Indonesia moves forward with its $4.8 million ‘Jurassic Park’ project that will let tourists walk among killer Komodo dragons despite UNESCO warning the park could have a negative environmental impact
- Indonesia has plans to build a resort for tourists to see Komodos in the wild
- The UNESCO is warning the nation it could have a negative impact on the environment
- The nation announced Friday that it is still moving forward with construction
Indonesia is moving forward with construction of its $4.8 million resort dubbed ‘Jurassic Park,’ despite a warning from United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that it could have a negative environmental impact.
The project, located on Rinca Island, seeks to cater to visitors of the Komodo National Park, where visitors can walk among Komodo dragons in the wild.
Work on a series of 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 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, told Reuters.
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The project, located on Rinca Island, seeks to cater to visitors of the Komodo National Park, where visitors can walk among Komodo dragons in the wild
UNESCO officials told last month’s meeting that they had requested an updated assessment from the Indonesian government but received no response.
Wiratno said a new assessment was being drafted and could be sent in September.
It was not clear exactly what the project entails, but last year, the government said it was building a ‘premium tourism spot’ on the island.
In a separate statement, Wiratno said the project mainly included renovation work on existing structures and did not pose any danger to the rare Komodo dragons.
Indonesia is home to around 3,100 Komodo dragons, according to government data. The unique lizards grow up to 10 feet long and have a yellow forked tongue
Rima Melani Bilaut of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI), an environmental group, said the project could impact the local community, as well as disturb the dragons.
‘We urge the government to develop tourism that’s based on the people. There are people living there,’ she said.
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.
Indonesia is moving forward with construction of its $4.8 million resort dubbed ‘Jurassic Park,’ despite the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) warning could have a negative environmental impact
Indonesia is home to around 3,100 Komodo dragons, according to government data. The unique lizards grow up to 10 feet long and have a yellow forked tongue.
The fearsome beasts can weigh up to 200 pounds and are known for preying on much larger animals such as water buffalo.
Komodos have venomous bites and use their trunk-like necks to slash at their prey until they fall weak enough to go for the jugular.
As well as Rinca, another roughly 2,000 Komodos live on the islands of Komodo, Flores and Gili Motang.
Authorities last month unveiled their plans for Rinca with a promotional video of the project set to the theme music from Jurassic Park.
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