It would not only create investment opportunities, but also open new jobs in the creative economy sector, which could improve the people’s economy and welfare, he elaborated.
Currently, Indonesia has six geological sites that have been designated as global geoparks by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), he noted.
Still, there are dozens of such sites which can be developed into internationally acknowledged geoparks, he said.
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"Hence, SOEs as development agents highly support the government's attempts in preserving and developing geoparks," the minister remarked.
The development will be carried out in accordance with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he said.
In addition, the development will not only focus on the economic sector, but also pay attention to local wisdom to ensure that the area is not overexploited, he added.
This would allow the geological, biological, and cultural wealth of the area to remain protected and preserved, Thohir said.
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"Let’s continue to advance and preserve the culture and nature of Indonesia. No one else can do it, except us," Thohir emphasized.
Earlier, assistant deputy for social and environmental responsibility at the SOEs Ministry, Agus Suharyono, had said that the ministry is encouraging enterprises to collaborate in maintaining and advancing geoparks as their corporate social responsibility toward the community.
He lauded state-owned credit guarantee company PT Jamkrindo for its assistance in the development of geoparks by helping the surrounding micro and small businesses to improve, especially at the Ciletuh Geopark in Sukabumi district, West Java province.
Collaboration is crucial in geoparks development as there are many aspects that must be improved to optimize the sites’ benefits for the community, he remarked.
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