LANGKAWI – The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has agreed to make Langkawi as a geopark reference centre for South East Asia, Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Khalid Ramli said, here today.
He said the agreement was made in the UNESCO report on Langkawi which was tabled during the 4th Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) San’in Kaigan Symposium held in Tottori city, Japan earlier this month.
According to him, the international organisation’s gesture came as an additional boost for Langkawi as the island was accorded a green card rating for its efforts to retain its status as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
“UNESCO had mentioned that Langkawi is a dynamic and vibrant geopark,” he said in a press conference to announce the achievement here today.
According to him, the latest validation made by UNESCO on Langkawi’s status would synergise with the recent announcement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to make it as Malaysia’s first low carbon island by 2030.
Meanwhile, APGN Coordinator, Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Ibrahim Komoo said the geopark reference centre would function through training provision at the Langkawi Research Centre or via exposure trips by geopark aspiring groups.
He said the geopark formal training would be conducted through the collaboration between LADA and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), while the local geopark task force would guide visiting groups to expose the latter on the Langkawi Geopark.
According to him, eversince being accorded the status for the first time in 2007, Langkawi had been “informally” made as a reference centre by other foreign groups from South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia who planned to create geopark in their countries.
Being the first global geopark recognised by UNESCO in South East Asia, he said Langkawi since then had continued to become a learning ground that had enabled the countries to suceed in creating their own geoparks.
“Now after getting a green card (to retain the Global Geopark status for the third consecutive term), UNESCO had felt that Langkawi deserved to be formally recognised as a geopark reference centre,” he added. – BERNAMA