We, the 600 participants of the 6th Asia Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium from 30 countries – representing the Asia-Pacific Geoparks and other relevant stakeholders – gathered in Rinjani-Lombok UNESCO Global Geopark, Indonesia from the 3rd of September to the 6th of September 2019 to further implement the UNESCO Global Geoparks management concepts that aims to sustain local communities and reduce geohazard risks.
We share our aspirations for the future of the sustainable development of UNESCO Global Geoparks in the Asia Pacific region with a strong spirit of networking, collaboration, innovation and creativity for all.
We hereby affirm that:
- We will continue to empower the various stakeholders that are involved in Geoparks for sustainable socio-economic development through capacity building with schools, government, implementing partners, media, scientists, etc based on their levels of understanding, capacity, roles, and mandates related to UNESCO Global Geoparks.
- We recognize the importance of risk assessment, monitoring, and a warning system for Geohazards in UNESCO Global Geoparks in the Asia-Pacific region to protect local communities, visitors and valuable geological heritage. UNESCO Global Geoparks should develop creative and innovative activities to raise public awareness on geohazard risk reduction.
- Since UNESCO Global Geoparks are implemented by bottom-up approach, we recognize that they play an important role in promoting and contributing to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030 particularly in poverty reduction, quality education, partnership, climate action/climate change mitigation, reduced inequalities, and gender equality.
- Public education for popularizing scientific knowledge in UNESCO Global Geoparks needs to be targeted at all age groups from children to adults and to various professions to enhance participation for the sustainable management of UNESCO Global Geoparks.
- UNESCO Global Geopark management needs to be able to promote Geopark sites as sustainable tourism destinations providing comprehensive interpretation of geotourism trails, promotion, accessibility, availability of tourism amenities, and also community-based tourism development in the UNESCO Global Geoparks.
- We recognize the need to identify, protect and optimize the use of intangible heritage to tell the stories of geological processes, land history, culture, and local peoples rituals/beliefs that aims to increase the ownership of local communities and in attracting more visitors to geoparks.
- Promoting the use of friendly technology and infrastructure to protect the UNESCO Global Geopark geological sites to ensure the safety of visitors.
- UNESCO Global Geopark networking should be encouraged to share knowledge, best practice, innovative ideas and lessons learnt in order to enhance the management of UNESCO Global Geoparks in the Asia-Pacific region.
- Promoting the scheme of public private partnership is important to ensure the sustainable financing of UNESCO Global Geoparks and their governance among related stakeholders by sharing roles, responsibilities and risks.
- It is essential to strengthen the collaboration between the APGN and the GGN and other regional networks of GGN such as EGN and GEO-LAC to improve the effective operation of the APGN.
We, the participants of the 6th Asia Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium 2019, recognize the value of the Forum convened by the APGN Council as an exclusive platform to collect ideas for the further improvement of UNESCO Global Geoparks management and governance in the Asia Pacific region. We call for further actions to implement the ideas at the local level.
We thank all stakeholders for organizing this symposium and commit to provide excellent collaboration and networking to achieve the sustainable development of Geoparks for sustaining local communities and reducing geohazard risks in the near future.
Lombok, 6 September 2019