Exploring Indonesia's Ijen Geopark: A UNESCO Global Geopark Marvel

Monday, 18 September 2023 - 02:30
Exploring Indonesia's Ijen Geopark: A UNESCO Global Geopark Marvel Salwa Arifin (left) holding the certificate of assessment from UNESCO Global Geopark. (Photo: Mulyadi for TIMES Indonesia)

TIMES JAZIRAH, BONDOWOSO – Indonesia's Ijen Geopark, nestled in the enchanting landscapes of Bondowoso and Banyuwangi regencies, has earned a prestigious place among the UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp). With the official certification for its UGGp membership in hand, this place marks a remarkable milestone in its journey.

The 10th UNESCO Global Geopark Conference held in the Kingdom of Morocco from September 5 to 11, 2023, was attended by representatives from the regencies. Bondowoso Regency's Regent, Salwa Arifin, and the Head of the Department of Tourism, Youth, Culture, and Sports, Muyadi, led the delegation.

This conference serves as the apex event of the 10th of the same event. It has taken as a biennial gathering that holds a pivotal place in world organization's calendar. The event provides a robust platform for addressing contemporary issues concerning geopark management.

Participation in this event not only offers a global stage for promoting and raising awareness about the issue but also evaluates the active engagement of its members in its initiatives.

Every four years, each UGGp undergoes revalidation of its membership status. UNESCO Global Geopark stands as a an initiative with a network encompassing 195 members spread across 48 countries globally.

These geoparks are distinguished by the organization which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for their unique geological wonders, diverse biodiversity, rich cultural heritage, and dedicated natural conservation endeavors.

UGG places strong emphasis on three core heritage elements. Those three are the Geodiversity (geological diversity), Biodiversity (biological diversity), and Culture Diversity (cultural diversity).

It operates on the pillars of conservation, education, and fostering economic development within local communities. All rooted in Indonesia's commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Indonesia has played a significant role in advancing UNESCO Global Geoparks by establishing ten UGGps between 2015 and 2023. These include Batur UGGp, Gunung Sewu UGGp, Rinjani Lombok UGGp, Ciletuh Palabuhan Ratu UGGp, Toba UGGp, Belitong UGGp, Ijen UGGp, Maros Pangkep UGGp, Raja Ampat UGGp, and Merangin Jambi UGGp. Two of them are located in East Java Province.

In 2023, UNESCO is poised to designate four new UGGp members from Indonesia, including the esteemed Ijen UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp). The formal UGGp certification is scheduled to be presented by UNESCO during the 10th UGG Conference in Morocco.

Ijen Geopark, following a comprehensive assessment by UNESCO assessors in 2022. This place garnered the highest evaluation score of 873 among all UGGps in Indonesia.

"Ijen Geopark's inclusion in the global geopark network will elevate it to a world-renowned tourist destination, bringing increased attention to its tourism sector and community development initiatives," Salwa Arifin said.

This remarkable achievement of Ijen Geopark underscores the importance of preserving and showcasing Indonesia's exceptional geological, biological, and cultural diversity, contributing significantly to global conservation and sustainable development objectives. (*)

Writer : Khodijah Siti
Editor : Khodijah Siti

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