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11 Mar 2021

KENINGAU: Sabah Parks wrote to UNESCO early this year to have the Kinabalu Park gazetted as Kinabalu Global Geopark, its director Dr Maklarin Lakim said today.

He said the Kinabalu Park has been accorded the status of a national geopark and thus fulfilled the criteria for evaluation by UNESCO for global recognition.

Sabah Parks is now drawing up a schedule to meet the criteria for the evaluation, he told reporters after a ceremony to mark the 37th anniversary of the gazetting of the Crocker Range, here.

“We hope that when travel is allowed after the lifting of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), assessors from UNESCO can come to Sabah to conduct the evaluation (of the geopark site),” he said.

Maklarin said Sabah Parks has been meeting the criteria for UNESCO recognition by putting up signboards, providing an exhibition gallery and holding a community campaign at the national geopark.

In 2019, the Kinabalu Geopark Implementation Committee conducted an assessment at the Kinabalu Park covering 4,750 sq km, visited 16 geological sites - 10 biological sites and six cultural sites - before gazetting the national geopark on March 18 last year.

Meanwhile, Crocker Range parks manager Justinus Guntabid said the park covered 139,919 hectares and straddled eight districts, namely Keningau, Tambunan, Ranau, Tuaran, Penampang, Papar, Beaufort and Tenom.

He said it is proving to be a challenge looking after the park with just 74 staff, 10 of whom are rangers, and said he looked forward to cooperation from the community. -Bernama


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