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Guides, villagers and tourists are left in total dismay as the Indonesian government plans to close down the lizard tourist attraction Island, Komodo Island, come 2020. This is a significant blow to all. Not only will tourists and travellers lose a magical touring place, but the villagers will lose their beloved land,and many will lose their source of income.
The island is one of the biggest tourist attraction sites in Indonesia, thanks to its many lizards who keep loitering around, the pink sanded beaches and not to forget the purely crystal-clear water. This move to close the Island from the public is an initiative of the government to preserve the little and huge reptiles inhabiting the Island.
With the Island closed, roughly 2000 villager will also have to relocate off the Island. Plans for relocation of the villagers is apparently the only thing holding back the closing process. It is believed that Indonesian authorities are still conducting talks with the community leaders to come up with the best way to relocate the Island’s residents. As it appears, the relocation will not be the only loss for the villagers, but so will the loss of their businesses which were supported by tourists.
According to the Deputy Governor of the Province of East Nusa Tenggara, Josef Nae Soi, the move was a precaution or a correction of the risk of poaching, and that it will ensure the growth of the lizards to get higher.
Of course, this has not been met with open hands and especially not from the villagers. Most of them had something to say, and Rizaldian Syaptura, a wildlife guide, said that the drastic measure was a massive disruption of people’s way of life. He also said it would be a middle ground solution if the authorities agreed to only close part of the Island and not the whole of it.
However, there seems to be a mildly bright light at the end of the tunnel, because, according to Josef Soi, the Island might reopen, but only after a year, and even then, it will only be a premium destination; It will not be open to the public as before.
The island in question has been, since 1991, a UNESCO World Heritage site and boasts 1,700 Komodo dragons. Other small islands surround this specific one, and they home around 1,400 giant lizards; fortunately they are still open to the public.
Unfortunately, this is not the first iconic site to be closed with claims of human interaction. There are other tourist sites that have faced new policies across the country and the world; Mount Everest Base Camp is one of them