What do people think of when they hear the phrase "Komodo Island"? Usually people think of spectacular scenery, crystal clear waters - and komodo dragons, one of Indonesia's prides and treasures. Komodo Island is part of East Nusa Tenggara province and is recognized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a global conservation area.
Tourists are offered a lot on Komodo Island and much of the place has remained the same for many years due to slow population growth and infrequent tourist visits. We all want to see Komodo Island stay magnificent and to avoid the cranes and buildings that come with development. If that happens, the magic of Komodo Island will disappear and it will change from a getaway island to just another Indonesian tourist spot.
Quite recently, several of my friends were excited to hear that Komodo Island might be named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I was not as excited. In fact, I was actually worried about the survival of Komodo Island. If Komodo Island is named a natural wonder, it will give all of Indonesia pride in the islands and territories that we have.
However, we have to realize that Indonesia is not a country that preserves its treasures, especially its flora and fauna. Indonesia is a developing country and we succumb easily to the pressure to build skyscrapers, hotels and malls everywhere just to attract tourists and we are willing to sacrifice the natural beauty of our archipelago. Even though Indonesia consists of more than 17,000 islands, many of them are unprotected and are sold illegally without government consent.
Komodo National Park is a conservation area is essential for the survival of the country's many endangered species. Yet I read a Kompas article in June that said that that city officials intended to build hotels and malls . in a conservation park!
It was appalling to read that news bulletin because it showed that Indonesians still cannot understand how precious our forests and untouched land are. It is more saddening that city officials would dare create change in an area that is preserved solely for flora and fauna.
I had to write something about naming Komodo Island a natural wonder and to make people rethink whether or not they want it to happen. Personally, I do not support naming Komodo Island a natural wonder because the risks are far greater than the benefits that we can reap.
I don't think pride is more important than endangering our very own flora and fauna, which are already unprotected by our government and people.