IPOH: The Lenggong Valley is set to be declared the second national geopark in Perak.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said he expected the declaration to be announced in July.
“I’ve got an agreement with the Perak Mentri Besar, who will perform a groundbreaking ceremony for a geopark gallery in March.
“It will complement Lenggong Valley’s current status as a Unesco Heritage Site, ” he said during a press conference after visiting the Gunung Lang Recreational Park here yesterday.
“It will enhance the valley’s value and bring impact to the development of the eco-tourism industry.
“If everything is according to plan, we will then work to get Lenggong Geopark recognised as a global geopark by 2025, ” he added.
The first geopark in the state is the Kinta Valley Geopark, which was declared in 2018, and covers some 1,952sq km of areas in the Kinta and Kampar districts.
Shamsul Anuar said other geoparks in the country could also apply for global geopark status if the criteria were met.
He said the government would support the move because of its tourism potential.
“We are also working to push Mount Kinabalu as a global geopark, ” he added.
Shamsul Anuar also said that the Kinta Valley Geopark would be reviewed this year to see whether its status would be maintained.
He said the re-evaluation exercise was done once every four years, and hoped that the status could be maintained.
“With its status, it can attract tourists from abroad and locally, and spur the local downstream economy.
“We have several geoparks and each has its own characteristics.
“Kinta Valley, with its limestone landscape, has high value and is rich with geology, ecology, history and cultural values, ” he said.
Separately, Shamsul Anuar who visited Gua Matsoorat earlier said work was being done to include the cave as Kinta Valley Geopark’s 19th site.
“I believe the state Geoscience and Mineral Department and the state are working towards adding it to the geo site list due to its high value, ” he said.
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