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Belitong Geopark Wins UNESCO Global Geopark Designation

April 18, 2021, 10.00 AM

BELITUNG, – Indonesia’s cultural and natural wonders continue to be acknowledged around the world, after UNESCO designated Geopark Belitong as a Global Geopark.

UNESCO gave Geopark Belitong the designation during its 211th Executive Session, which was virtually held from its headquarters in Paris, France last Thursday. The Geopark's winning bid came after it was filed for the second year in a row, after it lost the first bid in July 2020. 

“UNESCO recognized the geological diversity of Belitung Island and its surrounding areas in their decision to grant Geopark Belitong Global Geopark status,” said Belitung deputy regent Ishak Meirobie, citing a release from the Indonesian Embassy in Paris, France Friday.

“This includes its landscape, rock formations, minerals, geological as well as tectonic factors and their influence on the earth’s evolution.”

Also read: Indonesia's Belitung Geopark Set to Receive UNESCO Recognition

Ishak added that Geopark Belitong, which is part of the Indonesian province of Bangka Belitung, won the UNESCO Geopark status due to the impact of the island’s geology on its flora, fauna and culture.

“This includes fishes like the hampala barb and Indonesian snakehead fish, as well as a variety of shrubs that the people of Belitung use to concoct herbal remedies,” he pointed out.

Geopark Belitung - Batu Baginda Geosite Geopark Belitung - Batu Baginda Geosite


Geopark Belitong is one of seven sites that are recommended to a be a UNESCO Global Geopark by the UNESCO Global Geopark Council [UGGC] during the Council’s session on December 8 and 9, 2020.

The Geopark was one of a number of sites still considered by UNESCO, as their number was cut down by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Also read: Indonesia's Toba Caldera Recognized as UNESCO Global Geopark

The Indonesian government pledged to use the UNESCO Geopark status to bolster the traditional economy of local peoples at a sustainable level.

Prior to the Geopark destination, Belitung is known for its beaches, age-old granite formations, and setting for the Indonesian novel Laskar Pelangi [Rainbow Warriors] and hit 2008 film of the same name,

Geopark Belitong is Indonesia’s sixth UNESCO Global Geopark to receive the designation, after the Toba Caldera, as well as Mount Batur in Bali, Mount Ciletuh in West Java, Mount Sewu in East Java, and Rinjani in the West Nusa Tenggara island of Lombok.

Belitong Geopark will be one of UNESCO's Global Geoparks Network or GGN. Founded in 2004, GGN has 147 sites in 41 countries, including five out of 15 Indonesian national geoparks.

Indonesia also has nine UNESCO cultural and natural sites, among them the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, as well as 18 biosphere parks, including the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru, Komodo and Wakatobi National Parks.

(Writer: Pangkalpinang Contributor Heru Dahnur | Editor : Dheri Agriesta)


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