The Sarawak Government is working to get Sarawak Delta Geopark (SDGp) in Kuching, recognised as a national geopark and subsequently UNESCO Global Geopark.
The proposal for works to get such recognition was approved by the Sarawak government in November 2019 and it covers an area of 311,246 hectares, which includes land and water areas in Kuching District, Bau District, Padawan and Siburan District.
SDGp will represents the union of special geological, biological and cultural heritage found in these areas.
An article by Borneo Post reported that the assessment for these selected areas to be recognized as a national geopark will be done from 19 January 2022 until 21 January 2022.
It will be done by a panel of experts led by National Geopark Committee chairman Prof Dato Dr Mokhtar Saidin, which will be accompanied by geology expert Prof Dr Felix Tongkul from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), and biology expert Prof Dato Dr Mohammad Tajuddin Abdullah from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).
Also joining the assessment session is observer Suslyna Abdul Latib from PlanMalaysia and representative from the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry.
The panel is expected to visit geopark site, bio-site and heritage site in Sarawak Cultural Village and Tanjung Tegok Santubong, Kuching Wetland National Park, Bako National Park, as well as Tasik Biru and Bung Jagoi cultural site in Bau.
What are UNESCO Global Geopark ?
According to the United Nations (UN) Website, UNESCO Global Geopark is ‘a single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.’
It further states that ‘A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks.’
In addition to creating geographical areas which are protected and sustainable, such geoparks will also gives locals a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area.
The video below shows areas recognized as Global Geoparks in 2021.
Kuching will be second UNESCO Global Geopark In Malaysia if recognized
With that said, the effort to get the SDGp recognized as a national geopark, and then a UNESCO Global Geopark, will definitely further elevate Kuching, and Sarawak’s stature as a key tourism destination if it becomes a reality.
If recognized as a national geopark, and then UNESCO Global Geopark, Kuching will be the second in Malaysia to gain such recognition after Langkawi in Kedah.
Such recognition will definitely put Kuching on the tourism map, while at the same time recognizing efforts to protect and sustain the nature in Kuching, and Sarawak.
In case you didn’t know, previously, Kuching had already been recognizes as one of UNESCO’s City of Gastronomy.