Friday, August 12, 2005

KOMODO DRAGONS - A future Jurassic tragedy

Henning Borchers writes in The Jakarta Post of the problems in balancing the needs of local people within Komodo National Park, and the needs of the endangered animals therein, specifically the Komodo Dragon.
Komodo National Park is a great place to see the famous Komodo dragon but conflict in the area between locals and conservators is risking the status of this World Heritage Site. Henning Borchers, a development anthropologist, writes how a new plan involving the locals is badly needed to avoid future conflict and guarantee sustainable management of the park.
The terrestrial part of the park has more to offer than just dragons -- it is a naturalist's "Jurassic Park" for sure; another world that seems to offer little to human habitation. But appearances can be deceptive. There are humans here too: traditional residents as well as migrants who have come to the park to try and eke out a living from the area's bountiful natural resources. But for them, living in the park is fast becoming a non-sustainable option.