Each of the sites has its own specifications. Hence, we are optimistic they will pass the verification."
Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - A team of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has started to verify feasibility of Gunungsewu sites located in Yogyakarta, Central Java and East Java, to be included in the Global Geopark Network (GGN).

Gunung Kidul Districts Secretary Budi Martana said here that the team led by Cristine Rangnes arrived at Gunung Kidul Tourism and Culture Department on Friday (July 4) and the verification was scheduled to be completed on July 8.

The verification had been started from Pacitan (East Java) to Wonogiri (Central Java) and would end in Gunung Kidul (Yogyakarta).

"For the verification in Pacitan next week, Gunung Kidul District Head Badingah will go with the team," said Budi.

During the visit in Gunung Kidul, the verification team will assess geological sites, including Pindul Cave, Wedi Ombo Beach, Nglanggeran Ancient Volcano, and Bobung Tourism Village.

"All the locations are ready to be visited, as we had prepared to pass the UNESCOs verification without any exception," said Budi.

Regarding the preparation, Budi said the government had conducted simultaneous tourism trainings for the locals.

"We also held a study-tour to Mount Batur sites in Bali for a comparative study," he added.

Besides Gunungsewu, Indonesia also proposed Merangin sites in Jambi Province to be included in the GGN.

"Each of the sites has its own specifications. Hence, we are optimistic they will pass the verification," said Budi.

The Gunungsewu sites, literally means thousand mountains, has 119 caves below of about 40,000 karst (limestone) cone hills in 13,000 square kilometer area.

The GGN was established in February 2004, after a decision by the committee of international experts on geological heritage convened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, by the invitation of the UNESCO Division of Earth Sciences, 17 members of the European Geoparks Network and 8 Chinese Geoparks.

Under the umbrella of UNESCO, GGN provides a platform for cooperation and exchange between experts and practitioners in geological heritage, and its promotion.

In 2014, the GGN was made up of 100 Geoparks from 30 countries in three continents.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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