TEMPO Interactive, Mataram:Three national parks located in Mount Rinjani, West Nusa Tenggara, Mount Batur in Bali, and Mount Sewu in Pacitan, West Java, have been suggested as possible geo-parks to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The three areas will become Indonesia’s first geo-parks.
The proposal will be submitted at the two-day Geo Sea Seminar in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which starts on June 8th. “We will introduce Mount Rinjani National Park, which is Indonesia’s first geo-park,” said Heryadi Rachmat, West Nusa Tenggara Mining and Energy Office chief, Saturday.
Accompanying Heryadi to the event will be seven geologists from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). Geo-parks are rather rare. There are currently 58 geo-parks in the world, and only one in Southeast Asia, which is in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Heryadi said Rinjani has met scientific requirements to become a geo-park. Besides its rare natural beauty, it also has unique geological history and development. The aim of transforming Mount Rinjani to become a geo-park is to turn geo-heritage into geo-diversity and to conserve geological diversity.
According to Heryadi, the criteria to qualify as a geo-park in UNESCO’s Global Geo-park Network cover geological and natural aspects, management structure, information and environment for educational purposes, as well as knowledge-based geo-tourism activities, including sustainable regional economic programs and public access to these sites.
So far, the mountain is considered as a regional and national asset. Rinjani has vast tourism potential. It is now establishing the Rinjani Trekking Management Board. Rinjani won the World Legacy Award from the Conservation International and Traveler (2004) and was a finalist for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards (2005 and 2008) from the World Travel & Tourism Council.