The National Geopark Committee has officially designated Banyuwangi District in East Java Province as one of the 2018 National Geopark areas in Indonesia. Banyuwangi District Head Abdullah Azwar Anas remarked on Friday that Banyuwangi being designated as one of the national geoparks will serve as a driving force to optimize its nature-based tourism sector.
“This geopark status will further complement the existence of the blue fire of Ijen Crater and Alas Purwo National Park that was earlier designated as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO. In addition, this geopark status will also strengthen Banyuwangi’s position as an area rich in ecotourism and nature-based tourism,” Anas noted in a written statement.
He also projected Banyuwangi to be a UNESCO Global Geopark that will be assessed next year.
“We will soon follow up on some of the recommendations given by the National Geo-park Committee,” Anas remarked, adding that three sites in Banyuwangi — Ijen Crater blue fire (Kawah Ijen), Red Island, and Alas Purwo National Park — were proposed to become national Geoparks.
The blue fire phenomenon of Ijen Crater in Mount Ijen is the largest in the world. The crater in Ijen is also a terrazzo crater in the world. The Red Island and cave complex in the Alas Purwo National Park are the areas that had experienced the phenomenon of mineralization.
Red Island is a remnant of the journey of magma under an ancient volcano. Rock outcrops on the Red Island are ideal to be used as a world geological laboratory to study the alteration and copper-gold mineralization processes.
Anas stated that the geological footprint inside Istana Cave located in the Alas Purwo National Park illustrates that the area was a shallow sea that experienced geological processes until it became a land. The Banyuwangi Geopark is also supported by biodiversity and cultural diversity, the Banyuwangi district head noted.