Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes Sister Park Arrangement

A Sister Park Arrangement between the adminstering authority of Jeju World Natural Heritage Site and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park was signed in a special ceremony on July 1, 2008
Geomunoreum lava tubes
Geomunoreum Lava Tubes, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Republic of Korea

The Headquarters of the Jeju World Natural Heritage Management Bureau, Jeju Special Self Governing Provincial Government, the Republic of Korea and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park have agreed to establish a Sister Park relationship for mutual benefits, through active exchanges and cooperation in the various fields.

Jeju Sister Park Agreement - pdf 4.01MB

Looking at the lake in Mt. Hallason
Mt. Hallason, Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, Republic of Korea
The purpose of establishing a Sister Park Arrangement between Jeju Headquarters and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, is to promote international cooperation and collaboration that would provide mutual benefits for both parties that share the common ideals of stewardship and preservation of the resources in their care. The highest priority goals are to enrich the experience and training of personnel of both parties to implement projects of international cooperation. This may be accomplished through the exchange of managerial, technical and professional knowledge, shared research and information, data, technology, training and experience.

Commonalities and Reasons for Pairing Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes with Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

  • Through years of protecting and managing each site, each nation has gained invaluable experience. This knowledge of the importance and value of national parks, protected areas and world heritage sites, will strengthen mutual exchanges and cooperation that ultimately improve the protection, preservation and management of the sites in a comprehensive way for the benefit of future generations.
  • Jeju World Natural Heritage Site and Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park have similar extraordinary volcanic landscapes. They also contain lava tube systems and habitat for rare and endangered plants and animals. As volcanic islands with their own unique rock formations, both sites provide favorable environments for geologic and biologic research, ecosystem restoration, inventory and monitoring programs, and education and interpretation to achieve success in preservation and restoration efforts.
  • Both parties, with long historical traditions, have also evolved from a unique host culture that adapted to these lands and that they steward on their behalf. With millions of visitors annually, both sites are popular international destinations and strong contributors to their respective local economies.
  • Both parties face common challenges including climate change and global warming, eradication of invasive species and ecosystem restoration, and can learn much from each other. They also share the high priority goals of preserving natural biodiversity and maintaining ecosystems and habitat for native and endemic species; preserving sacred, natural and cultural landscapes; working in partnership with neighboring communities and other stakeholders in the development of sustainable tourism products and services that support local economies, improve resource quality and promote stewardship.
  • Lastly, as World Heritage sites, both sites serve as centers of excellence in management and function as models for other parks to consider. They also have an obligation to protect their outstanding universal values that lead to the site's inscription under the World Heritage Convention of UNESCO, and they face many issues, opportunities and challenges that provide lessons for other protected areas. The world-wide trend of Climate Change and Global Warming, together with conventional environmental pressures, will continue to pose challenges for both parties.

Last updated: June 2, 2017

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