Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark
Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark has been awarded as a National Geopark in November 2017. Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark is situated in Belitong Island approximately 400km to the north of Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. This location can readily be accessed by commercial daily flight from Jakarta approximately 45 minutes.
This location offers the world class geological, biological, and cultural heritages. Most people recognises the beautiful granite landscape offering an esthetical aspect to unforgettable while visits Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark. However, this location also has other world class geological heritages to attract the tourists, researchers, students, and other communities. The other significance geological heritages are the history of the black diamond from the sky, the history of the largest tin deposit discovery, the Cenozoic rheotropic swamp occurred related to the Sundaland movement, and the trace of the loss of ancient oceans associated with the oldest ocean (Palaeo Tethys).
Besides offering the world class geological heritage, Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark is also home for the significance biological heritage. The most significance biological heritage is the world’s smallest primata (Chepalopachus Bancanus Saltator), is called as Pelile’an in local term. This animal is Tarsiidae Family that can only be found in Southeast Asia region such as Southern Sumatra, Bangka, Belitong, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and South Philipines. This animal has existed 65 million years ago in the end of Cretaceous era and its distribuiton is a part of the phenomenal history of the last glacier period (Pleistocene) in Southeast Asia Region. This animal has been known as an endemic animal in Belitong and has an unique behaviour compared by the other species. The unique behaviours are such as no voice that is a challenge to explorer to find them. The most common way to find them by identifying their urine smells. This animal consumes insects that allows to inhabitant an open space with the small trees that is the best place to catch the insects.
Another world class biological heritage in Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark is Tengkelesa’ (Scleropages formasus). This is popular as an ornamental fish that has been identified to exist since 115 million years ago. This fish has a strong connection with the ancient Australia continent. The ancient Australia continent the separated as South America, Antarctic, and Sundaland continents as a part of plate movements. As a result, Tengkelsa’ family, therefore can be found in Australia, South America, and Southeast Asia.
In Belitong, Tengkelesa’ is inhabitant in the ancient river that was connected with the old East Sunda River during the Cenozoic Period. It also associates with the largest wide rifting spreading event and the largest peat deposition processes in Sundaland at Cenozoic Period.
As a Geopark area, Belitong must demonstrate the cultural heritage. The most iconic cultural heritage in Belitong Aspiring Unesco Global Geopark is Sawang Tribe. Sawang Tribe recorded the ancient massive migration in Southeast Asia region that showed the excellent skill to conquere the ocean. The unique morphology form this tribe compared with the current Belitong people has encouraged to protect them as one of the world heritage.