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This national park consists of hills and mountains with Mount Kelibara (1,731 m) as the highest peak., East Nusa Tenggara – The Ende District Government hopes that Kelimutu National Park and the surrounding area in Kelimutu Sub-district, Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara Province, will be designated a geopark area in 2021.

“Since 2018, we have made preparations for the establishment of a geopark in Kelimutu National Park, and the government’s target is to ensure that it materializes in 2021,” Hiparkus Hepi, head of the tourism office of Ende District, said here Thursday (3/10/2019).

A working team has been set up to prepare the designation of Kelimutu National Park as a geopark, in cooperation with a team from West Java.

Consultants will conduct field studies on biodiversity, geology, and culture within the national park which is known for its unique three-colored lake.

“From birds, plants, rocks and traditional culture in Kelimutu area will be studied, and the results will be examined by teams from the central government and UNESCO which has the authority to issue a recommendation whether it is qualified or not,” he said.

He was optimistic that Kelimutu National Park would be recognized as a geopark and provide numerous benefits to the local government and community.

As a geopark, tourism in Ende will be promoted internationally and it will attract many tourists.

People will come to Ende for tourism, scientific research, cultural studies, and other interests and these will benefit the regional government and community, he added.

In the meantime, the Sixth Asia Pacific Geoparks Network (APGN) Symposium was held in Geopark Rinjani, Lombok, NTB, from Aug 30 to Sept 6, 2019.

“We propose two national geoparks — Belitung and Toba — to be discussed for inclusion into the UNESCO global geoparks list during the APGN meeting in Lombok,” Anton Setyo Nugroho, head of the Maritime Innovation Network Department of the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Office, concurrently secretary of the Indonesian National Geoparks Committee, had noted last August.

Out of Indonesia’s 15 national geoparks, four — Batur in Bali, Ciletuh-Pelabuhanratu in West Java, Gunung Sewu in Yogyakarta, and Rinjani in NTB — have been included into the List of UNESCO Global Geoparks (UGGp).

No less than 110 regions across Indonesia have the potential to be developed into geoparks, he pointed out. The figure is small in comparison with China which has 220 of them, of which 39 have been included in the List of UGGps. (alk)

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Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya., Jakarta – Tourism Minister Arief Yahya is optimistic that foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector this year will meet the government-set target of US$20 billion.

Foreign exchange earnings from tourism stood at $19.29 billion in 2018 so the figure will most likely increase to $20 billion in 2019, he said in Jakarta Monday (9/9/2019). The tourism industry was yet to fully recover from a series of natural disasters that engulfed several parts of the country since 2017 including the eruption of Mount Agung in Bali, earthquakes in Lombok Island and tsunami in Sunda Strait, he acknowledged

They had begun to recover early 2018 after Mount Agung erupted in September 2017. However, a string of incidents including a bomb attack in Surabaya in May 2018 and earthquakes in Rinjani and Lombok in July and August 2018 hit the industry again, he said.

It was again affected after a powerful earthquake and a subsequent tsunami devastated parts of Palu city in Central Sulawesi province in September 2018 and a Lion Air plane crashed into the waters off West Java’s northern coast.

To make matters worse, the East Nusa Tenggara provincial government announced plans to close the Komodo National Park and a tsunami engulfed the coastal areas in Banten and Lampung provinces at the turn of last year.

As a result of the natural disasters, the number of tourist arrivals fell by one million in 2017 and 1.2 million in 2018, he said.

The number of tourist arrivals would drop by two million in 2019, he predicted.

“With the decline in the number of tourist arrivals, we will lose $2 billion in foreign exchange earnings,” he said. (aij)

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Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya., Garut – Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, inaugurated the Digital Tourist Market of Lake Cangkuang in Leles Subdistrict, Garut District of West Java, which is expected to lead to an increase in the number of tourists visiting the region.

“Millennials need a tourist destination which is attractive when captured on camera,” Yahya said here on Monday (2/9/2019).

According to the minister, millennials would need a tourist destination, which is well-designed.
Garut District Head, Rudy Gunawan, said Lake Cangkuang is an interesting place to take selfies. It also has a historical site such as the Cangkuang Temple and a customary village, Kampung Pulo.

“Lake Cangkuang is quite a complete tourist destination. In addition to its natural beauty, we can learn about history, take good pictures and eat good food,” he said.

Previously, Garut inaugurated two other digital tourist destinations in Lake Bagendit in Banyuresmi Subdistrict and Dayeuh Manggung in Cilawu Subdistrict. (frp)

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Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya., Pekanbaru, Riau – The Environment and Forestry Ministry has identified individuals who allegedly annexed thousands of hectares of land within the Tesso Nilo National Park (TNTN) area. “We have the map of who has annexed three hectares (of the national park) and who has 3,000 hectares,” Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya told journalists in Pelalawan District Tuesday (13/8/2019).

The minister stated this after monitoring the land and forest fire in Riau, in the company of the Indonesian Military Chief Air Chief Marchall Hadi Tjahjanto, the Indonesian Police Chief, Gen. Tito Karnavian, and head of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) Lt. Gen Doni Monardo.

The group took off from Roesmin Nurjadin Air Base in Pekanbaru and monitored the land and forest fire in Pelalawan and around the Tesso Nilo National Park.

The forest fire in the national park was intentional as she could see some zones drawn by certain groups in the conservation area, Nurbaya said.

Responding to the problem, the government and the police would take stern legal measures. “The main aspect is law enforcement,” she stressed.

The Tesso Nilo National Park is a conservation forest, a home for the Sumatran endemic elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus).

The TNTN area was extended in 2009 to 83,068 hectares, from only 38,576 hectares in 2004, by including limited production forest in its surrounding.

However, massive illegal encroachment of the conservation area has changed its landscape into palm oil plantations. (juw)

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