The term "Geopark" was introduced in the mid 1990’s in Europe by the growing demand for the conservation and promotion of the value of an area with geological significance in earth history. It has been known to the public since the launch of European Geoparks Network (EGN) in 2000 and the formation of Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) in 2004 under the auspices of UNESCO.
UNESCO defines a Geopark as one or more sites of particular geological importance, rarity or aesthetic appeal. These sites also contain ecological, historical, archaeological and cultural heritage and thus can stimulate local economic development through conservation, education and tourism. In Korea, the UNESCO’s designation of Jeju Island as a Global Geopark in 2010 in Lesbos, Greece encouraged us to build confidence in our geological assets to be recognized worldwide. In the following year, by introducing National Geopark Program as a part of the Act on Natural Park, Korea began to take part in a global trend that promotes the conservation and wise tapping of its geological heritage.
Overall management of geoscientically important areas
What Geoparks are all about is not only geology but also community-oriented activities.
Geoparks promote sustainable local development by the use of their geological heritage for conservation, education and tourism. They have a particular area with a boundary and local community members get engaged in the management of the life forms, archaeology, history and culture of the area.
Geological park operating effect
Local tourism and economic vitalization
Promote sustainable economic development by increasing population and tourists, creating jobs and increasing income
Promotion and awareness
Local brand improvement and self-esteem
Overcoming the limitations of existing park systems
Minimization of residents' rejection, such as resistance due to the establishment of a protected area and resistance due to a top-down designation system