Hopefully, the designation of Ijen as UGG will increase foreign tourist visits to Banyuwangi, thus it will improve the welfare of the local community,
Banyuwangi, E Java (ANTARA) - The 216th United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Council meeting in Paris, France, on Wednesday (May 24, 2023) designated Ijen Geopark as a new UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG).

"Thank God, after completing various procedures and hearings, finally Ijen Geopark has been officially included in the UGG network," the head of Banyuwangi district, Ipuk Fiestiandani, said here on Thursday.

According to UNESCO’s website, the organization named 18 new global geoparks at the meeting. Currently, 195 geoparks in 48 countries have been granted UGG status.

In addition to Ijen Geopark, Maros-Pangkep Geopark in South Sulawesi, Merangin in Jambi province, and Raja Ampat in Papua province have also been designated as new UGGs.

Thus, currently, Indonesia has 10 UNESCO global geoparks. The other geoparks are Batur in Bali, Belitong in Bangka Belitung Islands Ciletuh-Palabuhanratu in West Java, Gunung Sewu in East Java, Rinjani-Lombok in West Nusa Tenggara, and Toba Caldera in North Sumatra.

"Hopefully, the designation of Ijen as UGG will increase foreign tourist visits to Banyuwangi, thus it will improve the welfare of the local community," the district head said.

Ijen Geopark has a number of geosites spread across two regions, namely Banyuwangi district and Bondowoso district. The main attraction of the geopark is Mount Ijen with its geological, biological, and cultural wealth.

Related news: Maros Pangkep Geopark designated as UNESCO Global Geopark

Meanwhile, the manager of Banyuwangi Ijen Geopark (PHIG), Abdillah Baraas, said that the geopark managed to get a high score of 872 in the last UGG assessment stage.

"Still, we have to strive to improve various aspects, thus we can maintain the UGG status during the revalidation assessment in 2026," he emphasized.

The PHIG manager stressed that attempts to develop and maintain the geopark must be carried out in collaboration with all parties.

Hence, he said that his party will continue to implement a number of ongoing programs, such as introducing the geopark to students in schools, community empowerment, training on the implementation of geo-tourism, geo-products development, as well as environmental conservation.

"In the future, we will also improve other things, such as public transportation services to surrounding tourism destinations and geopark sites," Baraas said.

He added that the UGG certificate for Ijen Geopark would be handed over by UNESCO in September 2023 in Morocco.

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Translator: Novi Husdinariyanto, Uyu Liman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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