IndonesiaContinued push for national geoparks gain recognition at upcoming regional symposium

Indonesia flags Belitung, Toba as potential UNESCO sites

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Indonesia is pushing to list Belitung to be listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
Indonesia is pushing to list Belitung to be listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark. Photo Credit: Ade lukmanul Hakim/Getty Images
Belitung, one of two main islands off the east coast of Sumatra, is famed for its beaches and thousand-year-old granite rock formations, while Toba Caldera geopark, which includes the Toba Lake, is the world’s largest volcanic lake.

Indonesia will be pushing for Belitung and Toba to be designated as UNESCO Global Geoparks sites, a government official said on Thursday.

The government had proposed for the two geoparks to be listed in the network, and will be raising the matter during the upcoming 6th Asia Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium, said Anton Setyo Nugroho, an official at the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry.

The final decision will be announced at the UNESCO Global Geopark Network (UGGN) summit in Paris in April 2020.

The symposium, which will be held from September 3 to 6 in Lombok, will be attended by at least 612 geologists from 30 countries in the Asia Pacific region, The Jakarta Post reported.

Belitung, one of two main islands off the east coast of Sumatra, is famed for its beaches and thousand-year-old granite rock formations, while Toba Caldera geopark, which includes the Toba Lake, is the world’s largest volcanic lake.

Four out of 15 national geoparks in Indonesia have been designated under the network as of 2018. Batur Geopark in Bali was the first to be listed in 2012, followed by Mount Sewu Geopark in 2015.

The two other sites, Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu in West Java and Rinjani on Lombok Island, were designated in the network last year.

Mr Nugroho is optimistic that the upcoming symposium would boost Lombok’s tourism following a series of strong earthquakes that struck the island last year.


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