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Geopark would complete triple ambition
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승인 2010.03.30  17:57:05
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▲ The Yongmeori tuff cone, in the foreground, and Mount Sanbang, in the distance, are two of nine sites included on Jeju Island’s application for nomination to the Global Geoparks Network. Photo by Kweon Gi Gap

Come October, islanders will know whether Jeju has earned the coveted triple crown of international eco-site classification.

The island has already been designated by UNESCO as containing World Natural Heritage Sites as well as a Biosphere Reserve. Inclusion of the Jeju Island Geopark in the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) would complete Jeju’s ambition of earning the first triple crown for international eco-site designation.


Jeju officials sent their application dossiers to GGN last November and a group of international experts will visit Jeju this summer for a week-long on-site inspection. Currently 64 geoparks scattered in 19 countries are registered as members of GGN, including three in Japan and 22 in China. If nominated and approved for membership, Jeju will make Korea the 20th country to join the club.

In fact, the entire island can be called a huge geopark considering the fact that Jeju was born out of a series of volcanic eruptions that started some 2 million years ago. Nine sites have been identified for the application this year, however, and include Mount Halla, Sunrise Peak, Cheonjiyeon Waterfall and the lava dome of Mount Sanbang. Among them, Mount Halla and Sunrise Peak are also UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites.


In addition to that, a series of more than 21 sites were identified as future geosites to be added to the Jeju Island Geopark over the next decade, which will effectively cover most of the island.

Other than its genuine geological value and Jeju’s official maintenance plans, GGN delegates will try to evaluate if Jeju is prepared to educate its residents about the importance of its geology and environment as well as implementation of adequate tourism program focused on the island’s unique geological features, which accounts for 15 percent and 10 percent respectively in the evaluation table.

So are you ready to attend some island-wide - and potentially mandatory - mass science classes to be held this Spring? Hopefully some spectacular pictures of Mount Halla and Sunrise Peak will prevent you becoming bored in the classes.





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