Jakarta and Berlin: NO to a ‘Jurassic Park’ for Komodo dragons!

Rainforest Rescue banner and Komodo petition on a round table THANK YOU to the more than 100,000 people who stood up for the Komodo dragons! (© Rettet den Regenwald) Three men at the State Secretariat Members of Friends of the Earth Eastern Indonesia (WALHI NTT) at the State Secretariat in Jakarta (© WALHI NTT) Three women with Rainforest Rescue banner in front of temple painting The Indonesian embassy in Berlin will forward the petition with 108,000 signatures to the government (© Rettet den Regenwald) Truck and Komodo dragon Trucks vs. dragons – this photo put the construction work on hold. (© Gregorius Afioma)

Nov 12, 2023

Speaking out on two continents: Environmentalists handed over 108,967 signatures in Jakarta and Berlin calling for protection for Komodo dragons. The petition “NO to a ‘Jurassic Park’ for Komodo dragons” demands that no luxury resorts be built in Komodo National Park.

On Friday, November 10, 2023, three environmental defenders from the organization WALHI, Friends of the Earth Eastern Indonesia, delivered the petition “NO to a ‘Jurassic Park’ for Komodo dragons” to the State Secretariat and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Jakarta.

“This petition expresses broad support for the resistance against opening Komodo National Park for luxury tourism. The tourism project is aimed one-sidedly at investors and neglects nature conservation. The construction work on some islands is a threat to the Komodo dragons, the fascinating underwater world and the local people, who are evidently being shut out of this exclusive venture,” stated WALHI.

On the same day, Rainforest Rescue activists delivered the petition at the Indonesian embassy in Berlin. We emphasized that the local people, who have successfully preserved the island world for centuries, must be involved in all planning and that the Komodo dragons must be effectively protected.

Ms. Sidi from the Department of Public Relations, Social and Cultural Affairs, defended the project, saying that it aims to separate tourism from the protected wildlife habitat.

The UNESCO office in Jakarta has been informed about the handover of the petition.

Climate change and rising sea levels are already threatening the survival of Komodo dragons. According to forecasts, the population will decline by 30 percent over the next 45 years. The situation is aggravated by the inadequate protection of the national park. Trafficking is also decimating their numbers. Fewer than 3,000 individuals remain.

It is high time to put solid, lasting protections in place for the Komodo dragons. Instead, the government is focusing on infrastructure development. The town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores, the starting point for trips to the Komodo Islands, has been officially declared a “National Strategic Tourism Area” – a major threat to the ecosystems in Komodo National Park.

KIARA, an organization focused on coastal ecosystems, explains: “The National Strategic Tourism Area model has become a favorite in the government’s investment and development discourse. 25 such areas have been earmarked for development. Ten of these areas have priority, including Lake Toba, the Thousand Islands off Jakarta and Labuan Bajo. Of these ten tourist destinations, seven are located in coastal areas and on small islands. Around two hundred thousand subsistence fishers are being robbed of their livelhoods by the tourism projects.”

“We call on the government to respect UNESCO’s decision, admit errors in the development of large tourism projects by investors and revoke all permits for the large tourism projects in Komodo National Park,” says Umbu Wulang, Director of WALHI.

We are continuing to collect signatures to keep up the pressure. Please sign the petition if you haven’t already done so.

This page is available in the following languages:

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay in the loop on rainforest conservation issues with our free newsletter!