TEMPO.CO, Kupang - Komodo Island in Manggarai Barat will be off-limits for any tourism activity in 2020. The decision is made after East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) provincial administration held a meeting with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
“The meeting concludes that Komodo Island will be shut down temporarily in January 2020,” said NTT administration spokesman Marius Jelamu on Friday, March 29.
The closure is in response to the alleged smuggling case of 41 komodo dragons sold abroad with the price of Rp500 million each. The smuggling case of the endangered, protected animals was exposed by East Java Police.
Following the meeting with the ministry’s director general of natural resources and ecosystem conservation, Marius Jelamu underlined the closure will be valid in Komodo Island only, not all areas of conservation.
Marius continued to say the closure will give the government time to conduct conservation as to ensure the food stock of the dragons and preserve the nature and environment in the island, for example, planting endemic plants of East Nusa Tenggara.
“Those are our plans to manage Komodo National Park especially Komodo Island in 2020,” said Marius, adding that the closure is expected to increase population and preserve the habitat of Komodo dragons.
YOHANES SEO (CONTRIBUTOR)