Rinca Island Off-Limit to Tourists; Ministry Explains the Reasons

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) confirmed that the closure of Rinca Island in Komodo National Park was carried out for restoration purposes. The government was not trying to block the public access to the largest natural habitat of Komodo dragons.

    “We are not aiming to cover things up. Our decision to close it because it is under construction,” said the Ministry’s Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation Director-General, Wiratno, in a virtual press conference on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

    Wiratno ensured that the government would implement transparency in developing the island as the super-priority tourism site. The animal safety, he added, had been taken into account by involving local rangers.

    The transparency of development, he added, was included in the effort to evaluate the tourism zone in the Komodo National Park that would involve all elements.

    The government is building infrastructure on the Island as a strategic national tourism area. This conservation area on the western tip of Flores Island was designated as a priority destination for the ASEAN Summit and G-20 Meetings in 2023.

    The development of Rinca Island covers an area of 5 hectares from a total of 20,000 hectares area. The project that was spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Works and Housing has reached 30 percent and was targeted to finish in June 2021.

    Read: Protests Against the Komodo Park Revitalization Traced Back to 2018

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA