S. Korean county of Gochang designated UNESCO biosphere reserve

GOCHANG, May 28 (Yonhap) -- The southern county of Gochang has been designated as a protected biosphere reserve by a United Nations organization due to the environmental and cultural values of its mud flats, wetlands and mountain park, the county said Tuesday.

The International Coordinating Council of Man and the Biosphere Programme under the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) designated Gochang, 296 kilometers southwest of Seoul, as a UNESCO-protected biosphere reserve in its meeting in Paris, France this week, according to the county office.

Gochang became the fifth South Korean area to be designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, which is an area meant to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and science.

The decision means that UNESCO has recognized the environmental and community values of Gochang's mud flats and wetlands, as well as its Sunwoon mountain park, dolmen structures and wild animal reservation zones, Lee Kang-soo, Governor of Gochang, said.

The country will be entitled to UNESCO support for environmental and biosphere protections, the county said.

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