KUCHING: Sarawak will be improving its facilities especially in terms of road structure in its bid for the Sarawak Delta Geopark (SDGp) area to be recognised as one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.
Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this effort follows the Sarawak Delta being recognised as the sixth National Geopark in the country recently.
“The recognition of SGDp is important and will eventually attract people to come and see what Sarawak has to offer.
“Hence, we have plans under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) to upgrade the roads and basic facilities and this includes to build a dual carriageway from Yayasan Sarawak roundabout at Jalan Sultan Tengah to Kampung Santubong as well as upgrade basic facilities in the Pantai Damai area including providing Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) facilities.
“It is now under the implementation stage including for Bau area, and allocations have been set aside for this,” he said when officiating at the proclamation ceremony of Sarawak Delta as a National Geopark at Dewan Lagenda, Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) today.
He added that with the upgrading of facilities, the SDGp will have good basic facilities and hence provide easy access for the tourists to visit.
“The SDGp with an area of 3,112 sq km is unique in terms of delta morphology, from the structure of Sarawak River system, rock landscape, biological heritage, geological heritage, cultural heritage and others.
“Therefore, we want to thank the federal government for also supporting our initiatives to list the SDGp as a candidate for the UNESCO Global Geopark,” he said.
He also hoped the federal government would also be able to support the state’s effort by increasing allocations for the SDGp to be listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
“If the SDGp becomes a UNESCO Global Geopak, we will be able to share information with the world on the uniqueness of this area here,” he said, adding that National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance 1998 and Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019 will be used as a basis for management and preservation of the area.
Later in a press conference, Abang Johari said if the SDGp as a UNESCO Global Geopak is achievable, not only it has a huge impact on the state’s tourism and the socio-economy of the locals but also allows the state to further explore the potential in the biodiversity sector.
“We see that the pharmaceutical industry requires materials to create medicines or developed vaccines for any new diseases,” he said.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan said he hoped to see SDGp be recognised under UNESCO.
“My next mission is to have the Kinabalu Geopark listed as a UNESCO Global Geopark next year and followed by SDGp in the near future.
“I believe it will be able to gain recognition as a UNESCO Global Geopark based on the commitment from the state government,” he said.
Takiyuddin also congratulated Abang Johari for his efforts to improve the basic facilities for the SDGp area so that tourists can access the area easily and made it known around the world.
Currently, there are two geoparks in the country recognised by UNESCO namely, Langkawi and Kinabalu Geopark which have received a green card.