TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The government will not relocate residents in the area of Komodo National Park, according to Wiratno as the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) Director-General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation.
"There will be no relocation of residents. They will not be relocated or evicted. That idea does not exist in the concept of the national park management," said Wiratno in a virtual press conference on Friday, February 19, 2021.
The ministry included the community living space in the special zone on Komodo Island covering an area of 310.09 hectares. Wiratno claimed that the government was determined to improve the welfare of local communities through conservation partnerships.
"The program for the next five years will focus on community-based ecotourism in three villages, which will be developed together with the national park, the Labuan Bajo and Flores Tourism Authority, and Trisakti Tourism College," Wiratno explained.
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment or Walhi of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) previously urged the government to stop the development project for the Komodo National Park tourism area in Labuan Bajo.
Walhi was highly concerned that the project might threaten the integrity of the endemic animal ecosystem on Flores Island as well as the survival of Komodo dragons and the living of communities.
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FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA