Meratus Geopark Prepares to Become a UNESCO Global Geopark

Arfi Bambani
Meratus Mountains area proposed as UNESCO Global Geopark
Meratus Mountains area proposed as UNESCO Global Geopark - The Meratus Geopark Management Agency has prepared 11 international class geosites and 22 national geosites in the submission of the Meratus Mountains area as a UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG).

"Currently we are refining the proposal file which contains evidence that the Meratus Geopark is indeed worthy of being a UGG," said Deputy Chairman of BP Geopark Meratus Nurul Fajar Desira in Banjarbaru, Friday, September 23, 2022.

The management agency, he continued, prepared 11 international class geosites and 22 national class geosites along with the potential for arts and culture, flora and fauna, as well as culinary arts.

"Concretely, what we have prepared is access to the location, information boards, directions, and area management by community groups. Managers must also understand the history of the rocks here," he said.

Therefore, Desira has coordinated with relevant agencies to provide education to the public. The Tourism Office, he said, conducted training for tourism awareness groups (Pokdarwis) related to geological history and area management.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education provides education to school children. The Department of Communication and Information is preparing promotions, the Public Works and Public Housing Office is working on physical facilities and infrastructure, the Cooperatives and SMEs Service is preparing geoproducts, and the Forestry Service is handling sustainable waste management.

"We have to prove that by being designated a geopark, this area will provide benefits to the local community," he said.

The Geopark concept is a sustainable development concept that includes conservation, education, and the welfare of the surrounding community.

The South Kalimantan Provincial Government is also preparing tour packages in the Sultan Adam Forest Park (Tahura) area, Mandiangin, Banjar Regency. The proposal file will be submitted to UNESCO in November. Then, in February 2023 UNESCO will respond and in May the evaluation team of the world body will come directly to visit the location.

Previously, at the end of August, the Indonesian Geopark National Committee team established two national earth parks, Geopark Karangsambung - Karangbolong and Geopark Meratus, as "aspiring UGG" candidates. The two earth parks will then be recommended to UNESCO for status as UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The Meratus Mountains, which are almost 200 million years old, have a complex geological history. This area has been designated as a national geopark in 2018.

South Kalimantan has 74 potential geosites located in nine regencies/ cities including Tabalong, Balangan, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Hulu Sungai Selatan, Tapin, Banjar, and Kotabaru.

Tag # meratus geopark # unesco global geoparks # south kalimantan # indonesia biodiversity

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