"With this inscription, Indonesia can develop the Toba Caldera Geopark via the Global Geoparks Network and the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network, especially in connection with empowering the local communities," Indonesian Ambassador to UNESCO Arrmanatha Nasir noted in a statement on Wednesday.
The Indonesian government has succeeded in convincing UNESCO that Toba Caldera is a genuine evidence of high geological phenomena and traditional heritage with local communities, especially in terms of the culture and biodiversity.
In this context, UNESCO member countries supported the preservation and protection of Toba Caldera as part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks.
The endorsement to include Toba Caldera on the UNESCO Global Geopark List offers Indonesia, particularly the local community, an opportunity and responsibility.
It could also help drive local economic growth and sustainable development in the region. Developing it as a sustainable geotourism site opens opportunities for local people to promote culture, local products, and create broader employment opportunities.
The final endorsement of Toba Caldera as one of the UNESCO Global Geoparks had gone through a lengthy process and various stakeholders, both the central and regional governments as well as the local community living in the Lake Toba region, have made unified efforts to this end.
"The preparatory process to obtain the UNESCO recognition for Toba Caldera demonstrates high commitment and sound cooperation from all parties in Indonesia since the start of the process, right from collecting data to holding various workshops as well as preparing and negotiating nomination documents to be submitted to the UNESCO," the ambassador remarked.
Toba Caldera made it to the UGGp list following an assessment and decision by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council at the IV UNESCO Global Geoparks International Conference held in Lombok, Indonesia, on August 31 - September 2, 2019.
Toba Caldera in North Sumatra Province was formed from a super volcanic explosion that occurred 74 thousand years ago. The base of the caldera is filled with water and is the largest lake in Indonesia.
The beauty of Toba Caldera and its rich cultural assets make Lake Toba one of Indonesia's top tourist destinations included on the "10 New Bali" list.
In addition to Toba Caldera, Indonesia already has four other UNESCO Global Geopark sites: Batur, Cileteuh, Mount Sewu, and Rinjani.
Indonesia also has abundant natural and cultural wealth, including 10 intangible cultural heritage sites, nine cultural and natural heritage sites, and 16 biospheres, that have made it into the UNESCO lists.