The Jeollabuk-do Provincial Office on May 18 said the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council in Paris the day before gave final approval to certify the park in the province as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Korea now has five UNESCO geoparks including those on Jeju Island, the mountains of Cheongsong and Mudeungsan, and the Hantangang River. The latest is the nation's first on a coast.
Stretching over 1,892 square km of land and sea in Jeollabuk-do's counties of Gochang-gun and Buan-gun, the geopark boasts 32 geological attractions like Seonunsan Mountain, Chaeseokgang River and Solseom Islet.
The park is considered the best area to learn about the nation's geological development given the ubiquitous volcanic rocks and sediment there from the Proterozoic eon to the Quaternary Period of the Cenozoic Era.
"This designation is the result of productive efforts requiring blood and sweat over the last six years," Jeollabuk-do Gov. Kim Kwan-Young said. "We will push for policies to create tangible economic effects by attracting experience- and stay-seeking visitors and securing funding for finding programs."
In September, UNESCO will give the certificate of the nation's fifth geopark at the 10th International Conference on UNESCO Global Geoparks in Morocco.