Indonesia’s ‘Jurassic Park’ Going Ahead, Despite Obvious Warnings
Indonesia’s ‘Jurassic Park’ project is still going ahead, despite UNESCO warnings.
Work on the tourism project – set to be based in Indonesia’s Komodo National Park – began last year. However, the park is also a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.
The Southeast Asian country’s environment ministry said UNESCO has warned the project could have a negative environmental impact.
The ‘Jurassic Park’ site has sparked concern due to being viewed as a possible threat to the local economy. It is also viewed as posing a risk to the habitat of the Komodo dragons who inhabit the land; animals of which are not only the park’s namesake but also endangered.
UNESCO officials put forward to a World Heritage Committee Conference that the project needed a new assessment to consider its potential environmental impact.
The agency put forward the idea due to being concerned about not only the impact the tourist site would have on the Komodo dragon’s natural habitat but also due to concerns over illegal fishing.
A senior official at Indonesia’s environment ministry, Wiratno, told Reuters, ‘This project will proceed… it’s been proven to have no impact.’
An updated assessment from the Indonesian government was requested by UNESCO officials last month. However, they received no response. A new assessment is reportedly being drafted and could be sent in September, according to Wiratno.
It is still not clear what the ‘Jurassic Project’ tourist project truly entails. The government only commented that it was building a ‘premium tourism spot’ centred on the island of Rinca last year.
In a separate statement, Wiratno said the project did not pose any danger to Komodo dragons and mainly just included renovation work on structures already present on the island.
However, a member of environmental group the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), Rima Melani, said the project could indeed impact the dragon’s natural habitat as well as the local community.
We urge the government to develop tourism that’s based on the people. There are people living there.
The tourist project became known as a ‘Jurassic Park’ project after people on social media drew similarities between the dinosaur island featured in the films and the project. Likening photographs of a dragon standing in front of a large vehicle to the environment depicted within the film.
It is estimated by biologists that there are less than 5,000 Komodo dragons left in the wild, with around 1,300 living on Rinca Island.
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