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Title Gochang Designated as UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve
Name KTO Toronto Date 08/24/2013 Hit 7239

Gochang Designated as UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserve


Toronto, Canada.  August 6th, 2013. – A small county with a fertile land and unique ecosystem in the south west of Korea has been recognized as a precious region to be preserved. Gochang County, which covers 670 square kilometres in North Jeolla Province, has been added to UNESCO’s World Biosphere Reserves Network on May 28, 2013.


Gochang is not only famous for its Dolmen Park which was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, but for its wide-range of ecosystems that are also praised internationally. While Mt. Seonun Provincial Park is a forest ecosystem, Gochang and Buan Tidal Flats Ramsar sites are coastal ecosystems. The Donglim Reservoir, a major habitat for migratory birds, and Ungok Wetland, a lowland mountain wetland, represent freshwater ecosystems. Gochang’s economic activities such as eco-tourism, organic farming and salt production, are eco-friendly, too.


 “Strengthened brand power and reputation of Gochang County as an ecologically sustainable region will help its people earn more economic benefits by carrying out various tourist businesses and selling farm products like hot peppers, sweet potatoes and tomatoes,” said Lee Gang-Soo, the Governor of Gochang County.


This is the first time that the whole of a South Korean administrative district has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Four other regions are already on the list of reserves: Mt. Sorak, Jeju Island, Shinan Dadohae and Gwangneung Forest.


The International Coordinating Council of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB), which met in Paris, France from May 27 to 30, has introduced 12 new sites including Gochang to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The total number of biosphere reserves reaches 621 in 117 countries.


Biosphere Reserves, which are chosen to experiment for management of terrestrial, marine and coastal resources as well as fresh water, serve as laboratories for sustainable development.