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UNESCO Geopark Status for Mount Batur?

Indonesian Government Seeks UNESCO Geopark Status for Bali's Mount Batur Volcano.

(12/27/2010) The Indonesian government is seeking to have the Mount Batur National Park, located in the regency of Bangli in Bali, included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) network of Global Geoparks.

UNESCO Geoparks are recognized by the United Nations as "a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value."

As reported by The Jakarta Globe and the national news agency Antara, the director of promotions at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Achyaruddin, sees "geopark" status as important to increasing tourist numbers to a specific destination.

The government is lobbying for "geopark" status for both the Mount Batur site and for the Pacitan nature reserve area of East Java.

Batur is a still-active volcano in northeast Bali. A unique "volcano within a volcano," an active peak at Batur can be viewed from a drive along the caldera of an earlier volcano that surrounds the more modern peak.

Pacitan, in East Java, is home to a series of coastal caves and the start of a mountain range that spans much of the entire length of Java.

Achyaruddin lauds "geopark" status as a means to attract both visitors and tourism investors to the two areas.

Only two other Southeast Asian districts Langkawi in Malaysia and Dong Van Karst in Vietnam - have qualified for "geopark" status from UNESCO's.