MOROCCO – The Ijen Geopark will be officially designated as UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG) or UNESCO World Geopark Network at the 10th UGG International Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, Thursday–Saturday (7–9/9).
UNESCO (The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a United Nations organization which operates in the fields of education, science, and culture.
Banyuwangi Regent Ipuk Fiestiandani received an invitation to attend this prestigious event which was attended by more than 195 geoparks from 48 countries in the world.
“We will directly follow the process of inaugurating Ijen Geopark as UNESCO Global Geopark. This is an important moment to encourage Banyuwangi, both for its nature, tourism, and culture, to compete on the international stage,” said Ipuk on Thursday (8/9).
“The designation of the Ijen Geopark as a UNESCO Global Geopark will increase the awareness of the international community so as to encourage people to visit Banyuwangi. Of course this moves the economy and opens up new jobs,” she added.
Ijen Geopark is an earth park that not only has unique natural landscapes and cultural riches, but is also supported by the spirit of realizing sustainable tourism.
“We will continue to preserve God’s gift that was bestowed on Banyuwangi with its beautiful and unique natural landscape and cultural diversity, while we continue to manage it in order to realize community welfare,” said Ipuk.
To make this happen, she added, sustainable tourism that emphasizes natural and cultural preservation is the main choice.
“Tourism, which can become a source of livelihood, we use it as an umbrella to mobilize the community to carry out conservation and to preserve culture,” she explained.
She also mentioned that this international event will also be an effort to establish international cooperation, including by entering into an MoU with a number of UGG managers in the world.
Among them are UGG Langkawi (Malaysia), UGG Aso (Japan), and UGG M’Goun (Morocco).
“Among other things, there will be cooperation in exchanging knowledge, research, and so on. So UGG Ijen will develop even more powerfully,” said Ipuk.
UGG Ijen, she added, has been a unique mode.
Apart from having blue flames in the Ijen Crater, it is also part of Gondwanaland which is part of the Australian plate.
“These natural factors create an extraordinary wealth of flora and fauna in Banyuwangi. This deserves to be a natural laboratory for researchers,” she explained.