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National Geoparks eye JejuInspectors assess island on five criteria
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승인 2010.08.13  15:01:17
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▲ From top, the Jusangjeolli Cliffs near Jungmun, the Suweolbong tuff ring in Jeju City, Manjang lava tubes close to Gimnyeong. All photos courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province

From July 27-29, two inspectors from the Global Network of National Geoparks visited Jeju to examine its infrastructure in the island’s bid for the coveted Geopark status.

As stated on the Geoparks’ website “The concept [of a Geopark] combines aspects of safeguarding and sustainable management and must be based on a strong concept, political will with financial long-support, and professional management structures.”

The two inspectors, Ibrahim Komoo from Malaysia and Nickolas C. Zouros from Greece, began their short sojourn with a briefing at the provincial government office, then they visited some of the important natural preserves on Jeju like the Jeju Stone Park, Geomun-oreum, Manjanggul and Seongsan Ilchulbong.

For Jeju to be awarded with Geopark status there are five major criteria the island must meet. Jeju must be considered to have geologically important features, have a reliable management system in place, environmental information for education purposes, provide specific Geo tours and be able to be economically sustainable with the purpose of maintaining these expectations.

▲ Nickolas C. Zouros, center and Ibrahim Komoo, right, giving Jeju high praise at a press conference in Jeju City on July 29. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province


To prepare for this inspection the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, along with other independent experts, conducted their own preliminary assessment and established the management system as well as created the materials for environmental education and Geo tours.

On the final day of their inspections, they held a conference on the 29 at the Ramada Hotel Jeju and evaluated Jeju very positively, though the final decision on Jeju’s bid for membership in the Global Geopark Network will be made in November of this year.

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