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CM: Sarawak Delta Geopark can boost state’s geotourism, economy
Posted on : 09 Apr 2021  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 

Abang Johari (left) visiting the booth set up by Sarawak Forestry Department after the launch of SDGP. – Photo by Penerangan

KUCHING (Apr 9): The unique Sarawak Delta Geopark (SDGP) is set to boost the state’s economy, especially the geotourism sector, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

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Abang Johari said that geotourism activities could provide maximum benefits towards the well-being of the people.

“Geopark, as a brand, would have the potential to be the main tourist attraction of Sarawak — very much like Mulu National Park,” he said when launching the first Sarawak Delta Geopark at the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong here today.

Abang Johari noted that several existing tourist attractions located within the SDGP area include Bako National Park, Santubong National Park, Wind Cave Nature Reserve and Fairy Caves Reserve.

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“With all the international standard elements of a geopark afforded by the Sarawak Delta Geopark, we now aspire to get it recognised not only at the national level but also by Unesco Global Geoparks,” Abang Johari said, adding that he hoped this initiative by the state government could contribute to improving the local socio-economy post-Covid.

A geopark is an area which has a geological heritage site which can be used for conservation, sustainable development and education on top of other characteristics such as ecology, archaeology, history, culture and unique landscape.

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“The selection of Sarawak Delta as a geopark is apt because it has extraordinary and high value in terms of geology, geomorphology and geoheritage,” Abang Johari said.

The best example of characteristics of a geopark can be found at the Sundaland basement, which is among the earliest sediments in the geological evolution of the Asian region and aged 355 million years apart from those areas linked to Tuang schist formation, Sejingkat formation, Serian volcanic formation, Bau limestone formation and Kayan sandstone formation.

Malaysia has one Unesco Global Geopark in Langkawi and three national geoparks at Jerai in Kedah, Kinta valley in Perak and Kinabalu in Sabah.

Abang Johari pointed out that there are 161 Unesco Global Geoparks around the world.

He cited Pulau Langkawi, a Unesco Global Geopark since 2007 and Jeju Island in South Korea since 2010 as top popular tourism destinations.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister of Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Datu Len Talif Salleh in his welcoming speech said the state government had approved an allocation of RM2,045,000 to facilitate the initiatives in getting SDGP recognised at national level.

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“We hope the federal government would allocate enough fund to Sarawak towards supporting the cause in getting SDGP at the national level and also later at the international level,” he said.