LANGKAWI, 13 November 2020: After an initial evaluation back in August 2019, Langkawi has now maintained the UNESCO Global Geopark (UGGp) status for the third time running.
Beneath this victory lies the effort and hard work of each and everyone working to make Langkawi a sustainable destination.It takes great effort to educate and promote the concept of geopark to the tourism industry and community on the island. There have been challenges for years. The hoteliers, restaurant and tour operators were sceptical of the importance of geopark at first. They thought that tourists would not be interested in geological wonders, let alone appreciating the geopark concept. It seemed like an uphill battle.
Step-by-step, the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) introduced new initiatives, focusing on tourism, education and community. Streamlining the branding of Langkawi UGGp tourism, the rich geological diversity is introduced through thematic concepts.
Educating and hence empowering the community allows them to champion this identity. There are Geopark Clubs throughout the schools in Langkawi where kids and teenagers learn the value of geological heritage surrounding them. Some of them even proudly became Geopark Junior Guides to visitors – a world’s first initiative.
The buy-in is building up when the community is taking the stewardship of geopark and sharing the vision of protecting and promoting it. Nature guides, educators, creative community and entrepreneurs, tourism community leaders, all come together to preserve Langkawi’s resources and contribute their parts in this journey.
From being known just for its beaches, now Langkawi has a better identity awaiting visitors to discover. Geopark is not just about status: it is an amalgam of community development, social-economic growth, education, gender equality, global partnerships and sustainability.
After going through a series of well-planned initiatives, initial sceptics have now become Langkawi’s strongest supporters. They witnessed how the geopark concept benefited the community and industry.
Realigning expectations and goals, this is how Langkawi gets the green card. Every geopark needs to undergo revalidation once every four years. In August 2019, two evaluators assessed Langkawi compliance according to the submitted documents.
The uphill battle seems all worth it when the evaluation went positively, and Langkawi retained its title at the end of 2019. It is the effort of everyone working on the ground, the community and the leadership that made this possible.
Although 2020 has not been kind, good news will carry a long way. Looking forward, Langkawi, as a big community, will continue to preserve this unique asset.
About Langkawi Development Authority (LADA)
Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) was established by the federal government to plan, promote and implement development on the island of Langkawi.LADA was officially established on 15 March 1990 under the Langkawi Development Authority Act 1990 (Act 423) and placed under the authority of the Ministry of Finance.
Langkawi Development Authority, LADA
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