Satun Geopark in southern Thailand has become the country’s first UNESCO Global Geopark.
The Geopark, known for its limestone mountain ranges, abundance of fossils and network of beautiful islands, was recognized for both its diverse geological and cultural heritage as well as efforts at the site to promote conservation, education and tourism best practices in a holistic manner.
The endorsement of this nomination was made during the 204th Session of UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris. This inscription was recommended by the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council.
Satun Geopark covers four districts in Satun Province: Thung Wa, Manang, La-Ngu, and Amphoe Mueang.
As with all UNESCO Global Geoparks, the Satun Geopark has been granted the UNESCO status for a four year period (2018-2021), after which a re-validation process will take place.
Satun Geopark boasts a diverse abundance of fossils from the Paleozoic Era, as well as diversified Karst topography. There is evidence of a submerged landscape dating back more than 500 million years, a time when early organisms thrived, including trilobites, brachiopods, stromatolites, conodonts, graptolites, tentaculites and nautiloids.
The Geopark is also home to the largest cave in Thailand, Phu Pha Phet cave.
UNESCO Global Geoparks also celebrate humanity’s bonds to the land and the Satun Geopark is exemplary in this regard, as it is home to many ethnic groups with rich cultural traditions, such as the Maniq and Urak Lawoi.
Twenty million years separate the two rock groups that come into contact at the popular geological site of Khao To Ngai mountain: Cambrian sandstone from about 500 million years ago and Ordovician limestone from 480 million years ago. A footbridge runs on the side of the mountain along the seafront, marking the fault boundary. The site is popular for wedding ceremonies, with couples enjoying a walk along a footbridge that marks the fault between the two rock groups – a symbolic way to mark a “love that spans time”.
What are UNESCO Global Geoparks?
UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development. UNESCO Global Geoparks aim to enhance awareness and understanding of some of the most pressing challenges we face, such as environmental sustainability, climate change, and disaster risk reduction, by exploring our geological heritage and its connection with the area’s natural, intangible and cultural heritage.
Source: UNESCO Bangkok.17 April 2018.
Satun Geopark” is located in southern Thailand, covering 4 districts in Satun Province, namely Thung Wa, Manang, La-Ngu, and Amphoe Mueang. Its topography comprises limestone mountain ranges, islands of many sizes, and splendid beaches. Tourists are welcome to experience the pure nature, the rich history, and the indigenous way of life in this area.
The land here is prime evidence of a submerged landscape dating back over 500 million years ago, a time when early organisms thrived and introduced oxygen to the Earth’s atmosphere. Subsequent uplift of tectonic plates formed mountain ranges and caves, which served as the first shelters for prehistoric humans. To this day, inhabitants of the geopark continue to live on its natural resources, which is considered a unique cultural tradition.
With an attractive topographic terrane, and natural features, Satun Geopark offers diverse types of activities, as kayaking, diving and caving for an adventure seekers, while tourists who want to chill out would prefer waterfalls and beaches. Moreover, you can enjoy and test local products including a variety of local culture.
Source: Satun Geopark