LANGKAWI: Ongoing upgrading and maintenance projects of geosites in Langkawi is expected to be completed by 2015, in time for the Geopark status review on the island.
Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) chief executive officer Tan Sri Khalid Ramli emphasised that the body was complying with Unesco requirements in retaining the status.
“We were first accorded the Unesco Geopark status on June 1, 2007, and then again recognised in 2011 as the validation is done every four years.
“The next one will be in 2015.
“In 2011, Unesco had recommended to us to improve the facilities, signage, public awareness, conservation efforts, cleanliness and local participation in our projects.
“We haven’t fulfilled all these and we know that more needs to be done,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Khalid said the new signage would be put up next month and assured that Lada was taking every possible step to retain the status.
“Under the Langkawi Tourism Blueprint launched in 2011, we allocated some RM38mil from the Federal Government for improvement works until 2015.
“To date, half the allocation has been spent and more than 50% of work has been completed.
“Among the places we have upgraded are the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park, Dayang Bunting Marble Geoforest Park and Telaga Tujuh,” he said.
It was reported in a news portal in July that Langkawi was in danger of losing its Geopark status upon being issued a “yellow card” by Unesco.
“The statement was misleading and can affect the tourism industry as the status was never withdrawn, nor were we ever issued a yellow card,” he added.