Flores people unite to protect their island
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The Eco Flores Foundation, a network of organizations seeking to coordinate sustainability efforts on the island of Flores in Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), is scheduled to hold the Eco Flores Congress in Labuan Bajo from Sept. 26 to Sept. 29.
The congress hopes to seek ways to mitigate the negative impacts of tourism’s rapid development on the island’s community and environment.
Flores island spans approximately 400 kilometers from east to west and is home to many unique ecosystems. Its mountains, jungles, sandy beaches, world-renowned coastal environments, and rich cultural heritage make Flores a prime location for the development of ecotourism.
The foundation said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the influx of tourists had overwhelmed the island’s waste management system, spurred unsustainable construction practices, threatened traditional livelihoods and posed major educational concerns for the youth of the newly urbanized tourist centers.
“In response to such concerns, islanders, key stakeholders and various international experts have come together under the Eco Flores Foundation to nurture this opportunity and to shape the future of Flores,” the foundation said.
The network not only promotes sustainability in relation to tourism development, but also in support of the principle values of the UN Global Compact, which includes standards governing human rights, labor, education, the environment and anti-corruption.