Komodo National Park Closing is Still Pending Discussion: Minister of Environment and Forestry

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komodo national park
Komodo National Park. Photo: wikimedia commons

Jakarta (Greeners) – Following East Nusa Tenggara Governor’s request to close Komodo National Park for one year, Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya, said on Tuesday (22/01/2019) that the ministry is still discussing on the matter with the provincial government.

Nevertheless, Minister Siti stated that she understands the concerns of Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat to improve economic revenues through the national park. However, she underlines that conservation efforts and national parks are within the authorities of central government and ministry of environment and forestry.

“We are collecting fields data from national working units also conservation agencies in East Nusa Tenggara, and we have invited all parties, working units of the province, associations, ministry of tourism and research and development centers to discuss on the issue of closing Komodo National Park,” said Minister Siti in Jakarta.

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Furthermore, Minister Siti said that the ministry, which has the authority to 54 national parks in Indonesia, already sets up master plans and zone planning to each national park. These plans will serve as the guidelines for national parks management.

However, in relation to Komodo National Park, she added, it is still under the directorate general of conservation of natural resources and ecosystem.

“[I] can ensure that Komodo National Park will not be abruptly closed. We need to see how to manage the transition as there are many businesses, moreover Komodo National Park is a designated touristic site. So, I think those will be taken into considerations in the meeting on January 24th,” she said.

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Furthermore, director of environmental service for conservation forest at the ministry, Dodi Wahyu Karyanto, said that national parks or tourist parks to protect wildlife based on zone management. The zone comprises of areas to breeding, feeding or roaming.

Karyanto said that there were factors to decide on closing Komodo National Parks, including safety reason as the earthquake in Rinjani, extreme weather, ecosystem recovery, and the population of endangered species.

The 1990 Law on Natural Resources Conservation and Its Ecosystem stipulates necessary actions on certain conditions to maintain or to recover natural resources and its ecosystem sustainability. Hence, the government is allowed to stop any kinds of activities and close national parks, forest parks, for some period of time.

“On recent rumors that stating Komodo National Park is being closed because of skinny komodo or declining population, that would require reliable research and assessment data-based series,” he said.

Reports by Dewi Purningsih

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