Sabah has become the third place in the world to have a UNESCO Triple Crown site with the declaration of the Kinabalu National Geopark as The Kinabalu UNESCO Global Geopark.
This distinction is shared with Jeju Island in Korea and Shennongjia in China.
The decision was made by UNESCO’s Executive Board on May 24 in Paris.
The Kinabalu UNESCO Global Geopark joins Kinabalu Park’s existing UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve.
This achievement is attributed to the efforts of the State Government and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment in promoting eco-tourism through the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya initiatives.
The Geopark covers 4,750 square kilometers and is home to numerous endemic plants and animals, including 90 orchid species found only on Mount Kinabalu.
The declaration will bring socio-economic benefits to over 290,000 local communities in Kota Belud, Kota Marudu, and Ranau.
With this addition, there are now 195 geoparks in 48 countries worldwide.
The UNESCO Global Geopark label recognizes the international geological heritage of significance and promotes sustainable development and community engagement.