Unesco designates Satun Thailand's first Geopark
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The Satun coastline. Unesco has endorsed the designation of about half of the province as Thailand's first Geopark for its rich geographical and cultural diversity. (Satun Unesco Global Geopark photo)- +
A large area of Satun province has been approved by Unesco as the first Global Geopark in Thailand, praising its rich geological and cultural diversity.
The executive board endorsed the application made on behalf of the Andaman coastal province during its meeting in Paris. It was nominated by the Unesco Global Geoparks Council, and the decision announced on Wednesday.
The province is recognised for its ge ological and cultural heritage and the bond between the people and the land, it said.
The Unesco website describes the area as "a peaceful place with renowned natural beauty, where several cultures and religious groups, Buddhist, Muslim and Christian, as well as minority groups, i.e. Semung or Maniq and Urak Lawoi, live together in harmony".
The Geopark extends over four of the seven districts of the province - Thung Wa, Manang, Langu and part of Muang district - with a population of about 113,110 people. It takes in two national parks, including famous Tarutao, and one wildlife sanctuary.
"Mountains and foothills characterise the eastern and northern areas, while beaches and coastal islands dominate the Andaman Sea part of the Geopark," the UN agency said. (continues below)
Video by Satun Unesco Global Geopark
The Geopark's status is recognised from this year to 2021, after which it has to go through a process of revalidation.
Unesco defines Global Geoparks as areas "where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development".
The Satun Geopark is one of only 13 around the world officially endorsed by the Unesco Executive Board on April 17, 2018 - 11 new aspiring Geoparks and two deferred, for the period 2018-2021.
With the area of 2,479 square kilometres, Satun is one of the smallest mainland provinces in the southern region.
Unesco stands for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
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