On 12th April 2018 the 204th UNESCO Executive Boards Summit unanimously recognized Indonesia’s Ciletuh–Pelabuhan Ratu area as a UNESCO Global Geopark. This brings the total number of recognised geoparks in Indonesia to four (others include Mt. Batur Geopark in Bali, Gunung Sewu Geopark in Central Java, Mt. Rinjani Geopark on the island of Lombok).
Located in the Sukabumi Regency in West Java, Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu Geopark covers a total area of about 126,000 hectares, encompassing 74 villages; several nature reserves and conservation areas, including sea turtle conservation sites at Pangumbahan; and a traditional Batik village at Purwasedar. The area is surrounded by vast swathes of alluvial plains, decorated with fascinating boulders formations and home to a rich variety of breath-taking scenery.
Sukabumi and Pelabuhan Ratu have long been popular nature tourism destinations, regularly drawing nature lovers and thrill seekers who come here to go camping, abseil into cave systems, crawl through dark tunnels and admire beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. In addition to the spectacular waterfalls inland, the shores of Pelabuhan Ratu offer dramatic waves for surfers, with the nearby village of Cimajaat Pelabuhan Ratu frequently hosting international surfing competitions. Other popular sites within the park include the Awang, Luhur and Cimarunjung Waterfalls; along with Panenjoan Hill; Daeu Island; Manuk Island; Cisolok Geyser; and a whole lot more.
“The proposal was accepted unanimously, meaning that all member countries have agreed to the decision to credit Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu as UNESCO Global Geopark,” said Dana Budiman, General Manager of the Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu Geopark Management. The park had been evaluated by a team from UNESCO since early August 2017. Now that it has been officially recognised by UNESCO, CIletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu Geopark is set to take its place as a prime tourist destination.
Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, Afief Yahya warmly welcomed the decision, confirming that he was always confident that the Ciletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu Geopark would be accepted by UNESCO.
“The formula for a world-class destination is attraction, accessibility, and tourism resources,” explained Arief. “The CIletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu Geopark possesses all requirements, so I was confident that it would be named as UGG,” he continued. “I personally experienced the beauty of the coast of Ujung Genteng in the park. That is really spectacular; a true piece of heaven along the south coast of West Java” added the Minister.
Along with the CIletuh-Pelabuhan Ratu, UNESCO acknowledged 12 other Geoparks from eleven countries worldwide.