Dr Steve Du Toit attended the mini-symposium for coastal and islands biosphere reserves in Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) from 28 September to 1 October in 2016. Read more about his visit in the report that can be downloaded below. 

Jeju Island has a fascinating, long human history, and comparatively short geological history. It is a volcanic island, less than 2 million years old, with volcanic craters created about 5000 years ago. The geology is considered of global significance, and volcanic rock is used all over. 

The island comprises of cities (Jeju city), natural habitat surrounding the main volcano, and tight, neat parcels of agricultural land, where amongst other crops, lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, onions are grown.

Some interesting points to emerge during the presentations given during the symposium include:

  • Logos and branding are integral to success of biosphere reserves.
  • “Brand warmth”
  • Recognition (quality of life, access, heritage and culture) are equally important as “nature and wildlife”
  • Financial support from government (either municipal, provincial or national) is also crucial to the success of biosphere reserves.

Pillars outside the $30 million Jeju World Heritage Centre. (Photo: Steve du Toit) 

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