The development of geoparks has become one priority of the Indonesian government in encouraging sustainable development. Deputy for the Coordination of Human Resources, Technology and Maritime Culture, Ir. Safri Burhanuddin said that the Indonesian Government will continue to promote geopark as a breakthrough solution for sustainable economic development.

“One of the most important things in developing geopark is sustainable economic development based on local communities,” Safri Burhanuddin said, Tuesday (3/9) at the opening of the Asia Pacific Geopark Network (APGN) 2019 International Symposium at the Lombok Raya Hotel, Mataram, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

To show the government’s commitment, the President of the Republic of Indonesia issued Presidential Regulation No. 9 of 2019, which regulates the existence of the Indonesian National Geopark Committee and Indonesian Geopark Management. “The issuance of this Presidential Regulation is expected to accelerate the geopark development in Indonesia to become a world geopark,” he said. According to him, there are significant impacts in areas that have obtained the status of National Geopark and Global Geopark UNESCO, including education, conservation, and sustainable economic growth. This achievement has been seen in several fields such as the National Geopark and UNESCO Global Geopark.

“Mount Sewu UGG is an extraordinary example of a successfully managed Geopark,” he said. The increase in regional income was paired with a decrease in the poverty rate and an increase in other economic values ​​after Gunung Sewu was declared a National Geopark and UGG.

The number of homestays has also increased in Mount Batur UGG, in Rinjani UGG and in Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu UGG. As he further described, Indonesia is the largest archipelago country in the world and one of the richest countries in the world in terms of culture and biodiversity. More than 300 recognized ethnicities or ethnic groups live side by side in Indonesia and more than 700 languages ​​are recognized.

“In addition, our country is located on 3 main tectonic plates which produce valuable Geological Diversity,” he said. Geopark is a comprehensive and integrated concept in the preservation and utilization of natural heritage (both geological and biological) as well as cultural richness for sustainable development that can accelerate economic growth. This allows collaboration within all policies on conservation, education, research, and community development.

“Geopark is a great alternative solution for economic revival along with social empowerment,” he said. Geopark development in Indonesia contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals target. As of right now, Indonesia has 4 UNESCO Global Geopark Areas, namely Batur UNESCO Global Geopark (founded in 2012 and certified in 2017), Gunung Sewu UNESCO Global Geoparks (founded in 2015), Rinjani UNESCO Global Geoparks and Ciletuh-Palabuhan Ratu Global Geoparks UNESCO (founded in 2018).

There are also 15 National Geoparks and 110 geological heritages which have great potential to become global geoparks. Safri appreciated the NTB Provincial Government, which has become a good and friendly host for the 2019 APGN symposium. “We want to thank you for the support of Geopark Indonesia for the supporting event. Followed by an interesting Lombok Heritage Carnival, which was opened by the Vice Governor of West Nusa Tenggara,” he said.