Hallyeohaesang National Park, a unique marine ecosystem in South Korea, has been certified as a Category II Protected Area under the UN List of Protected Areas. Hallyeohaesang National Park was designated in 1968 as one of the first national marine protected areas in Korea.
While it includes 69 uninhabited and 30 inhabited islands and encompasses the most beautiful stretch of Korea’s south coast, most parts of the park consist of open ocean. More than one million people visit the park each year to enjoy the famous beaches, the bloom of camellias and to watch migrating sea birds.
Poul Engberg-Pedersen, Deputy Director General of IUCN, presented a certificate to the Executive Director of the Korean National Park Service (KNPS) Dr. Dongwon Shin. The short ceremony marked the end of the review of categories assigned to a number of Korean protected areas, which started in 2005, and was conducted with the support of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas.
“This certificate is an example of the many ways in which IUCN cooperates with its Members. It cements the relationship between the government and people of Korea and IUCN, which will reach a peak at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju”, said Engberg-Pedersen.
The IUCN protected area management categories classify protected areas according to their management objectives. The categories are recognized by international bodies such as the United Nations and by many national governments as the global standard for defining and recording protected areas. Category II, National Parks, refers to large natural or near natural areas that protect large-scale ecological processes while providing for visitor opportunities. Being recognized under the official IUCN Categories is a seal of quality and an excellent promotion for any protected area.
Dr. Shin said after the ceremony that “Our main goal is to preserve this national park in an ecologically sound manner rather than developing it. The IUCN Guidelines for Applying Protected Area Management Categories will be extremely helpful in achieving this goal.”