Jakarta , July 22, 2020 (ANTARA) - Located in North Sumatra province, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake on Earth.
The ancient lake was formed as a result of a volcanic eruption 74
thousand years ago. The Toba eruption, which is the largest known
volcanic event on the planet, produced a steep-walled caldera, which,
over time, filled with water to form the largest of Indonesia’s lakes.
When viewed from space, the Toba caldera is one of the most striking
volcanic craters on Earth, measuring an impressive 100 x 30 kilometers.
Lake Toba and Samosir Island, which is located in the middle of the huge
caldera, offer a complete tourism package — with beautiful views,
glimpses into the unique Batak culture and traditions, and an intriguing
The inclusion of the Tabo Caldera on the list of UNESCO Global Geoparks
(UGGp) has been a proud moment for Indonesia. The inclusion was approved
at the 209th Session of the UNESCO executive board in Paris, France, on
July 2, 2020. Along with the Tabo Caldera, 15 other geoparks were also
put on the UNESCO list, including the Cliffs of Fundy (Canada), Xiangxi
(China), Hantangang (South Korea), Rio Coco (Nicaragua), and Granada
"With this inscription, Indonesia can develop the Toba Caldera Geopark
via the Global Geoparks Network and the Asia Pacific Geoparks Network,
especially in connection with empowering local communities," Indonesian
Ambassador to UNESCO, Arrmanatha Nasir, said in a statement released
from Paris on July 8, 2020.
The Indonesian government has succeeded in convincing UNESCO that Toba
Caldera is a genuine evidence of high geological phenomena and
traditional heritage of the local communities, especially in terms of
culture and biodiversity.
In this context, UNESCO member countries supported the preservation and protection of Toba Caldera as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
The inclusion of Toba Caldera on the UNESCO Global Geopark List offers
Indonesia, particularly the local community, an opportunity and a
It could help drive local economic growth and sustainable development in
the region. Developing the areas as a sustainable geotourism site would
open opportunities for the local people to promote their culture, local
products, and create broader employment opportunities.
The final endorsement of Toba Caldera as a UNESCO Global Geopark was a
lengthy process and various stakeholders — both the central and regional
governments as well as the local community residing in the Lake Toba
region — made unified efforts to this end.
"The preparatory process to obtain the UNESCO recognition for Toba
Caldera demonstrates high commitment and sound cooperation from all
parties in Indonesia since the start of the process, right from
collecting data to holding various workshops as well as preparing and
negotiating nomination documents to be submitted to the UNESCO," the
Toba Caldera made it to the UGGp list following an assessment by the
UNESCO Global Geoparks Council at the IV UNESCO Global Geoparks
International Conference held in Lombok, Indonesia, from August 31 to
September 2, 2019.
Indonesia has four other UNESCO Global Geopark sites: Batur, Cileteuh, Mount Sewu, and Rinjani.
The country also has abundant natural and cultural wealth, including 10
intangible cultural heritage sites, nine cultural and natural heritage
sites, and 16 biospheres, that have made it into UNESCO lists.
Lake Toba is among Indonesia's top tourist destinations, and has been included on the "10 New Balis" list.
Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy and head of the Tourism and
Creative Economy Board, Wishnutama Kusubandio, has welcomed the
designation of the Toba Caldera as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
He said he is extremely pleased that Lake Toba has received a
world-class certification, which would make it even more well known at
the international level.
Most importantly, it will bring benefits to the local people, he opined.
"Lake Toba can be a source of earning for the people, with (the area
showing) a high potential to be developed into a tourism destination.
Combining three potentials, including geodiversity, biodiversity, and
cultural diversity, Lake Toba plays an important role in upholding the
tourism sector," he noted.
He further explained that through sustainable geotourism development,
people may get an opportunity to expand the market for local products,
showcase their culture, and create jobs.
A native of North Sumatra, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment
Minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has been zealously pushing the
development of Lake Toba as a tourist
He said he has tried to ensure that development in the area is not hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has been evident from the compensation presented by the Lake Toba
authority for land acquisition and a groundbreaking ceremony marking the
development of 10 tourism
villages of the Lake Toba tourism area on July 10, 2020.
"These two achievements prove that the COVID-19 pandemic is not an obstacle for us to go ahead," Pandjaitan noted recently.
Pandjaitan said he is optimistic that Lake Toba’s development would
proceed quickly and investments will also flow in after the completion
of the first stage of the land acquisition program.
The development of Lake Toba is expected to help expedite infrastructure
development, preserve the environment, and boost the welfare of the