Hopefully, it (Meratus Geopark) will be ready and included as a UGGp next year.
Banjarbaru, S Kalimantan (ANTARA) - General Secretary of the Global Geopark Network (GGN) Guy Martini is currently visiting South Kalimantan province to review the preparedness of the Meratus Geopark to be designated as a UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp).

During his visit, from October 25 to November 2, 2022, the GGN official will see a number of geosites at the geopark.

"We will work together with the local team to review the condition (of the sites), then provide opinions and recommendations (to the local government) for the development of the Meratus Geopark," he informed during a meeting with South Kalimantan regional secretary Roy Rizali Anwar here on Tuesday.

During their visit, the GGN general secretary and his team are scheduled to go to a diamond mining site in Pumpung Village, Cempaka Sub-district, Banjarbaru City, which is one of the cultural heritages of the geopark.

They will also go to Curiak Island to see the Proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus), which are a testament to the rich biodiversity of the Meratus Mountains.

In addition, the team will travel to Loksado Sub-district, Hulu Sungai Tengah District, to meet the Dayak community, visit Malaris traditional hall, as well as review local geoproducts made from cinnamon.

Meanwhile, the South Kalimantan regional secretary said he hoped that the GGN general secretary’s visit would increase support for Meratus Geopark’s bid to become a UGGp.

"We are looking forward to Mr. Guy's (Martini’s) support and recommendations (on Meratus Geopark)," he remarked.

Anwar added that his administration will carry out an evaluation based on the recommendations of the UNESCO team so that Meratus Geopark can become a global geopark and provide more economic, social, and cultural benefits to the community.

The status is also expected to increase the number of tourists to the region, which will have a positive impact on the people and help increase awareness about protecting the environment, he said.

"Hopefully, it (Meratus Geopark) will be ready and included as a UGGp next year," he added.

The UNESCO assessment on Meratus Geopark will take place in 2023. Currently, Indonesia has 19 geoparks, 6 of which have become global geoparks.

Meratus Geopark was declared a national geopark in November 2018.

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Translator: Sri Haryati, Uyu Liman
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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