Hantangang National River Geopark Submits Application to be Certified as UNESCO Global Geopark

Createdd 2018-12-13 Hit 134


The treasure trove of mineral resources that flows through the Gyeonggi and Gangwon regions, Hantangang River National River Geopark, is one step closer to being recognized by UNESCO as a Global Geopark.

The provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon announced that they submitted an application to UNESCO on November 30 for the recognition of Hantangang River National Geopark as a Global Geopark .

This initiative began after the decision made at the 20th meeting of the Geopark Committee that took place on November 22 to designate Hantangang River National Geopark as a Global Geopark candidate.

Following the decision, the provinces submitted the park’s plan to meet Global Geopark requirements, as well as an application to the Ministry of Environment for certification that the park is a suitable Global Geopark candidate. These documents have been processed by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and delivered to the UNESCO headquarters.

The recognition of Hantangang River National Geopark as a UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the Coexistence and Cooperation initiatives being pursued by Gyeonggi and Gangwon. The entire Hantangang River area encompassing Pocheon and Yeoncheon in Gyeonggi Province and Cheolwon in Gangwon Province, which boasts ample geological resources of superior quality, is being reviewed in this application.

Global Geopark is a designation granted by UNESCO in recognition of the aesthetic, archaeological, historical, cultural, ecological and geological values of sites and is given to promote tourism. Together with the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves, it is one of three UNESCO protection initiatives.

The application will be evaluated by UNESCO member states between March and April of 2019, followed by a site visit by the UNESCO evaluation committee between July and August. The final decision will be made by April 2020.

Hantangang River National Geopark was certified as a National Geopark by the Ministry of Environment in December 2015 for its unique geological and topographical features. There are a total of 24 renowned geological sites along the 1,164.74 square-kilometer area of the river that flows from Yeoncheon to Pocheon and then to Cheolwon, including the Jaein Falls, Bidulginang Falls and columnar joints.

Since March 2017, the provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon have collaborated in registering academic articles, hosting seminars by the Ministry of Environment, and inviting members of the UNESCO Global Geopark evaluation committee to those seminars in order to promote UNESCO recognition of Hantangang River National Geopark as a Global Gepoark.