Korea's Jeju Island Inscribed as UNESCO Heritage Site.
Natural preservation areas on Korea's southernmost resort island were registered as U.N.-protected heritage sites on Wednesday (June 27), government officials said.
In its 31st annual session in Christchurch, New Zealand, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided on the inscription of the Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes on the World Heritage List, according the Culture Ministry.
The designation was made on the main criteria of whether the sites have "outstanding universal values" and have been well-preserved, and whether the local government is capable of looking after them, ministry officials said.
UNESCO also accepted recommendations from the World Conservation Union (IUCN), the world's largest and most influential conservation network, in making its decision.
It is the first time for a Korean natural heritage site to be added to the World Heritage List. However, Korea already has World Cultural Heritage items designated by UNESCO.
As the official advisory body on natural World Heritage sites, IUCN recommended a lava tube system on Jeju Island for inclusion on the World Heritage List earlier this month.
"The Geomunoreum lava tube system is the most impressive and significant series of protected lava tube caves in the world and includes a spectacular array of stalactites and stalagmites," the union said.
Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes is comprised of a shield volcano which is about 1.2 million years old and rises to 1,950 meters above sea level at Mount Halla, South Korea's highest peak.
The site covers 18,846 hectares, over 10 percent of Jeju island.
Jeju Island is located 130 kilometers south of the Korean Peninsula. The largest island in Korea, it is covered with dark-brown volcanic rock and volcanic soil. Mount Halla was formed 25 thousand years ago, and the volcanic activities of Jeju Island started about 1.2 million years ago.→ For more information on the Jeju Island, click!
Article courtesy of Korea.net