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Published on Sunday, September 8, 2019

Indonesia's supervolcano Toba designated by UNESCO

Tourism stakeholders in North Sumatra, Indonesia have been buoyed by the decision to induct Lake Toba into the UNESCO Global Geopark Network.

The Toba Caldera geopark was officially designated at the Asia Pacific Geopark Network (APGN) symposium hosted in Lombok.

Toba becomes the fifth geopark in Indonesia after Bali's Mount Batur, Ciletuh and Gunung Sewu in Java, and Lombok's Mount Rinjani .

Its new status is the impetus it needs to boost overall exposure which has been steadily growing as one of the Indonesian tourism ministry's destinations being fast-tracked for tourism development.

"This lake will be increasingly known as an international class destination. We will be branding Lake Toba as a Geopark Supervolcano," said Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime affairs.

Lake Toba is renowned as the largest volcanic lake in the world, formed after the largest ever explosive eruption in history, about 70,000 years ago.

The tourism ministry is targeting one million foreign visitors this year and up to three million by 2025.

The Global Geoparks Network was established to promote geological heritage and works to boost sustainable development in the parks.

The APGN bi-annual symposium was attended by more than 600 delegates from more than 30 countries from the UNESCO geoparks community, government agencies, conservation experts and tourism stakeholders.

APGN 2019 in Lombok comprised geoparks council meetings, an exhibition, and the sharing of ideas on natural heritage, capacity building activities and geohazard mitigation.


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