About the Komodo National Park



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The Komodo National Park lies in the Wallacea Region of Indonesia, identified by WWF and Conservation International as a global conservation priority area. The Park is located between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores at the border of the Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) and Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTP) provinces.

It includes three major islands, Komodo, Rinca and Padar, and numerous smaller islands together totalling 603 km2 of land. The total size of Komodo National Park is presently 1,817 km2. Proposed extensions of 25 km2 of land (Banta Island) and 479 km2 of marine waters would bring the total surface area up to 2,321 km2.

To learn more about Komodo National Park either scroll down or click on one of the topics below.

Aerial Video of the KNP Islands

Map of the Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park Map

HISTORY

Komodo National Park was established in 1980 and was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986. The park was initially established to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), first discovered by the scientific world in 1911 by J.K.H. Van Steyn. Since then conservation goals have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both marine and terrestrial.

The majority of the people in and around the Park are fishermen originally from Bima (Sumbawa), Manggarai, South Flores, and South Sulawesi. Those from South Sulawesi are from the Suku Bajau or Bugis ethnic groups. The Suku Bajau were originally nomadic and moved from location to location in the region of Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Maluku, to make their livelihoods. Descendents of the original people of Komodo, the Ata Modo, still live in Komodo, but there are no pure blood people left and their culture and language is slowly being integrated with the recent migrants.
Little is known of the early history of the Komodo islanders. They were subjects of the Sultanate of Bima, although the island’s remoteness from Bima meant its affairs were probably little troubled by the Sultanate other than by occasional demand for tribute.

DEMOGRAPHICS

There are presently almost 4,000 inhabitants living within the park spread out over four settlements (Komodo, Rinca , Kerora , and Papagaran). All villages existed prior to 1980 before the area was declared a national park. In 1928 there were only 30 people living in Komodo Village , and approximately 250 people on Rinca Island in 1930. The population increased rapidly, and by 1999, there were 281 families numbering 1,169 people on Komodo, meaning that the local population had increased exponentially. Komodo Village has had the highest population increase of the villages within the Park, mostly due to migration by people from Sape , Manggarai , Madura, and South Sulawesi. The number of buildings in Kampung Komodo has increased rapidly from 30 houses in 1958, to 194 houses in 1994, and 270 houses in 2000. Papagaran village is similar in size, with 258 families totaling 1,078 people. As of 1999, Rinca’s population was 835, and Kerora’s population was 185 people. The total population currently living in the Park is 3,267 people, while 16,816 people live in the area immediately surrounding the Park.

EDUCATION

The average level of education in the villages of Komodo National Park is grade four of elementary school. There is an elementary school located in each of the villages, but new students are not recruited each year. On average, each village has four classes and four teachers. Most of the children from the small islands in the Kecamatan Komodo (Komodo, Rinca , Kerora , Papagaran , Mesa) do not finish elementary school. Less than 10% of those which do graduate from elementary school will continue to high school since the major economic opportunity (fishing) does not require further education. Children must be sent to Labuan Bajo to attend high school, but this is rarely done in fishermen’s families.

HEALTH

Most of the villages located in and around the Park have few fresh water facilities available, if any, particularly during the dry season. Water quality declines during this time period and many people become ill. Malaria and diarrhea are rampant in the area. On Mesa island, with a population of around 1,500 people, there is no fresh water available. Fresh water is brought by boat in jerrycans from Labuan Bajo. Each family needs an average of Rp 100,000.- per month to buy fresh water (2000). Almost every village has a local medical facility with staff, and at least a paramedic. The quality of medical care facilities is low.

SOCIO-CULTURAL AND ANTHROPOLOGIC CONDITIONS

Traditional Customs

Traditional communities in Komodo, Flores and Sumbawa have been subjected to outside influences and the influence of traditional customs is dwindling. Television, radio, and increased mobility have all played a part in accelerating the rate of change. There has been a steady influx of migrants into the area. At the moment nearly all villages consist of more than one ethnic group.

Religion

The majority of fishermen living in the villages in the vicinity of the Park are Muslims. Hajis have a strong influence in the dynamics of community development. Fishermen hailing from South Sulawesi (Bajau, Bugis) and Bima are mostly Moslems. The community from Manggarai are mostly Christians.

Anthropology and Language

There are several cultural sites within the Park, particularly on Komodo Island. These sites are not well documented, however, and there are many questions concerning the history of human inhabitance on the island. Outside the Park, in Warloka village on Flores, there is a Chinese trading post remnant of some interest. Archeological finds from this site have been looted in the recent past. Most communities in and around the Park can speak Bahasa Indonesia. Bajo language is the language used for daily communication in most communities.

TERRESTRIAL PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Topography

The topography is varied, with slopes from 0 – 80%. There is little flat ground, and that is generally located near the beach. The altitude varies from sea level to 735 m above sea level. The highest peak is Gunung Satalibo on Komodo Island.

Geology

The islands in Komodo National Park are volcanic in origin. The area is at the juncture of two continental plates: Sahul and Sunda. The friction of these two plates has led to large volcanic eruptions and caused the up-thrusting of coral reefs. Although there are no active volcanoes in the park, tremors from Gili Banta (last eruption 1957) and Gunung Sangeang Api (last eruption 1996) are common. West Komodo probably formed during the Jurassic era approximately 130 million years ago. East Komodo, Rinca, and Padar probably formed approximately 49 million years ago during the Eocene era.

Climate

Komodo National Park has little or no rainfall for approximately 8 months of the year, and is strongly impacted by monsoonal rains. High humidity levels year round are only found in the quasi-cloud forests on mountain tops and ridges. Temperatures generally range from 170C to 340C, with an average humidity level of 36%. From November through March the wind is from the west and causes large waves that hit the entire length of Komodo island’s west beach. From April through October the wind is dry and large waves hit the south beaches of Rinca and Komodo islands.

TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS

The terrestrial ecosystems are strongly affected by the climate: a lengthy dry season with high temperatures and low rainfall, and seasonal monsoon rains. The Park is situated in a transition zone between Australian and Asian flora and fauna. Terrestrial ecosystems include open grass-woodland savanna, tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest, and quasi cloud forest.

Due to the dry climate, terrestrial plant species richness is relatively low. The majority of terrestrial species are xerophytic and have specific adaptations to help them obtain and retain water. Past fires have selected for species that are fire-adapted, such as some grass species and shrubs. Terrestrial plants found in Komodo National Park include grasses, shrubs, orchids, and trees. Important food tree species for the local fauna include Jatropha curkas, Zizyphus sp., Opuntia sp., Tamarindus indicus, Borassus flabellifer, Sterculia foetida, Ficus sp., Cicus sp., ‘Kedongdong hutan’ (Saruga floribunda), and ‘Kesambi’ (Schleichera oleosa).

TERRESTRIAL FAUNA

The terrestrial fauna is of rather poor diversity in comparison to the marine fauna. The number of terrestrial animal species found in the Park is not high, but the area is important from a conservation perspective as some species are endemic. Many of the mammals are Asiatic in origin (e.g., deer, pig, macaques, civet). Several of the reptiles and birds are Australian in origin. These include the orange-footed scrubfowl, the lesser sulpher-crested cockatoo and the nosy friarbird.

Reptiles

The most famous of Komodo National Park’s reptiles is the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis). It is among the world’s largest reptiles and can reach 3 meters or more in length and weigh over 70kg. To find out more about this fascinating creature click here.

Other than the Komodo Dragon twelve terrestrial snake species are found on the island. including the cobra (Naja naja sputatrix), Russel’s pit viper (Vipera russeli), and the green tree vipers (Trimeresurus albolabris). Lizards include 9 skink species (Scinidae), geckos (Gekkonidae), limbless lizards (Dibamidae), and, of course, the monitor lizards (Varanidae). Frogs include the Asian Bullfrog (Kaloula baleata), Oreophyne jeffersoniana and Oreophyne darewskyi. They are typically found at higher, moister altitudes.

Mammals

Mammals include the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis), the main prey of the Komodo dragon, horses (Equus sp.), water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis), wild boar (Sus scrofa vittatus), long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus lehmanni), the endemic Rinca rat (Rattus rintjanus), and fruit bats. One can also find goats, dogs and domestic cats.

Birds

One of the main bird species is the orange-footed scrub fowl (Megapodius reinwardti), a ground dwelling bird. In areas of savanna, 27 species were observed. Geopelia striata and Streptopelia chinensis were the most common species. In mixed deciduous habitat, 28 bird species were observed, and Philemon buceroides, Ducula aenea, and Zosterops chloris were the most common.

MARINE ECOSYSTEMS

Indonesia is the only equatorial region in the world where there is an exchange of marine flora and fauna between the Indian and Pacific oceans. Passages in Nusa Tenggara (formerly the Lesser Sunda Islands) between the Sunda and Sahul shelves allow movement between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The three main ecosystems in Komodo National Park are seagrass beds, coral reefs, and mangrove forests. The Park is probably a regular cetacean migration route.

MARINE FLORA

The three major coastal marine plants are algae, seagrasses and mangrove trees. Algae are primitive plants, which do not have true roots, leaves or stems. An important reef-building algae is the red coralline algae, which actually secretes a hard limestone skeleton that can encrust and cement dead coral together. Seagrasses are modern plants that produce flowers, fruits and seeds for reproduction. As their name suggests, they generally look like large blades of grass growing underwater in sand near the shore. Thallasia sp. and Zastera spp. are the common species found in the Park. Mangroves trees can live in salty soil or water, and are found throughout the Park. An assessment of mangrove resources identified at least 19 species of true mangroves and several more species of mangrove associates within the Park’s borders.

MARINE FAUNA

Komodo National Park includes one of the world’s richest marine environments. It consists of forams, cnidaria (includes over 260 species of reef building coral), sponges (70 species), ascidians, marine worms, mollusks, echinoderms, crustaceans, cartilaginous and bony fishes (over 1,000 species), marine reptiles, and marine mammals (dolphins, whales, and dugongs). Some notable species with high commercial value include sea cucumbers (Holothuria), Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus), and groupers.

Download Information Materials

Please note that some of the graphics in the Adobe Acrobat files, notably those with hatched patterns, will only show up correctly after zooming in repeatedly.

CONCESSION FOR TOURISM MANAGEMENT IN KOMODO NATIONAL PARK

Singleton J. & Sulaiman R. 2002. Environmental Assessment Study – Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Report from The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 28 p. (pdf; 500 Kb)

PKA & TNC 2003. Overview of Komodo Stakeholder Consultations, 1996 – 2003. 33 p. (pdf; 670 Kb)

BOOKS

Mehta-Erdmann, A. and Bason, D. 2004. A natural history guide to Komodo National Park, Book 1: Terrestrial / Panduan sejarah ekologi Taman Nasional Komodo, Buku 1: Darat. The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 97p. (pdf; 1,230Kb)

Mehta-Erdmann, A. and Bason, D. 2004. A natural history guide to Komodo National Park, Book 2: Marine / Panduan sejarah ekologi Taman Nasional Komodo, Buku 2: Lautan. The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 228p. (pdf; 1,603Kb)

Mehta-Erdmann, A. and Bason, D. 2004. A natural history guide to Komodo National Park, Book 3: Management / Panduan sejarah ekologi Taman Nasional Komodo, Buku 3: Pengelolaan. The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 69p. (pdf; 1,102Kb)

INFORMATION SHEETS

  • Komodo National Park: Effective Marine Protected Area Management (pdf; 115.7 Kb)
  • Zonation in Komodo National Park (pdf; 281Kb)
  • Coral Reef Monitoring in Komodo National Park (pdf; 251Kb)
  • Fish Monitoring in Komodo National Park (pdf; 172Kb)
  • Marine Resource Utilization in Komodo National Park (pdf; 226Kb)
  • Cetacean Surveys in Komodo National Park (pdf; 165Kb)
  • Coral Reef Recovery (pdf; 133Kb)
  • Enforcement in Komodo National Park (pdf; 88Kb)
  • Marine Environmental Awareness and Education (pdf; 234Kb)
  • Pelagic Fisheries (pdf; 198Kb)
  • Komodo Fish Culture Project: Promoting Alternative Livelihoods and Market Transformation (pdf; 60 Kb)
  • Collaborative Park Management: Partnerships, Financing and Ecotourism at Komodo National Park (pdf, 85.3 Kb)
  • Frequently-Asked questions about The Nature Conservancy in Komodo (HTML or pdf; 114 Kb)
  • Beberapa pertanyaan yang sering diajukan tentang The Nature Conservancy (pdf; 131 Kb)
  • Dive sites in Komodo (HTML or pdf; 1,075 Kb)

REPORTS AND PAPERS

Bakar, A. & Mous, P.J., 1999. Resource utilization in and around Komodo National Park. Report, 30 p. (pdf: 790 Kb).

CMPI & YPAN, 2000. Pelagic fisheries project report, Komodo National Park and surrounding waters, January 2000. Prepared by The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Coastal and Marine Program and Yayasan Pusaka Alam Nusantara, Jakarta, Indonesia. 15 p. (pdf; 684 Kb)

CMPI 2000. Progress report on the pelagic fisheries project, prepared on request of Yayasan Pusaka Alam Nusantara, Feb. 15 2000 – May 15 2000. Prepared by The Nature Conservancy Indonesia Coastal and Marine Program, Jakarta, Indonesia. 5 p. (pdf; 228 Kb)

Fox, H.E., Mous, P.S., Pet, J.S., Muljadi, A.H. and Caldwell R.L. 2005. Experimental assessment of coral reef rehabilitation following blast fishing. Conservation biology, Vol. 19, No. 1, p. 98 – 107 (pdf; 317 Kb).

Fox H.E. & Pet J.S. 2001. Pilot study suggests viable options for reef restoration in Komodo National Park. Coral Reefs 20: 219-220. (pdf; 89 Kb)

Fox H.E, Mous P.J., Muljadi A., Purwanto & Pet J.S. 2003. Enhancing Reef Recovery in Komodo National Park, Indonesia: Coral Reef Rehabilitation at Ecologically Significant Scales. (Mempercepat pemulihan terumbu karang di Taman Nasional Komodo, Indonesia: Rehabilitasi terumbu karang pada skala ekologis). Report from The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 19 p. (pdf; 1,279 Kb)

Imansyah, M.J., Anggoro, D.G., Yangpatra, N., Hidayat, A. and Benu, Y.J. 2005. Sebaran dan karakteristik pohon sarang kakatua jambul kuning (Cacatua sulphurea parvula) di Pulau Komodo, Taman Nasional Komodo. Laporan dari Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, dan Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 30 p. (pdf; 765 Kb).

Imansyah, M.J., Purwandana, D., Rudiharto, H., Jessop, T.S., 2005. Laporan no 3 rekapitulasi hasil penelitian ekologi biawak komodo (Varanus komodoensis) di taman nasional komodo 2002 – 2004. Laporan dari Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, dan Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 15 p. (pdf; 173 Kb).

Imansyah, M.J., Purwandana, D., Rudiharto, H., Jessop, T.S. 2003. Survei Potensi Hidupan Liar Terestrial di Pulau Komodo, Taman Nasional Komodo 2002, The Nature Conservancy, Zoological Society of San Diego, Komodo National Park, 23 p. (pdf 1,514 Kb).

Jessop, T.S., Forsyth, D.M., Purwandana, D., Imansyah, M.J., Opat, D.S., dan McDonald-Madden, 2005. Pemantauan mangsa ungulata biawak komodo (Varanus komodoensis) dengan menggunakan metode penghitungan kotoran. Laporan dari di Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, dan Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 30 p. (pdf; 507 Kb).

Jessop, T.S., Madsen, T., Purwandana, D., Imansyah, M.J., Rudiharto, H. and Ciofi, C., 2005. Bukti terhadap keterbatasan energetic yang mempengaruhi populasi Komodo di pulau kecil. Laporan dari di Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, dan Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 27 p. (pdf; 409 Kb).

Jessop, T.S., Madsen, T., Sumner., J., Rudiharto, H., Phillips, J.A. dan Ciofi, C. 2005. Ukuran tubuh-maksimum antar populasi-terbatas-pulau biawak Komodo dan keterkaitannya dengan kepadatan mangsa besar. Laporan dari di Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, dan Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 27 p. (pdf; 424 Kb).

Jessop, T.S., Forsyth, D.M., Purwandana, D., Imansyah, M.J., Opat, D.S., and McDonald-Madden, E. 2005. Monitoring the ungulate prey of komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) using faecal counts. Report from the Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, and the Komodo National Park Authority, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 26 p. (pdf; 390 Kb).

Jessop, T.S., Madsen, T., Sumner., J., Rudiharto, H., Phillips, J.A. and Ciofi, C. 2005. Maximum body size among insular Komodo dragon population covaries with large prey density. Report from the Zoological Society of San Diego, USA, and the Komodo National Park Authority, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 25 p. (pdf; 365 Kb)

Jessop, T.M., Sumner, J., Imansyah, M.J., Purwandana, D., Ariefiandy, A., & Seno, A., 2006. Penilaian Distribusi, Penggunaan Musiman, dan Predasi Sarang Burung Gosong – Kaki Merah di Pulau Komodo. Laporan terjemahan berbahasa Indonesia dari Zoological Society of San Diego dan Balai Taman Nasional Komodo, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia. 1 p. (pdf; 295 kb).

Jessop, T.S., Sumner J., Rudiharto H., Purwandana D., Imansyah M.J., 2002, Kursus Metode Sampling dan Statistik dalam Populasi Tertutup Digunakan untuk Penaksiran Kelimpahan Varanus Komodoensis, The Nature Conservancy, Zoological Society of San Diego, Komodo National Park, 21 p, (pdf, 596 Kb).

Kahn B., 2002. Komodo National Park Cetacean surveys. A rapid ecological assessment of Cetacean diversity, abundance and distribution. Interim report – October 2001. Apex Environmental, Cairns, Australia and The Nature Conservancy Coastal and Marine Program / Indonesia, Bali. 16 p. (pdf; 1,524 Kb)

Kahn B., 2001. Komodo National Park Cetacean surveys. A rapid ecological assessment of Cetacean diversity, abundance and distribution. Monitoring report – April 2000. 1999-2000 Synopsis. Apex Environmental, Cairns, Australia and The Nature Conservancy Coastal and Marine Program / Indonesia, Bali. 39 p. (pdf; 864 Kb)

Kahn B. & Pet, J.S. 2003. Long-term visual and acoustic cetacean surveys in Komodo National Park, Indonesia 1999-2001: Management implications for large migratory marine life. In Beumer, J.P., Grant, A., & Smith, D.C. (eds.) Aquatic Protected Areas, what works best and how do we know? Proceedings and Publications of the World Congress on Aquatic Protected Areas 2002. Australian Society for Fish Biology. p. 625-673 (pdf; 2,748 Kb).

Meyer T, Sudaryanto, P. Mous and J.S. Pet, 2004. Sustainable, profitable and socially responsible – building a ‘triple bottom line’ grouper and snapper culture industry in Komodo. Marine Finfish Aquaculture Magazine. October-December 2004. Vol. IX No. 4. p. 34-36 (Pdf; 327 Kb)

Meyer, T., Sudaryanto, Pet, J. and Mous, P.J. 2004. Marine finfish culture in Komodo, East Indonesia – building a triple bottom line industry. INFOFISH International, Number 6/2004, p. 14 – 18 (Pdf; 944 Kb)

Meyer, T., Sudaryanto, Widodo, D. and Mous, P.J. 2004. Progress report on the Komodo Fish Culture Project A pilot project to establish a multi-species reef fish hatchery in Loh Mbongi and village-based grow-out farms in communities surrounding Komodo National Park, West Flores, Indonesia (Including an update on business development). Report from The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas in collaboration with the Komodo National Park authority. 22 p. (pdf; 1,359 Kb)

Mous P.J., A. Muljadi, Purwanto & J.S. Pet 2005. Status of coral reefs in and around Komodo National Park. Results of a bi-annual survey over the period 1996 – 2002 (July 2005). Publication from The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 57 p. (pdf; 4,384 Kb)

Mous P.J. 2001 (Ed). Report Workshop on Sustainable Marine Tourism in Komodo National Park. Grand Bali Beach Hotel, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. February 28-March 2, 2001. Organized and hosted by The Nature Conservancy, Coastal and Marine Program – Indonesia in collaboration with PADI-AWARE. 31 p (pdf, 145Kb)

Mous P.J. & Gorrez M. 2001. Stakeholder involvement in the Site Conservation Planning process for Komodo National Park. Workplan and budget, Feb. – June 2001. The Nature Conservancy, Sanur (Bali), Indonesia. 20 p. (pdf; 227 Kb)

Mous, P.J., Pet, J.S., & Halim A., 1999. Harvest characteristics of gango, a method to capture fingerling groupers from mangrove areas in West Flores, Indonesia. Report, 25 p. (pdf; 455 Kb)

Mous P.J. 2002. Report on mooring buoy installation in Komodo National Park, October 2001 – January 2002. Report from The Nature Conservancy, Coastal and Marine Program Indonesia in collaboration with the Komodo National Park authority, June 2002. 11 p. (pdf, 962 Kb; low-res version 295 Kb).

Mous P.J., Sudaryanto & Meyer T. 2003. Report on the Komodo Fish Culture Project. A pilot project to establish a multi-species reef fish hatchery in Loh Mbongi and village-based grow-out farms in communities surrounding Komodo National Park, West Flores, Indonesia. September 2003. Report from The Nature Conservancy Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali Indonesia. 17 p (pdf, 1,116 Kb)

Pedju, M. 2004. Report on Seagrass Monitoring in Komodo National Park July 2002 – July 2003. Report from The Nature Conservancy, Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas in collaboration with Komodo National Park authority. 55 p. (pdf; 1,404 Kb)

east-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA”>Pedju M. 2002. Report on Seagrass Monitoring Training in Komodo National Park, July 26th – August 3rd 2002. Report from The Nature Conservancy, Coastal and Marine Program Indonesia in collaboration with Komodo National Park authority and WWF Wallacea. TNC Southeast Asia Center for Marine Protected Areas, Sanur, Bali. 18 p. (pdf, 1,352 Kb).

Pet, J. 1997. Destructive fishing methods in and around Komodo National Park. SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin 2, p. 20-24 (pdf, 258 kb)

Pet, J.S., 1999. Marine resource utilization in Komodo National Park, Monitoring report 1997-1998, (pdf; 4,582 Kb)

Pet, J & Djohani, R. 1998. Combating destructive fishing practices in Komodo National Park: Ban the hookah compressor! SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin 4, p17-28 (pdf, 270kb)

Pet, J.S., & Mous P.J. 1998. Status of the coral reefs in and around Komodo National Park 1996-1998 (with an update of 2000), monitoring report, (pdf; 1,725Kb)

Purwandana D., Imansyah, M.J., Rudiharto H., Jessop, T. 2004. Kegiatan Penelitian Ekologi Varanus komodoensis di Taman Nasional Komodo Tahun 2003, Laporan No. 2, The Nature Conservancy, Zoological Society of San Diego, Komodo National Park, 27 p. (pdf; 429 Kb)

PIER & TNC 2001. Komodo Marine Park manta rays: acoustic tagging report (draft). Draft report from the Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research and The Nature Conservancy, Bali, Indonesia. 8 p. (pdf, 526 Kb).

Ruitenbeek H.J. 2001. An economic analysis of the spawning aggregation function in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin #9 – December 2001. p. 13-16 (pdf, 85 Kb)

Sadovy, Y & Pet, J. 1998. Wild collection of juveniles for grouper mariculture: just another capture fishery? SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin 4, p. 36-39 (pdf,112 kb)

Sudaryanto & T. Meyer 2003. Brief report of student internship at the TNC Fish Culture Project, Loh Mbongi, 28 July to 28 August, 2003. Report from TNC SEACMPA, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia. 4 p. (pdf, 120 Kb)

Sudaryanto, Meyer T. & Mous P.J. 2004. Natural spawning of three species of grouper in floating cages at a pilot broodstock facility at Komodo, Flores, Indonesia. SPC Live Reef Fish Information Bulletin 12. p. 21-26 (pdf; 47 Kb))

STUDENT AND INTERN REPORTS

Gallegos, V.L., Vaahtera A. and Wolfs, E. 2005. Sustainable financing for marine protected areas: Lessons from Indonesian MPAs. Case studies: Komodo and Ujung Kulon National Parks. Environmental & Resource Management. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (pdf; 278 Kb)

Anshori, F. 2004. Inventarisasi cetacea di perairan Taman Nasional Komodo, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Laporan praktek kerja lapangan. Jurusan Ilmu Kelautan, Fakultas Perikanan dan Ilmu Kelautan, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang. 50p. (pdf; 1,587 Kb)

Anshori, F. 2005. Studi variasi komposisi cetacea di perairan Taman Nasional Komodo, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Skripsi S1 Jurusan Ilmu Kelautan, Fakultas Perikanan dan Ilmu Kelautan, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang. 80p. (pdf; 1,904 Kb)

Setiawan, A. 2004. Sebaran dan tingkah laku cetacea di perairan sekitar Taman Nasional Komodo, Flores, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Skripsi S1 Departemen Ilmu dan Teknologi Kelautan, Fakultas Perikanan dan Ilmu Kelautan, Institut Pertanian Bogor, 72p. (pdf; 1,762 Kb)

PROJECT UPDATES

January 17, 2002. Seaweed culture. (pdf; 81 Kb)

May, 2002. Coral Reef Rehabilitation (pdf; 683 Kb)

December 15, 2001. Pelagic fishery development. (pdf; 14 Kb)

PRESS RELEASES, ARTICLES AND CLIPPINGS

October 2002. Komodo & Galapagos: Uniting two different worlds, by Djuna Ivereigh. IslandLife, ge: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA”>Special Edition on Sustainable Tourism. p. 27-30. (pdf; 1,613 Kb))

January 2001. Komodo Aria, by Michael Aw. AsianGeographic, Edition Jan / Feb 2001, p. 26-41.(pdf; 832 Kb)

October 2000. Clippings from the Environmental News Network on abatement of blast fishing in Komodo. (pdf; 467 Kb)

March 1999. The Komodo Dragon, by Claudio Ciofi. Scientific American, March 1999. Clipping from http://www.sciam.com/ (pdf; 242 Kb).

FAQ

Although TNC has been working in the Komodo area since 1995, it is not always clear to everybody what TNC is trying to do. We have listed some of the issues that are frequently raised, and we want to address these issues to the best of our ability. If you have other questions, please put them in the comment section below. We may not always be able to provide an answer directly, but we will do our best to find out as soon as we can!

1. What does TNC do?
The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

2. So does TNC only care about plants and animals?
No. TNC thinks that the survival of plants and animals is essential for the well-being of humankind. This is the primary reason for TNC being interested in nature protection. Furthermore, TNC acknowledges that nature protection and development of local communities must go hand in hand. Therefore, TNC is supporting the development of coastal communities by helping them to find a sustainable source of income.

3. Why is TNC here, in Komodo?
Komodo National Park is a unique place: Not only is it the last remaining habitat of the Komodo dragon, its seas are also home to an exceptionally high number of fishes, corals and other creatures. TNC wants to help protect this special place for the local communities, for the people of Indonesia and for humankind. In 1995, TNC was invited by the Indonesian Park authority (PHKA) to assist with the management of Komodo National Park.

4. I hear TNC is a very rich organization. Is that true?
Yes and no. A better way of putting it would be to say that TNC has been fairly successful in getting donors interested in Komodo National Park. Of course, we cannot expect Komodo to be dependent on donors forever. Therefore, TNC has been developing a plan to make the Park financially self-sustaining. This plan is the tourism concession (see questions below).

5. How many ‘orang asing’ are involved in the TNC program in Komodo?
Three, and their names are Jos Pet, Peter Mous and Mark Heighes. Often, foreigners (as well as Indonesians) work on a short-term contract for the program in Komodo. For instance, Phillip Arumugam, a Malaysian citizen residing in Australia, helps constructing the hatchery, and Ron Lilley, a UK citizen, helps integrating the various modules of the conservation program. All other staff (ca. 80 people in Labuan Bajo and 20 people in Bali) are Indonesian.

6. What do the local people get out of TNC’s work in Komodo National Park?
Probably the most important benefit to local people is that TNC’s conservation work in Komodo helps to safeguard the Park’s function as a source of young fish for surrounding fishing grounds. To better understand this, one needs to understand the problem of over-fishing and the role that Marine Protected Areas such as Komodo National Park can play to help abating this threat. Over-exploitation means that the fishery is taking
more fish than the reef can produce. This may be caused because there are ever more fishers, or because the fishers start using better gear, or a combination of both. Recent research by various agencies shows that over- exploitation is rampant on Indonesia’s coral reefs. This is where establishing Komodo as a Marine Protected Area comes in: By setting aside some of Komodo’s reefs, so that fish and other ‘seafood’ species can grow and reproduce, these reefs function as capital or ‘money in the bank’. The capital will yield interest (fish) for future generations. In most other areas in Indonesia, the capital has long vanished, leaving coastal communities with a choice to settle for low-valued fish, to find other fishing grounds (thereby causing the same problem elsewhere), or to find another occupation. The Park will make sure that at least in the Komodo area, there will always be an opportunity for responsible fishers to make a living. This valuable benefit is provided by the Park itself – TNC merely helps making sure that the Park can continue providing this benefit.

But TNC is also directly helping with the development of local communities who are committed to conservation by implementing projects that serve conservation objectives. An example is the pelagic fishery development project, where TNC is helping local communities to make a living by fishing in the open seas for tuna and related species. Another example is the seaweed culture project that is very popular with the people from Sape. Also, the development of eco-tourism will benefit local people, and other initiatives, such as fish culture, are being planned. Of course, it takes time for these projects to reach all people, and also not all projects are equally successful!

7. Is TNC doing business in Komodo National Park?
No. TNC is a non-profit organization, and therefore TNC is constantly being scrutinized by external auditors to make sure that no profit is being made. TNC would immediately lose its non-profit status once violation is demonstrated. This would have enormous negative implications for TNC worldwide. Of course, TNC can still help other businesses to develop, as long as these businesses support conservation. The bottom line is that these businesses will not provide profit to TNC, nor to her employees.

8. So where does TNC get the money for working in Komodo?
TNC gets its money from private donors and from institutional donors who are interested in conserving Komodo National Park, and who think that TNC is well-positioned to help achieving this objective.
Examples of such donors are the Packard Foundation, USAID, the Hardner Foundation, the Keidanren Nature Conservation Fund, and many, many other organizations and individuals. As an international organization, TNC cannot raise funds in Indonesia. However, TNC can work together with Indonesians interested in nature conservation –for example, the land of the hatchery that is currently being constructed in Loh Mbonghi is owned by an Indonesian partner.

9. The roads in Labuan Bajo are very bad, especially the road to the airport. So why does TNC not help with repairing those roads?
The money that TNC has available was given to TNC because donors expect TNC to fulfill its mission ‘to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive’. Hence, TNC’s Komodo project is not free to use the money for anything that may benefit local communities – repairing the road to the airport, though beneficial to the local economy, does not serve a conservation objective, and therefore this should be done by other agencies or organizations. Besides, although TNC has been able to raise significant amounts of money, it would still not be enough to pay for everything that could be improved in Labuan Bajo.

10. I hear TNC is arresting people for fishing. Is that true?
No. TNC, as an international NGO cannot make arrests. TNC has helped local enforcement agencies to do their work by providing, for example, boats to patrol the Park. Only fishers who use illegal methods, such as blast fishing, cyanide fishing or fishing in a no-take zone, are being arrested.

11. I hear that TNC is making a profit out of selling fish. Is that true?
No. See also question 7. Some people think that TNC is in the fish business because TNC is now constructing a fish hatchery. This hatchery is a pilot project, and the objective of this pilot project is to show that fish culture can be done in Labuan Bajo in a sustainable and economic way. Once this has been proven, TNC will hand over the project to a local business, a local institute, or to a fisherman’s cooperative. TNC is interested to develop fish culture because we think that fish culture may encourage fishers shifting from catching fish to culturing fish, thereby reducing the threat of over-exploitation (see Question 6). Also, we hope that the model and techniques we develop will help to transform the trade in live food fish from an unsustainable, capture-based to a sustainable, culture-based industry.

12. Will TNC sell or give hatchery-produced fingerlings to the local communities?
TNC aims to help local communities setting up a business in fish culture. We will do so by providing training and by making fingerlings available to trainees. So, initially TNC will give fingerlings to those villagers who choose to participate in a training program. Once there are sufficient trained fishers who are interested to become fish farmers, TNC will look for a responsible partner to take over the hatchery. This partner may be a local business, a fishermen’s cooperative or an Indonesian governmental research or training institution. Whomever is then responsible for the hatchery will have to work out together with the fish farmers how to go about recovery of costs for producing fingerlings. There are many different ways to accomplish this, but it is still too early to say which way will work out best.

13. How did TNC get its broodstock?
A large part of the broodstock were caught as fingerlings during the ‘gango’ project. This project was abandoned because of the possible negative effects to the environment, but the fish were kept. These fish have now reached sexual maturity. Other fish (kerapu tikus and kerapu macam) were bought from local fishers. Fortunately, our broodstock is now complete, and presently we buy less than one fish per month to replace fish that died because of sickness or old age. We think that once the hatchery starts producing we will not have to buy any wild-caught fish any more – we can just use some of the hatchery-produced fish.

14. I sometimes see the TNC speedboats taking out SCUBA divers and snorkelers. Are those people tourists?
No. Mostly, the divers are members of the monitoring team (staff of the Komodo Field Office, Park rangers, and sometimes volunteers). TNC is implementing monitoring programs that provide the Park management with information. For example, the coral monitoring program showed that the coral reefs are gradually recovering in the Park, whereas the fish monitoring program showed that the grouper stocks are still at a very low level. Also, the speedboats are sometimes used to show donors, journalists and government officials the Park. We use speedboats instead of local boats because these people often have very little time during which we would like to show them as much of the Park as possible.

15. Why is TNC spending so much on monitoring?
TNC currently spends about 7% of its total budget for Komodo on monitoring. Monitoring is necessary to understand what is going on in the Park, and it also helps keeping illegal fishers out! Only if we understand what is going on in the Park, we can be efficient in managing the Park.

16. Why does TNC employ so few local people in its extension program?
The Community Awareness and Education team comprises 7 positions (whereof two are vacant). Of the five positions that are currently (June 2002) filled in, three are taken by residents of the Komodo area (Labuan Bajo and Sape). Of all 79 people currently employed (long-term and short-term) by TNC in Labuan Bajo, 59 are locals (West Flores, Komodo islands, East Sumbawa).

17. Why does TNC forbid local people to catch teripang (and other fish)?
In principle, TNC does not forbid local people anything –TNC cannot do so because TNC is an international non-governmental organization and as such TNC has no mandate to enforce any regulations. Of course, TNC does assist in the enforcement of Park and of district regulations that pertain to fishing inside the Park. One of these regulations is the ban on using a hookah compressor. This regulation is implemented by the local government, therefore by the people of Manggarai themselves, as they are represented in the local government. It is important to remember that the zoning plan for Komodo National Park actually allows for fishing in large areas in the Park, namely in the Traditional Utilization Zones and in the Pelagic Use zones. Besides these ‘utilization’ zones, there are also ‘no-take’ zones. These ‘no-take’ zones are necessary to make sure that fish can reproduce, thereby replenishing the utilization zones and the fishing grounds around Komodo National Park.

18. What does the cooperation between TNC and the Park authority (Balai Taman Nasional Komodo, BTNK) look like?
TNC was invited by the national Park authority (PHKA) to become involved in conservation management in Komodo National Park. This cooperation was formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). In practice, TNC and BTNK implement field activities together. For instance, most monitoring and community awareness activities are carried out by a team that comprises both TNC staff and Park rangers.

19. OK, I understand that TNC’s obsession is the conservation of Komodo National Park. What is TNC’s next step?
Although TNC cares deeply about the marine environment, TNC is not ‘obsessed’ with anything. We do not go beyond our objectives for Komodo: protection of biodiversity in Komodo National Park and safeguarding Komodo National Park as a source of recruits (‘seed’) for surrounding fishing areas.

20. TNC seems to be working only with residents of the Komodo area who are either Bajo or originally from Sulawesi. Why is this?
This is because in the field TNC works with people who are living in the coastal area, and most of the coastal people happen to be Bajo or originally from Sulawesi. So it is a coincidence, not a choice, that TNC tends to work a lot with Bajo or Sulawesi people. TNC does not apply selection criteria that are based on ethnicity in any of its activities.

21. TNC always works by itself. Why?
This statement is not true. TNC works primarily through partnerships. Our main partner is the Park authority, and there are many, many other individuals, organizations, government agencies, research institutes and businesses we frequently work with.

22. Why does TNC always try to help local people? Is there some hidden agenda or so?
TNC believes that conservation of nature must go hand-in-hand with development of local people. We believe that if local people can get a livelihood that can be sustained over the generations, they will seize that opportunity. There are already so many commercial species that have nearly disappeared from the Park (sharks, big groupers, lobster, mother-of-pearl, giant clam, abalone etc.), we think it is time to develop livelihoods that conserve, rather then deplete natural resources. We try to help local people in finding such a sustainable livelihood by helping them to become involved in pelagic fishery, in seaweed culture, and in fish culture. There is no hidden agenda.

23. To what extent is TNC committed to working with local NGOs?
At present, TNC supports the fishery cooperative ‘Harapan Keluarga’ and its sub-groups. TNC will support local NGOs that are committed to nature conservation and with expertise with development and that have proven to be effective in nature conservation. TNC will also support projects of NGOs that in some way contribute to nature conservation, even if the NGO itself has other objectives such as the development of local communities. An example of such an organization is ‘Harapan Keluarga’. Unfortunately, effective local NGOs dedicated to nature conservation do not exist in the Komodo area, which is why TNC got invited to work in Komodo in the first place.

Frequently-Asked Questionsabout The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Komodo – The Concession, the Joint Venture and Collaborative Management

1. I hear that TNC is trying to get a monopoly to the Park. Is that true?
No. TNC, together with a local tourism entrepreneur (Feisol Hashim) have formed a Joint Venture (‘Pt Putri Naga Komodo’) that has applied with the Indonesian Park authority for a concession to manage tourism in Komodo National Park. In this Joint Venture, TNC has a majority share. The concession will allow the JV improve Park infrastructure, to develop the Park as an eco-tourism destination and to collect entrance fees. The purposed of setting up this JV is to make Komodo National Park financially self-sustaining. Revenues will be re-invested in the Park. TNC will make sure that no exclusive or preferential rights to any aspect of Park entry or use will exist in any form, to anyone.

2. Why has TNC chosen to form a Joint Venture to implement the Concession?
This was because TNC itself cannot apply for a Concession under Indonesian law: Indonesian law requires that a Concession can only be granted to a company with an Indonesian shareholder (not to a foreign or national NGO).

3. Why is Mr Feisol Hashim a partner in this Joint Venture, and not somebody else?
At the time this idea was born, Mr Hashim was the most suitable partner around. Mr Hashim knows the area well, he owns land in and around Komodo National Park, and, as a tourism entrepreneur with a vested interest in the area he is concerned with the conservation of Komodo National Park as a valuable eco-tourism destination. Furthemore, Mr Hashim,as a member of various national and international tourism boards and councils is well-positioned to bring Komodo National Park to the attention of the tourism industry. By the way, other businesses and organizations are free to apply with the national Park authority (PHKA) for a concession by themselves.

4. Will the Joint Venture, or any of the entities in the Joint Venture, benefit financially from operating the concession?
No. Shareholders will not, under any circumstances, make any financial gain from the company established for this purpose as stated in the JV Articles of Association.

5. Will there be any hotel or resort development in the Park?
No. Not even on Pulau Mauan.

6. Why is it not allowed for the private sector to develop hotels or resorts inside Komodo National Park?
Komodo National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is internationally renowned as a unique storehouse of biodiversity.
Development of hotels or resorts inside the Park would decrease the nature value of the area -not only because these hotels would take up space, but also because hotels would cause pollution in the Park.
Furthermore, the dry terrestrial ecosystems of the Park cannot sustain further extraction of water needed for hotels and resorts.
Fortunately, there is an opportunity for the tourism industry to develop hotels in the area surrounding the Park.

7. What is this Collaborative Management Initiative that I have been hearing about?
Presently, only the Park authority has a mandate to manage the Park.
The Collaborative Management Initiative (CMI) aims to involve more parties. The parties represented in the Collaborative Management
Initiative are the Park authority (PHKA), the local government (PEMDA), and the Joint Venture. The Collaborative Management Team will be advised on matters pertaining to Park management by a Council representing local communities, the tourism sector and government agencies. For instance, the Council may advise to adapt a proposed regulation to make this regulation more acceptable to the stakeholders.

8. Why is TNC not giving more details on the Concession and the Collaborative Management Initiative?
Because these initiatives are still in the design phase and subject to the outcome of negotiations with all partners involved, TNC cannot always give details. Chances are that the details will turn out different than expected! However, we will provide regular updates on any new developments.

9. I hear that TNC is organizing tours for representatives from the government and the Park authority. Is that true?
Yes. TNC organized a study tour to the Galapagos Islands (South America) in February 2001, and sometimes government officials are invited to attend meetings, workshops and conferences on coral reef conservation.

10. Will TNC, the JV or the Collaborative Management Team close all local tourism operators down?
No, on the contrary: As TNC acknowledges the importance of a strong, local tourism industry, TNC will develop a support program for local entrepreneurs to bring their businesses to international standards. Furthermore, there will be no exclusive or preferential rights to any aspect of Park entry or use will exist in any form, to anyone.

11. Is TNC trying to privatize all aspects of Park management? (In other words, will the Joint Venture be responsible for all aspects of Park management?)
No. Under the Collaborative Management Agreement, the JV will co-manage the Park, but ultimately the mandate for Park management (including enforcement) in the Park will continue to reside with the Directorate-General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation of the Ministry of Forestry (PHKA). It is important to note that the Concession for Eco-tourism management is granted to the JV by PHKA, and that PHKA can also revoke the Concession if deemed necessary.

12. When will the Collaborative Management Agreement come into action?
We hope that the agreement will be signed in the year 2002.

13. What will happen with the profits realized by the JV?
If the revenues from the Park entrance fees exceed the operational expenses, the surplus (profit) will be channeled back into conservation management. For instance, the profit may be used for another community development project, to develop a new monitoring activity, to install additional mooring buoys or the profit may be deposited in a fund that will cover deficits during years when revenues from entrance fees are less than expected.

14. How come that one of the Joint Venture partners, Mr. Feisol Hashim, owns an island inside Park boundaries (Pulau Mauan)?
This is because of revisions in the Park boundaries over the last 10 years: Pulau Mauan used to be just outside the Park, but now it is well within the Park. Mr Hashim bought the island when it was outside the Park. In fact, over the period 1990-1998 four versions of the boundaries of Komodo National Park circulated. The commonly used version of 1997 was the one that excluded Pulau Mauan. The current version that includes Pulau Mauan was officially endorsed in 2001 (PHKA reference 65/Kpts/DJ-V/2001).

15. So Mr Feisol Hashim owns the island, whereas the island is under the jurisdiction of the Park authority. How does the Joint Venture and the Collaborative Management Team go about this predicament?
All partners in the Collaborative Management Team, including Mr Feisol Hashim, have agreed to work within Park regulations. Park regulations state that there will not be any hotel or resort development inside the Park, and this also holds for Mauan.

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