Archipelago

Bengkulu rejects satellite
launchpad proposal

Bengkulu conservation agency has expressed concerns over the planned construction of a satellite launchpad belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (Lapan) on the province's Enggano Island, fearing it will disrupt the island's ecosystem.

The plan is for the station to be built in the Gunung Nanua Bird Park, which is a conservation area, Bengkulu Natural Resources Conservation Agency chief Amon Zamora said Thursday in Bengkulu.

“This will definitely affect the ecosystem of the protected area and Enggano Island in general,” Amon said, as quoted by Antara.

The Bengkulu Development Planning Agency and Bengkulu Research and Development Agency had previously proposed to Lapan three alternative locations for station; two of them in Kioyo Natural Park and one in Gunung Nanua Bird Park.

The two parks are both habitats for a number of bird species endemic to Enggano Island.

“The survey team decided that of the three locations, the one inside Nanua Bird Park would be the most strategic,” he said.

Lapan is planning to commence the construction of the launchpad this year, and have it operational by 2014.

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