Will the Komodo National Park be Closed?

SURABAYAPAGI.com - The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (LHK) ensures that the discourse of closing the temporary closure of the Komodo National Park (Komodo National Park) by the Governor of East Nusa Tenggara is still in the stage of further discussion. There has been no final decision from stakeholders to date.
Director General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) KEmenterian LHK Wiratno said, the discourse on the temporary closure of the Komodo National Park was aimed at improving governance. In particular, to support conservation goals.
"This needs to be discussed immediately between the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government, the West Manggarai Regency Government, the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Ecosystem Conservation (KSDAE) KLHK, the Ministry of Tourism, the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Finance," he said in a release, Thursday (24/1).
Wiratno said that the Directorate General of KSDAE has the authority to close or reopen a national park. These considerations are based on scientific conditions, field facts, socio-economic conditions, and input from the provincial government, district government and other parties.
Cases of temporary climbing have occurred in Mount Rinjani National Park, Mount Merapi National Park and Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park due to volcanic eruptions and extreme weather conditions.
"It can also be due to habitat destruction, or disturbance to protected wildlife, as a result of visitor activity, natural disasters, and epidemics of pests and diseases, such as in Way Kambas National Park," Wiratno said. Also read, Suggestion JK About the Plan for Closing Komodo National Park.
Wiratno ensured that if the government planned a temporary closure of some areas or the whole, it would be planned in a planned manner. The government will also provide sufficient grace period, due to the large socio-economic impact.
As one of the popular tourist areas among foreign tourists, the number of visitors to Komodo National Park continues to increase every year. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s records, in 2014, there were 80,626 visitors coming there. Then it increased to 95,410 visitors in 2015. In 2016, visitors reached 107,711 people.
Meanwhile, in the last two years, 2017, there were 125,069 visitors, and 159,217 visitors in 2018. This high number of tourists had significant economic growth, especially in West Manggarai Regency and the surrounding area. "In addition to Komodo dragons, there are currently 42 dive and snorkeling spots that are also an attraction for tourists," Wiratno said.
Wiratno said, based on monitoring of the Komodo National Park and the Komodo Survival Program, in 2017, the population of the Komodo dragon reached 2,762 individuals. Of the total, the highest spread is on Rinca Island with 1,410. Meanwhile, on the island of Komodo, there are 1,226 birds. The rest, two individual dragons on Padar Island, 54 on Gili Motang Island and 70 on Nusa Kode Island.
Previously, the East Nusa Tenggara government planned to close the Komodo National Park tourist site from tourist visits for one year. This closure is an effort to increase the population of dragons and deer which are the main food for these rare animals. In addition, to facilitate local government in arranging tourist attractions.
NTT Governor Viktor Bungtilo Laiskodat said the NTT government would make arrangements for the Komodo National Park to be better. That way, it is expected that Komodo dragon habitat will be more developed. But, he did not explain when the closing of the Komodo National Park area began. rk