Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's Langkawi archipelago, the first geopark in South-East Asia to be accorded the Unesco Global Geopark status in 2007, has retained the prestige.
The validation in August extends the island's membership in the Global Geopark Network (GGN) to 2019. This is the second time the status for the renowned destination has been reaffirmed, The Malaysian Star reported.
Langkawi Development Authority chief Khalid Ramli said that for the next term, there would be 120 global geoparks in 33 countries.
"Langkawi is accorded the green card (full-fledged status) again due to our dynamic and vibrant geo-heritage," he said.
The international recognition, Khalid added, was a combination of Langkawi's geo-heritage conservation, community development, sustainability, and economy.
"The recent announcement by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to transform Langkawi into Malaysia's first low-carbon island will help to upgrade and maintain our geopark status for many more years to come."
"We are also looking to give accreditation to hotels and eateries in Langkawi that have good practices towards maintaining the geopark status," Khalid said.
The Global Geopark status was first given to Langkawi on June 1, 2007 and again in 2011 as the validation is done every four years.
Besides geological and natural environment aspects, the assessment includes heritage, tourism, education and community involvement in relation to the geopark status.