the police and the Korean Navy over the incident, stating that it was an abuse of power. An official involved with the construction said the villagers began their sit-in on Jan. 4 and refused to leave when requested by the Navy to do so. Once completed, the base is expected to accommodate more than 20 naval vessels, and to have housing and facilities for 7,500 sailors and their families.

JDC signs agreement for marina development


The Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) signed a memorandum of understanding with Singapore-based marina development and operation company SUTL on Jan. 12 for the development of a Jeju marina. The signing ceremony at JDC headquarters was attended by Byon Jong Il, the chairman and chief executive of JDC, and Arthur Tay, the chairman of SUTL.

Under the memorandum, JDC will receive consultancy services from SUTL, ranging from the planning to development stages of the marina project, which is envisioned to become a new growth driver on Jeju Island. The major points of the agreement are for SUTL to work as a consultant during the planning of the marina facilities, to solicit potential investors jointly with JDC and to participate in investment, development and operations when establishing a joint venture company.

In particular, JDC plans to utilize SUTL’s network, which has successfully developed and operated world-class marinas, to attract investment to the project. Last year JDC invited a SUTL delegation to Jeju to explain the investment environment, and Byon visited the One15 Marina Club in Singapore to pursue investment.

KTO poll Names Olle most popular

Jeju’s popular olle walking trails gained yet more recognition recently when it topped an online straw poll by the Korea Tourism Organization as the place most respondents want to visit. KTO in the last two months of 2009 surveyed 600 residents of Seoul and six other large cities across the country who had taken family trips between April and October 2009.

Mount Seorak National Park was chosen as the most memorable destination by 5.2 percent of respondents. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said the Jeju olle trails, which link villages, tourist and cultural sites around the island, were the destination they most wanted to visit. This was followed by Mount Seorak National Park, at 19 percent, and Mount Jiri National Park, at 11.3 percent.

Most families who took part in the poll traveled more than three times a year and spent an average of 210,000 won to 300,000 won when they stayed for more than one night, and 60,000 won to 100,000 won for day-trips.


ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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