SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — Gyeongsangbuk-do is planning to have Cheongsong National Geopark designated as a Global Geopark by UNESCO, according to an announcement on January 14. The national geopark was confirmed on April 11, 2014 to be the second national geopark in Gyeongsangbuk-do, after the confirmation of the Ulleungdo·Dokdo National Geopark.
The provincial government plans to inject 260 million won (US$ 239,740) to establish services such as park interpreters, trail maintenance and event programs. The government will submit a nomination proposal to UNESCO in October or November of this year to lobby for the inclusion of the park in the Global Geoparks Network (GGN).
Jeju Island Global Geopark was confirmed by UNESCO on October 2010, and is the first and only Global Geopark in Korea so far. There are currently 111 geoparks from 34 countries in the GGN. Korea currently has 6 national geoparks confirmed by the Ministry of Environment.
The provincial government of Gyeongsangbuk-do is also set to undertake a project to have geological sites in Pohang, Gyeongju, Yeongduk and Uljin designated as national geoparks. The government will spend 2.4 billion won (US$ 2.2 million) to develop the sites into geoparks and establish related touristic programs, with the project expected to be completed by 2016.
The government will file a nomination proposal for the inclusion of the eastern coast geoparks in the National Geopark network by early 2016 and in the GGN by 2017.
Kwon Oh-seung, chief of the Forestry Resources Division Gyeongsangbuk-do, said that the government is eager to develop a tourist policy that is more experience oriented. He said that it will also organize a council to help promote geoparks.
By J. W. Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)