The only major section of cliffs in Kerala is found in Varkala, overlooking the pristine beach. And it is going to be declared a Geological Monument. This geo-morphological structure will soon be declared India’s first national geopark under a Geological Survey of India (GSI) initiative. For approval from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, there are many criteria to be fulfilled, some of them being that the area nearby be made garbage-free and a ban on quarrying and mining.
The park should encourage sustainable socioeconomic development and have in place methods for conserving and enhancing geological heritage and provide means for teaching geoscientific disciplines and broader environmental issues. Unwanted and excessive construction as well as increased human movement should be curbed.
Varkala Geopark will have a good chance of making it to the UNESCO’s Geo Heritage list in future. According to the UNESCO, a Geopark is a territory encompassing one or more sites of scientific importance, not only for geological reasons but also by virtue of its archaeological, ecological or cultural value. Among GSI’s 26 geological monuments in India, is the Angadipuram ‘laterite’ in Malappuram district, in Kerala.