What is Komodo Island?
Komodo Island is located in the Lesser Sunda chain of eastern Indonesia and is the habitat for komodo dragons, the largest lizard on earth.
This 390 square kilometers island is also part of Komodo National Park, along with Rinca Island and Padar Island, where tourists can explore and spot these pre-historic lizards in their true habitat.
What is happening at Komodo National Park?
This picture of a komodo dragon in Rinca Island walking towards a truck went viral a while ago, followed by raging comments from netizens. Some said that the development on this island is way out of line and endangering the komodo itself.
On the other hand, Indonesia's government is planning to develop a premium tourism destination with a geopark approach. It's also said that the development will be prioritizing the protection and sustainability of the geological heritage on the site.
However, netizen seems to completely disagree with the development, making the "Jurrasic Park", "#savekomodo", and "#selamatkankomodo" keywords trending at some point.
This development is considered as causing more harm and destruction to the island's ecosystem, instead of preserving it.
UNESCO disagrees with the development
World Heritage Committee UNESCO seems to agree with the public. UNESCO formally asked the Indonesian government to stop the development of the tourism infrastructure in Komodo National Park.
This request is stated in an official document titled "Convention Concerning The Protection of The World Cultural And Natural Heritage".
In short, UNESCO received reports from a third party that the development plan might disrupt the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) in Rinca Island.
The disruptions came in the form of the construction of infrastructure in Rinca Island and tourism facilities in Padar Island. Another example is the significant target of tourism growth that might threaten the local communities' source of income, including fishery and ocean life management.
The government responses
Labuan Bajo is included in the Five New Bali program initiated by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. This plan is expected to promote the economy and social well-being of the locals in more sustainable ways.
The Indonesian government stated that this development won't be focusing on mass tourism. In fact, the plan includes a focus on high-quality tourism and a strategy to make the site more resistant to natural disasters and climate change.
The development of Komodo National Park will also be a medium for public education regarding komodo dragons that resides in the islands. The government also ensures that this development will be running with extra cautions so the biodiversity and the ecosystem will not be disrupted.
What do you think about this? Do you agree to develop the geopark for the greater good of humanity?
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