Banjarmasin, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - A team of assessors from UNESCO's Global Geopark Network (GGN) will visit Meratus Geopark in South Kalimantan to evaluate its readiness to be designated a global geopark.

The team, led by GGN assessor Guy Martini, will be in Meratus Geopark for 10 days from October 24 to November 2, 2022, Deputy Chief of the Meratus Geopark Management Agency Nurul Fajar Desira informed here on Thursday.

"He (Martini) will conduct a pre-assessment on the condition of the Meratus Geopark, whether it has met the requirements (to become a global geopark). He will give us inputs," Desira said.

Martini is expected to visit 11 international-class geosites prepared by the management agency that were named in the proposal seeking UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG) status for Meratus Mountains.

During the visit, he will be accompanied by officials from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), geologists from the "Veteran" Pembangunan Nasional University (UPN), and representatives of UNESCO Indonesia.

The management agency’s proposal to UNESCO covers 11 world-class geosites and 22 local geosites, and also includes their culture, flora and fauna, and culinary potential.

“In our concrete actions, we have prepared access to locations, information boards, directions, as well as management of the geopark by community groups. They, too, must understand the geological history here," Desira emphasized.

Related news: Proposal file streamlined for UGG tag for 11 world-class geosites

Hence, he said, the agency has coordinated with relevant institutions to educate the public.

"We have to prove that the designation (of Meratus Mountains) as a geopark will benefit the local community," he explained, adding that the concept of a geopark involves sustainable development that encompasses conservation, education, and the welfare of the surrounding community.

Earlier, in August-end, the Indonesian Geopark National Committee team had proposed two national geoparks -- Karangsambung - Karangbolong Geopark and Meratus Geopark -- for "aspiring UGGp” status.

The two geoparks will then be recommended to UNESCO for the UNESCO Global Geopark status.

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

South Kalimantan has 74 potential geosites in 9 districts and cities, including Tabalong, Balangan, Hulu Sungai Tengah, Hulu Sungai Selatan, Tapin, Banjar, and Kotabaru.

Related news: Saving Meratus Mountains with geopark concept

Reporter: Sri Haryati
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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