At the 26th meeting of the UNESCO International Coordinating Council of the Man and Biosphere Program on 10-13 June, thirteen new sites were added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Among them was Mt Chilbo (칠보산), in Myongchon County, North Hamgyong Province.
This 340 hectare site in the north-east of the country is a major storehouse of biodiversity. It hosts 16 species of plant endemic to Korea, 30 endangered species of plants and animals, 132 species of medicinal herbs and several species of wild vegetables and fruits. Agriculture, fishery and tourism are the main economic activities practised in the reserve. The site offers many tourist attractions and has developed the facilities to welcome a large number of visitors each year. [Source]
Mt Chilbo has been on the tentative list of UNESCO’s biosphere reserves since May 2000, and joins Mts. Paektu, Myohyang and Kuwol, the DPRK’s other three reserves.
KCNA reported the news on 3 July commenting:
Mt. Chilbo, one of six famous mountains in Korea, has been called “Mt. Kumgang in North Hamgyong Province” for its scenery.
The mountain, covering 250 square kilometers of area in the northeastern coastal part of Korea, is divided into Inner Chilbo, Outer Chilbo and Sea Chilbo boasting of waterfalls, fantastic rocks, thick forests and sea sceneries.
There are also many historical relics and the state natural monuments in the mountain. And more than 40 percent of the species of the country’s animals and birds are inhabited in the mountain favorable for ecology tourism.