KUCHING: Following the recognition of Pulau Langkawi as a geological park (geopark) in 2007, the Minerals and Geoscience Department is making preparations to propose the Sarawak Delta and Mount Kinabalu in Sabah as the second and third geoparks in Malaysia.
The Sarawak Delta initiative is in the pipeline and next year, a workshop will be called where scientists will meet and discuss various aspects before the proposal is submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) for endorsement.
Minerals and Geoscience Department director-general Datuk Yunus Abdul Razak said in the case of Langkawi, it took more than 12 years for the scientists and economists to build up a case with Unesco.
He said it was worth it because after the recognition, Langkawi experienced a surge in tourist arrivals and economic spin-offs.
But even after the recognition, Unesco would send its representatives to check if development of the geopark was sustainable, and the environmental and cultural elements preserved, he said.
"Thus the department, together with the universities, are continuing to try to initiate more conservation efforts and activities such as geo-tourism or eco-tourism (for the geopark)," he said after opening a talk at the state Minerals and Geoscience Department here yesterday.
On the quarry industry and persistent complaints on its activities, Yunus noted that there were about 300 to 350 sites operating in Malaysia with the majority in the peninsula,
He said the department had been trying to minimise the effects by applying strict measures.