Published on Tuesday, September 3, 2019
The 2019 Asia Pacific Geopark Network (APGN) was officially opened on Tuesday, putting the Indonesian island of Lombok in the limelight for all the right reasons.
The island has been Indonesia's key destination in the tourism ministry's '10 New Balis' campaign to disperse capacity away from Bali.
However last summer's earthquakes unsurprisingly dealt a serious blow to its robust tourism growth.
Hosting one of the first major events since last year's earthquakes, the 6th edition of the APGN is being marked as the island's opportunity to show the world it is both resilient and better prepared.
Opening APGN, the governor of Nusa Tenggara Barat province Zulkieflimansyah noted being host to an event of this stature is a source of pride for the local community and an opportunity to increase global exposure as burgeoning tourism destination.
The governor was keen to promote the diverse culture of Lombok and neighbouring Sumbawa and the progress that has been made in developing sustainable tourism initiatives.
The APGN bi-annual event is being attended by hundreds of delegates from more than 30 countries from the UNESCO geoparks community, government agencies, conservation experts and tourism stakeholders.
APGN comprises a series of meetings, a symposium, and idea sharing on natural heritage, capacity building activities and geohazard mitigation.
Lombok's Mount Rinjani National Park was selected as a UNESCO geopark last year.