Belitung is currently aggressively promoting its region as the world's Geopark region. Geopark itself according to UNESCO is an area that has several elements or values such as ecology, archeology, culture. In this geopark there will be involvement of the surrounding community to jointly protect and enhance the function of the geopark's natural heritage.
A place or region is not arbitrarily determined as a geopark. The reason is there are several conditions that must be met by the region to become a geopark. Belitung itself is still not official and is being endeavored to become a global geopark (Global Geopark) to UNESCO. But seeing from a number of things that Belitung has and has, the opportunity for Belitung to become a geopark area will be even greater. Later when Belitung has achieved Global Geopark status from UNESCO then this will make the Laskar Pelangi country become a world tourist destination visited by many tourists, both local and foreign tourists.
SOME THINGS THAT MAKE THE ASSEMBLY ASSIGNED AS A GEOPARK AREA
The first thing that makes Belitung worthy of being designated a world Geopark is the existence of ecological, archeological and cultural values in Belitung. The second thing is the existence of a major national problem in the form of threats of geological damage which must be protected. Belitung, which has a long story of tin mining, has some potential to be explored again so that it can cause damage.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN THE GEOPARK AREA
Because there is community involvement, the problems that arise in a geopark area will also be a problem for local communities. In developing the geopark itself, the surrounding community will be invited to take part in geological conservation activities along with the local flora, fauna and culture in them. Now for the purpose of activating the community in preserving the geopark area, the community will be empowered and made the main resource for sustainable management and welfare.
THE NATIONAL GEOPARK CONCEPT OF BELITONG ISLAND
Nationally, Belitung has indeed been designated a National Geopark area. The designation of Belitung as a National Geopark area itself has begun since November 2017 established by the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. After gaining national recognition, the next step for the government is to recommend Belitung to UNESCO as the UNESCO Global Geopark (UGG) international geopark. This recommendation itself is based on the criteria for developing sustainable use of natural resources in conservation efforts, scientific research, education, empowerment of local communities, especially women. Not only that, in an effort to empower the Belitung geopark status, the government then intensified the development of geopark which refers to "Sustainable Development Goals".
The Indonesian government itself feels confident to increase the status of the Belitung Geopark to the world level because of its great potential. According to the government, Belitung has unique and important geological features at the global level. This uniqueness is seen in biodiversity (biodiversity), cultural diversity (cultural diversity) and also geological diversity (geodiversity) which has been selected as a geological heritage (geoheritage). To move the Belitung Geopark up to level, the proposal has also been prepared and a slow pling will be submitted in November 2018. The planning for submitting this proposal is indeed not too excessive and not too fast considering that if the proposal is slow to be submitted it will have to wait another five years. In addition to the Belitung Geopark, this year the one who will submit to UNESCO is Lake Toba, North Sumatra.
PRESENT THE FESTIVAL OF BELITUNG GEOPARK AND INTERNATIONAL KAYAK MARATHON
In addition to building tourism supporting facilities and infrastructure, to be able to make UNESCO willing to establish Belitung as a Global Geopark, the government also intensified several events. Some of the events that were later held were the Pacific Islands Geopark Festival and also the International Kayak Marathon. According to the Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya, Belitung is indeed still lacking of events for the requirements to determine the Global Geopark. Events in the form of existing attractions themselves must involve the community and have a strong broad impact on several fields, including economics.
The first event in the form of attractions held in Belitung was the Belitung Geopark Festival. The festival which was held from 22 to 26 November 2017 was held in two places namely Manggar and Tanjung Pandan. Meanwhile, the activities that were presented at the Belitung Geopark Festival at the time included geotrips, geobike, geoculture, geowalk, geoband, geocoffe and exhibitions. Another event that was held at the Belitung Geopark Festival was the National Seminar which was held at the Santika Hotel Tanjung Pandan, Belitung from 23-24 November 2017.
BUSINESS ATTRACTING TOURISTS TOURISTS
Until now, Erzaldi Rosman as the Governor of Bangka Belitung, admitted that Belitung is indeed not yet maximally attracting tourists, especially foreign tourists (tourists). Even though the location is strategic and has been known as the Laskar Pelangi country, Erzaldi stated that there are several obstacles and problems that have made Belitung unable to attract foreign tourists. Therefore, Erzaldi, together with the central government represented by Kemenpar, is currently intensifying the promotion of Belitung as a tourist destination for travelers abroad, especially in Singapore. One form of business to be able to attract foreign tourists is the opening of the Singapore - Belitung flight route by Garuda Indonesia, which began on October 29, 2018.
GEOPARK GLOBAL NETWORK (GGN) UNESCO RESPONSE AND ITB GEOPARK TEAM 81
Seeing what has been done by the Belitung geopark team, Guy Martini who is an assessor of the UNESCO Geopark Global Network (GGN) responded well and positively. According to the French geology professor, the diversity and beauty of the Belitung Geopark is amazing. Guy Martini, who also verified the Belitong Geopark on December 26-29, 2016, praised large granite rocks and igneous rocks with large crystals scattered in Belitung Regency and East Belitung Regency. Furthermore, Guy Martini stated that the progress of Belitung Geopark is already good and on the track. Maybe within 2-3 years the Belitung Geopark can level up to become a world geopark.
Similar praise also came from the Head of Geopark ITB 81 Team, Diah Herawati. According to him, Belitung Geopark is growing fast. In just 4 months, the Belitung Geopark team was able to work. Unlike in other places, according to Diah, usually the Geopark team works after more than 4 months, some even up to 2-3 years. But in the Belitung Geopark team there is a strong cohesiveness between teams from West to East Belitung. As a result, because all the moves support it, in just 4 months, the team was able to work for the Belitung Geopark.
LIST OF BELITUNG GEOPARK DESTINATION AND ATTRACTION
What is presented by Belitung is indeed very charming. Interestingly, not only one or two Geopark destinations are presented, but in this country Laskar Pelangi there are various destinations and attractions that support the status of the geopark. Some interesting destinations and attractions of the Belitung Geopark include Blue Lake, Tanjung Kelayang Beach, Tanjung Tinggi Beach, Bukit Pangkuan, Bakau Kuale, Samak Hill, Burung Mandi Beach, Punai Beach, Nam Salu Open Pit, Batu Bedil Beach, Trans Bali, Badau Museum, Tanjung Pandan Museum, Kata Museum, Terong Tourism Village, Interpreter, and Satam Banyu Turtle.