The Visakhapatnam Chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has been requesting the Andhra Pradesh State Government to establish a geopark in the city. This will be the first of its kind in India. To take this cause further, they have organised a rally which will take place on Sunday 21 July 2019. Also known as a “heritage walk”, it will take place on Beach Road, starting from the Kali Temple, at 7 AM, and finishing at YMCA. The heritage walk will be flagged off by MVV Satyanarayana, Member of Parliament, Visakhapatnam and Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, Chairman, Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Region Development Authority (VMRDA).
Geoparks are nationally-protected areas with a number of Geo heritage sites. The latter refers to the sites, or areas of a geological feature, with significant scientific, educational, cultural or aesthetic value. There is a great threat to these important features due to urbanization, mining and other human activities. In order to conserve these geologic features the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has promoted an innovative approach, under its Geopark initiative, by establishing the Global Geopark Network (GGN) in 2004. The establishment of Geoparks also helps in the -economic development based on Geotourism and Geo products. Even though UNESCO has identified 147 Geoparks in 41 countries, there are none established in India whereas China has 39 in place.
A number of significant geological sites, in Visakhapatnam District, have a huge potential of becoming a member of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network (GGN). A prominent one is Erra Matti Dibbalu, which is one of the 34 national geo-heritage sites, recognized by the Government of India, for its vital geological features. Additional sites are the natural arch at Visakhapatnam Beach, the Borra Caves, with their bauxite deposits, and volcanic ash layer from Indonesia deposited in Araku Valley 75,000 years ago. Also, the archaeological sites such as Thotlakonda, Bavikonda and Bojjannakonda have also been added.