Lake Toba has been officially inducted in UNESCO’s list of Global Geoparks, becoming the fifth park in Indonesia to receive this prestigious status. The decision was confirmed at the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Council, held in Paris last month.
The area was selected by UNESCO and the UN Agency for Education, Science and Culture, due to its high geological value, biodiversity and traditional cultural heritage. Toba was assessed by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council at the 4th UNESCO Global Geoparks International Conference, held in Lombok during August and September last year.
“With this inclusion, Indonesia can develop the Toba Caldera Geopark through the Global Geoparks Network and the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, especially in relation to local community empowerment,” said Indonesian Ambassador to UNESCO, Arrmanatha Nasir, in a written statement following the official announcement.
UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. Another key feature of UNESCO Geoparks is their bottom-up approach to development, combining conservation with sustainable investment and social improvements that involve local communities.
Lake Toba is one such area where development of infrastructure and livelihoods is taking place in tandem with the protection of natural heritage; as one of the nation’s natural wonders, Toba has been earmarked by the Government of Indonesia for further tourism development. Toba joins Indonesia’s four other existing UNESCO Global Geopark sites: in Lake Batur, Bali; Cileteuh, West Java; Gunung Sewu, Central Java; and Mount Rinjani, Lombok. There are currently 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks, located in 44 countries worldwide.
Located in North Sumatra, Lake Toba is the world’s largest volcanic lake, formed by a massive eruption around 74,000 years ago. Its stunning natural beauty, combined with the rich cultural traditions of the tribes that surround it, make Lake Toba one of Indonesia’s most popular and rewarding tourist attractions.
With offices and transport networks based in Medan, North Sumatra, Panorama Destination runs a wide range of tours and experiences that showcase the natural wonders and cultural attractions of the Lake Toba region. To learn more about Toba and all the amazing attractions it has to offer, click here to read a detailed and immersive travel blog with original photography from Panorama Destination.