‘Jurassic Park’ on track despite warnings


Nature at risk: Work on tourism projects at the Komodo National Park has sparked concerns of a negative environmental impact. — Reuters

Construction on a tourism project dubbed “Jurassic Park” on social media will continue, Indonesia’s environment ministry said, despite United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) warnings that the plans could have a negative environmental impact.

Work on tourism projects in Indonesia’s Komodo National Park, a Unesco World Heritage Site, began last year, sparking concerns about threats to the local economy and the fragile habitat of the park’s namesake, the Komodo dragon.

Last month, Unesco officials told a World Heritage Committee conference that the project required a new environmental impact assessment over illegal fishing concerns and the potential risk to the Komodo dragon’s natural habitat.

“This project will proceed... it’s been proven to have no impact,” Wiratno, a senior official at Indonesia’s environment ministry, said yesterday.

Unesco officials told last month’s meeting that they had requested an updated assessment from the Indonesian government but did not get a response.

Wiratno said a new assessment may be sent in September.

It was not clear exactly what the project, centred on the island of Rinca, entails. Last year, the government said it was building a “premium tourism spot” on the island.

Wiratno said the project mainly included renovation work on existing structures and did not pose any danger to the Komodo dragons.

Last year, social media users likened the project to one on a dinosaur island featured in the Jurassic Park films after photos of a dragon standing in front of a big vehicle were widely shared online. — Reuters

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