Following national recognition, Lipis eyes Unesco global geopark status by 2026

LIPIS: After being accorded National Geopark status, the Lipis district is eyeing to be recognised as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Global Geopark by 2026.

Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said the state government has embarked on initiatives for Lipis, which is the country's current largest National Geopark, to be accorded the Unesco Global Geopark status.

"Preparations are made to meet the conditions as a Unesco global geo-park by 2026. If all the conditions and criteria are fulfilled then our aspiration for Lipis to obtain Unesco status will be achieved.

"Malaysia currently has two Unesco Global Geopark in Langkawi (Kedah) and Kinabalu (Sabah) along with 11 National Geoparks," he said in his speech at Taman Negara Sungai Relau Tree Top Walk here today.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah proclaimed Lipis as a National Geopark here today.

Meanwhile, Wan Rosdy described the National Geopark certification as being in line with the draft plan contained in the World Heritage Destination Pahang Blueprint (2024-2028), which aims to turn it into a global destination and a Unesco-branded site under the World Heritage Site, Man and Biosphere Reserve and Unesco Global Geopark categories.

"Based on the blueprint, the state government has plans to develop a new tourism strategy and build public perception towards the uniqueness, and importance to preserve heritage.

"The recognition for Lipis does not mean that development cannot be implemented across the district. All planned development in this district can still be continued by focusing on a sustainable development approach.

"The sustainable development approach is also in line with the king's ( Al-Sultan Abdullah's) decree that development projects in Pahang must be implemented based on the concept of environmental, social and governance to achieve sustainable development goals."

Wan Rosdy said the Lipis Geopark is poised to boost the economic growth especially involving the tourism industry and the development of innovative products or geo-products here.

"Geoparks serves as the vision of sustainable development of the region, especially in regions outside cities that is being sidelined from development. Regions in rural areas usually have high heritage and culture values but receive less attention due to the difficulty to develop caused by topography, and connectivity." he said.

On Lipis Geopark, Wan Rosdy said there is evidence of some events of natural importance including the collision of two sub-continents namely West Malaya and East Malaya in Lipis, which formed Peninsular Malaysia as it is today.

The 5,408 square kilometre Lipis Geopark encompasses the entire district, containing 28 geological heritage sites, 18 cultural sites and six biological heritage sites.

The Lipis district was certified as the country's current largest National Geopark on Nov 9 last year.

Meanwhile Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change deputy minister Datuk Seri Huang Tiong Sii in his speech said the Lipis Geopark located on the foothills of Titiwangsa range is rich in geological diversity and fossils within the protected areas of the National Park, and state's permanent forest reserve.

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