Rinjani National Park – Become the only GEO Park
Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara,
may soon be classed as a geopark, a nationally protected
area containing a number of geological heritage
sites of importance, rarity or aesthetic appeal.
An official at the province’s Energy and Mineral
Resources Ministry, Heriyadi Rahmat, said UNESCO
had accepted nominations to include Mount Rinjani
in the global geopark network.
The UN body has also accepted similar nominations
for Mount Batur in Bangli regency, Bali; and Mount
Sewu in Pacitan, East Java.
Heriyadi, who is also the coordinator of the team
that proposed Rinjani’s inclusion into the network,
said they are currently preparing to complete the
He said the form includes information that identifies
Rinjani’s region, geological description, economic
situation (from population, infrastructure and manpower),
natural landscape (climate, biology and habitat)
as well as human activities (archeological and cultural
“The form includes management plans and structure,
policy strategy, sustainable development and action
plans,” said Heriyadi, who is a member of the Indonesian
“Rinjani meets physical requirements to become a
His team has recently met with Director General
of Tourism Destination at the Culture and Tourism
Ministry to discuss the proposal.
UNESCO’s assessment team, comprising members from
China, France, Italy and Malaysia, is expected to
arrive and verify the Rinjani proposal in April.
The UNESCO team will also verify two other sites,
Mount Batur and Mount Sewu.
The world heritage sites are part of an integrated
concept of protection, education and sustainable
As of August 2009, 64 national geoparks in 19 states
are members of the Global Network of National Geoparks
assisted by UNESCO.
Southeast Asia only has one, on Langkawi Island
Once included in the network, Rinjani’s management
responsibility will be shared and UNESCO will assist
in its promotion.
Heriyadi said the proposal to include Mount Rinjadi
as one of the geoparks under UNESCO was put forth
The process is ongoing, including with the team’s
presentation at the 11th Geo Southeast Asia in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia in June last year.
“Rinjani meets physical requirements to become a
geopark,” Heriyadi said.
The 3,726-meter mountain is a unique site, with
the presence of crescent-shaped Segara Anak lake
on its crater and active volcano Baru Jari nearby.
Mount Rinjani is the second-highest volcano in the
country after the 3,800-meter Mount Kerinci in Sumatra.
Its peak is located on the eastern park of the caldera,
where a new active volcano has emerged.
Based on research, the mountain had several major
eruptions, which formed extraordinary natural stone
morphology within the Mount Rinjani National Park
The mountain, as part of the national park, is currently
managed by Rinjani Trek Management Board, a body
comprising members of the government, NGOs, the
community and tourism businesspeople.
Since managed by the board, the mountain has received
several awards, locally and internationally, including
the 2004 World Legacy Award and was finalist of
the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2005 and 2008.
Apart from its extraordinary scenery and unique
flora and fauna, the region is also home to rich
traditional customs, traditions and communities.
Last year along, the park was visited by 4,800 foreign
tourists and 3,500 domestic ones.
“As a volcano, Rinjani has great geotourism potential
with its scenic caldera, lake, crater, waterfall,
hot water spring, its eruption history and many
more,” he said.
However, he noted low support from the provincial
administration on the proposal, saying it was maybe
because the idea being put forward by the professional
organization, not the geologists association.
Other proposals, both in Bali and East Java, came
from the local administrations.
Head of Tourism and Culture Office Lalu Gita Aryadi,
was hopeful the proposal could be realized.
“If it was named the world’s geopark, more tourists
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