Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat is ready to be a World Heritage Site. Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat located in Kutai Timur and Berau Regency, East Kalimantan Province. Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat declared as a center of diversity of plants in the world by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
From Samarinda City, Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat can be taken approximately 8-9 hours by bus or car chartered through the streets former timber company. The trip from Samarinda will pass Sangatta and Bengalon before reaching Sangkulirang.
Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat which has an area of 1.8 million hectares, it is also one of the 10 areas of karst ecosystems in the world are threatened with extinction. That's why the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Institute for Preservation of Cultural Heritage in East Kalimantan to do some of management program to the karst area.
Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat region have ecosystem core area covering 550,000 hectares. The karst region has some important values, such as the value of scientific, socio-cultural values, and economic value.
Scientific value include lithology, geological structure of the mineral, fossil sites, archeology, paleontology, and the high diversity of flora and fauna endemic. Social and cultural values include the existence of the caves as sacred places for the sake of ritual, worth aesthetics, recreation, and education. While the economic value includes an underground river water sources, reserves of limestone and cement, as well as tourism.
Landscape of Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat decorated green hills and steep hills is equipped with an underground cave that holds traces of ancient human life. On the walls of limestone that has existed since 10,000 years before Christ was painting hand engraved so magical.
An Archaeological research has discovered 37 caves decorated with wall paintings pictorial stamp hands, animals, and boats. It also found the tools of stone, bone, and containers made from clay. Archaeologists estimate early humans in Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat embarrassing migration to the South, East, and Asia Pacific. That's why early humans in Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat could be the first generation of human beings who came to the archipelago.
In Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat also found a cave river long aisle with unique ornaments like gourdamm stalactites, stalagmites and flowstone that exudes calcite crystals. Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat also become an important habitat of orangutans Pongo pygmaeus. In addition Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat also be a source of water for the five major rivers that irrigate the people in the two districts.
In 2013, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan register Karst Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat as world cultural heritage representing Indonesia. Karst region Sangkulirang-Mangkalihat entered tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Site along with several other destinations.