JAKARTA, July 8 (Xinhua) -- The Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) at the 209th session in Paris on Tuesday declared the Toba Caldera in Indonesia's province of North Sumatra as a global geopark, according to the Foreign Ministry here on Wednesday.
"Through this declaration, Indonesia can develop the Toba Caldera through the Global Geoparks Network and the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, especially regarding the empowerment of the local people," Arrmanatha Nasir, the Indonesian ambassador to France concurrently Andorra, Monaco and UNESCO, said after the declaration.
The Indonesian government has succeeded in convincing UNESCO that the Toba Caldera has geological potentials that sustain the lives of the local people so as to form a rich culture, tradition and biodiversity, the ambassador said, adding that in this context, UNESCO member countries support the preservation and protection of the Toba Caldera as part of UNESCO Global Geopark.
This declaration was expected to encourage economic growth and sustainable development in the province, and at the same time the government and local people are obliged to preserve the environment in the Toba Caldera, he said.
Previously, the Toba Caldera was put in the UNESCO list at the 4th UNESCO Global Geoparks International Conference in Lombok, Indonesia, on Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 2019.
The Toba Caldera in North Sumatra Province was formed from a super volcanic explosion 74,000 years ago. The base of the caldera was filled with waters and became the largest lake in Indonesia with an area of 1,130 square kilometers.
In addition to the Toba Caldera, Indonesia already has four other UNESCO Global Geopark sites, namely, Mount Batur in Bali, the Ciletuh geopark in West Java, the Gunung Sewu geopark which covers Yogyakarta, Central Java and East Java, and Mount Rinjani in West Nusa Tenggara.