Mega-Project with Mega-Impact: Unchecked Development Threatens Komodo National Park

This paper was submitted for World Heritage Watch Report 2022. Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) and Sunspirit for Justice and Peace

Inscribed as a national park in 1980, the Komodo National Park (KNP) is a conservation area located in the West Manggarai District, East Nusa Tenggara Province, has had three fundamental meanings. First, this area is the last remaining natural habitat for the endangered Varanus komodoensis species, in which the Komodo and Rinca Island are the two islands with the highest population of Komodo dragons. Second, in addition to its critical in-situ conservation value, the national park is home to local and Indigenous communities, who derive their culture and livelihoods from the land. Lastly, the KNP is the epicenter of Indonesian tourism in the eyes of the world. However, its high biodiversity value is driving unsustainable development impacts in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

The government has now introduced private companies to invest in the KNP area. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) has issued a number of concessions for private companies to build exclusive resorts on the KNP area. This then raised several questions on how the government is prioritizing conservation, and whether natural conservation will be pawned in the name of investments.

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