Investors and the government intend to transform the small Sunda Islands, where the Komodo dragons live, into a luxury destination. To the chagrin of the inhabitants who live with the giant monitor lizard.
Her body dripping with sweat, Dani swings her shovel and throws earth to fill the hole in the foundation of 54 concrete pillars. The heat is scorching this afternoon in mid-November 2020 on Padar Island, an uninhabited land of Komodo National Park, in the small eastern Sunda Islands. Dani, originally from Bali, works for the Komodo Wildlife Ecotourism company. He is involved in the construction of offices, a canteen for employees and a warehouse with an area of 400 m2.
On November 1, 2020, the company inaugurated this site with a traditional ceremony inviting the inhabitants of the islands of Komodo and Rinca. In Komodo National Park, only 3 of the 47 islands are inhabited. Komodo Island, the largest, covers 32,169 hectares, or half the area of Jakarta. Rinca and Papagarang follow. Padar is a two hour speedboat ride from Labuan Bajo [la ville portuaire à la pointe occidentale de l’île de Flores].
On the model of African safaris
Dani sometimes sees Komodo dragons running towards the valley for shelter or foraging for food. According to records from Komodo National Park, six giant monitor lizards live on the 1,400 hectares of Padar Island. But that day none is in sight. The suffocating heat transforms this submerged piece of earth into a black pointillist canvas. It is reflected in the green waters like a mirage. Dried. Laughed at.
On this island, Komodo Wildlife holds a concession to develop animal tourism over an area of 274.13 hectares. Its permit was issued on September 23, 2014. According to plans, the company will build 382 villas, 3 spas, 5 cafes, a swimming pool and various tourist facilities there at an estimated cost of 669 billion rupees. [39 millions d’
TEMPO team of journalists
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