At an international symposium held in Lombok from 3 to 6 September, Indonesia’s Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry have laid out their proposal for a range of new UNESCO Geoparks to be established in Indonesia, specifically in Lake Toba and Belitung.
The 6th annual Asia Pacific Geoparks Network Symposium, hosted in Lombok, was attended by 612 geologists from 30 countries in the Asia Pacific region. These discussions ultimately inform the UNESCO decision for which areas should be granted protected status. Indonesia’s application was confirmed by Anton Setyo Nugroho, an official at the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Ministry, in an article published by the Jakarta Post.
Sumatra’s Lake Toba is home to the world’s largest volcanic lake, while Belitung is famed for its beaches and eye-catching granite rock formations. Four out of 15 national Geoparks in Indonesia have been designated under the network as of 2018. Batur Geopark in Bali was the first to be listed in 2012, followed by Mount Sewu Geopark in 2015. The two other sites, Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu in West Java and Rinjani on Lombok Island, were officially listed in the UNESCO Geopark network last year.
The final decision, based in part on the findings of the Lombok symposium, will be announced at the UNESCO Global Geopark Network (UGGN) summit in Paris in April 2020.