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Community Participation and Geo-Resources in the Kinabalu National Geopark

EasyChair Preprint no. 10493

16 pagesDate: July 2, 2023


The Kinabalu Geopark is a unique park of national and international importance. It integrates geological, biological, and cultural heritage in its three districts: Kota Marudu (1,775 km2), Kota Belud (1,386.52 km2), and part of Ranau district (1,588 km2). The geopark is endowed with significant scientific heritage, which can be developed as ecotourism and/or geotourism. Community participation within the geopark is one aim of geopark management to enhance its economic and social well-being. Despite this, little is known about the local community’s understanding of geopark and geotourism, the current participation and the resources that can be developed as attractions.  Hence, this paper aims to explore these areas by adopting an exploratory qualitative research design. The respondents’ opinions were collected through semi-structured interviews of 45 local communities from Lohan Ranau and Kota Marudu. Data analysis was driven by interview responses and involved thematic analysis guided by the concept of Geopark, good resources, as well as areas and reasons for community participation. Findings reveal many the local community have a basic understanding of the concept of Geopark and Geotourism. There seems to be limited local participating due to lack of interest, age, health issues, full time employment and limited information received as well as the time constraint. The findings indicate geological landscape, biological sites and geo heritage have the potential to be developed as a unique geotourism, cultural heritage attraction. The geological landscape can be developed into ecotourism and nature-based activities. Also, local cultural crafts can be developed as geo souvenirs.

Keyphrases: Geotourism, Kinabalu International UNESCO Geopark, Local community engagement, product development, Training and intervention programs

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Jennifer Kim Lian Chan and Haminah Talib},
  title = {Community Participation and Geo-Resources in the Kinabalu National Geopark},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 10493},

  year = {EasyChair, 2023}}
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