A series of nationwide movements to raise public awareness on the importance of Baekdudaegan were launched in the last few years including protection area designation last year following a piece of legislation designed to protect the symbolic spine of the nation passed the National Assembly in Dec. 2003. In addition, a variety of academic and civil activities are in full swing to lay the foundation for the preservation and management of the nation's spine by measuring and studying its values. The symposium, focusing on reality check for the world heritage listing, is part of the foundation building effort to enhance value of the mountain range.

Many NGOs, geographers, Baekdudaegan experts and mountaineers attended the symposium along with governmental organizations such as Cultural Properties Administration, Korea Forest Research Institute, Korea National Parks Authority, and Forest Service.

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 Participants shared its historical and geographical significance and values throughout presentations on the mountain range's history. The presentations confirmed that it has served as the symbolic hub and holy place that connects the nation's nature, culture, and environment. The need for continuous efforts on sustainable preservation of the symbolic hub was felt strongly throughout the symposium. Following the presentation was current status update on natural ecology and cultural heritage of the southern part of the mountain range. This was to share its natural, cultural, and historical values with attendees. On the natural ecology front, concerns over the lack of research and data on wildlife diversity were raised even though there had been a continuous effort on building database on the matter. However, experts pointed out that the issue of the deterioration of cultural heritage is even worse than that of natural ecology. Shim Suk-Kyeong, team manager of Korean National Commission for UNESCO, said in her presentation that Korea could learn from the past experience of "Mt. Seolak case", where the nation pursued the listing of Mt. Seolak as World Heritage site in vain due to lack of support materials.

Below is the suggestion summary of what should be prepared for the World Heritage listing. 

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First of all, we have to establish a clear definition on what Baekdudaegan is. It was almost a forgotten term among the people to the extent that many people shrugged it off as superstition. Despite the fact that it is now protected by law, there was no academic arena where scholars and experts can discuss and establish its symbolic significance. In turn, both the government and academic circle should join together to do so.

Second, the government should show determination to play its part in the listing efforts based on the lessons learned from other countries cases. It is safe to say that the nation as a whole has put little efforts on publicizing our natural heritage to the world. Only few places have listed under Ramsar Convention and Biosphere Reserve in Korea due to lack of efforts to value our natural heritage.

Third, we need to build national consensus to facilitate the listing. It is difficult to establish national consensus without approval from local community of the mountain range, not to mention the general public. In this regard, it is imperative that we launch the public awareness campaign.

Last but not least, in order to prove its value globally we need to launch a nationwide effort to build database in relation to Baekdudaegan. Given that the mountain range spans from Mt. Baekdu, located in North Korea to Mt. Jiri in South Korea, the southern part's effort would stop short of doing magic. Inter-Korea cooperation is urgently required.

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To facilitate the listing of Baekdudaegan, an extensive research on its natural ecology, cultural and historical data should be conducted. To meet the end, the establishment of a council where the government, NGOs, and academics can come and work together is required. Based on these groundwork, we could publicize the result materials on international stages. In the meantime, awareness campaign on the Korean people should be also carried out hand-in-hand to highlight its importance as nation's heritage. The symposium would serve as the first step in preserving and trumpeting Baekdudaegan across the world.

Posted by GreenKorea
0  : 
  1. 2012.01.15 17:36
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    숭고한 좋은 블로그 ! 좋은 주신 것이다 나 페이 스북 을 사랑하지만, 찾을 수 없습니다 버튼을 !
  2. 2013.01.15 18:48
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    이트를 읽을 자not seen by a director of the day. Drop out of school such as sharpening stone, not see damage on some of its losses.
  3. 2013.05.17 08:48
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