"We will invite the East Nusa Tenggara government. It will not be good if the decision (to close the national park) is taken unilaterally," Forestry and Environment Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar stated here on Monday, Jan 21.
The ministry will learn from the local government and Tourism Ministry regarding the issue and seek a solution, including the transition period, she revealed.
Currently, the Komodo National Park is under the management of the Forestry and Environment Ministry.
"I have urged the Director General (of Natural Resource Conservation and Ecosystem) to check this issue, as the authority to manage the national park is with the central government," she noted.
The local administration can discuss it with the central government for inputs on the management of the national park.
"Hopefully, this week (the meeting). I have called for this meeting since last Friday," she added.
Earlier on Friday, East Nusa Tenggara Governor Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat remarked that his administration had planned to shut down Komodo National Park for a year to increase the population of komodo dragons and its prey deer.
The governor stated that the habitat for komodo in West Manggarai District has steadily decreased, and the giant lizards have shrunk in size due to the declining population of deer.
However, Laiskodat confirmed on Monday that only Komodo Island will be closed, while other islands in the national park will remain open to tourists.
The park includes the three larger islands of Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, as well as 26 smaller ones.
Reporting by Martha Herlinawati S
Editing by Suharto