Friday, June 08, 2007

Langkawi Given Geopark Status

Langkawi is the first island in SE Asia to get Unesco endorsement! It was accorded the geopark status on June 1, 2007. Malaysia will be the 49th site of National Geopark in one of the 16 countries.

Left photo shows a typical mangrove attraction in Langkawi.

According to Kedah Mentri Besar, there were 3 key criteria set by Unesco which Langkawi fulfilled.
1. Large mangrove park
2. Natural resources such as beaches and islands
3. Multi-racial culture

The new status should help boost the island’s profile in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2007 and Visit Kedah Year 2008. (The Star, 8 June 07)

Left photo shows the granite formation of some islands off Pantai Rhu.

MB also added that the state will work closely with the Tourism Ministry to promote eco-tourism in Langkawi.

One of the criteria of a Geopark is Protection and Conservation. It explores and demonstrates methods and best practise of conserving the geological heritage.

Left, you will be able to see the rocky features of the mountain during the ride on the Langkawi cable car.

By right, we should be setting up a sustainable management team to help ensures adequate protection measures, consultation with relevant department, effective conservation and provide means for physical maintenance to this natural heritage.

For now, it will be "free for all". A lot of development dollars from the Tourism Ministry could be channeled to develop the geopark.

Our Penang's Sg Jelutong tourism project was one example of "unwise money spent"....but nevermind because it did not hurt any fragile natural heritage.

Langkawi Geopark will be a different story altogether. Any unwise development will surely damage the fragile resources. Hope this won't happen. Hope those that were given the power have some senses in their decisions - for the betterment of the geopark and not for their greed.

But in Bolehland, "apa-apa pun boleh". Lets wait and see.

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