Indonesia: Promoting wildlife importance through Way Kambas Festival

Otniel Tamindael Antara 8 Nov 16;

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Way Kambas Festival in the district of East Lampung, Lampung Province, scheduled from November 11 to 13, 2016, aims to promote the importance of wildlife and environment in public life.

As an annual event of East Lampung District, Way Kambas Festival this time will focus on promoting the Way Kambas National Park and raising public awareness about the importance of environmental conservation.

One of the conservation areas in the world for Sumatran rhinos and elephants, Way Kambas National Park has gained a lot of international attention.

The three-day festival will feature numerous activities to highlight the parks endemic wildlife, and will help attract more tourists to the park.

A number of activities and competitions, Way Kambas sketches, creative souvenir competition, Way Kambas adventure trail, 10k run with elephants, drawing and coloring contest for children, cycling inside the national park, traditional dances, fruit party and elephant parade will mark the festival.

East Lampung District Head Chusnia Chalim, better known as Nunik, stated that the festival will allow local residents to learn more about the park than the fact that it is an elephant conservation center.

She noted that the festival is also part of district governments efforts to transform the Way Kambas National Park, or TNWK, into an international tourist destination.

An excellent bird-watching location, thanks to the presence of the rare white-winged wood duck, the WKNP is home to critically endangered species such as Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants and Sumatran rhinoceroses.

With swamp forest, lowland rainforest, mangrove forest and dry beach forest, along with expanses of grassland, this national park is an ideal habitat for thousands of different species and offers exciting opportunities for visitors to experience some of Indonesias most diverse wildlife.

"That is why we are making efforts to develop Way Kambas and turn it into a national and international tourist destination," Nunik had remarked in Sukadana some time ago.

The Way Kambas National Park is an icon of East Lampung district.

East Lampung district is a rich, beautiful and interesting area with friendly people and a lot of tourist attractions, she asserted.

The Great Hall of the Way Kambas National Park is also drafting a strategy to put to use trained domesticated elephants in the Elephant Conservation Center as a tourist attraction, she added.

In the meantime, TNWK Great Halls Public Relations Chief, Sukatmoko, said he was waiting for the government to put in place rules regarding the use of Elephant Conservation Center as a tourist destination.

"We are still waiting for the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to frame rules regarding using elephants, so that visitors can enjoy the facility more," Sukatmoko had observed recently.

He stated that the WKNP Great Hall is currently designing an ecotourism village as a secondary destination for visitors.

Tourists visiting the ecotourism village in the WKNP will be able to experience the extensive flora and fauna and have an opportunity to witness and learn about the endangered Sumatran elephant, rhinoceros and tigers along with a vast array of other exotic animals, such as monkeys, tapirs, leopards and birds.

The development of ecotourism aims to increase the number of tourist visits to the WKNP in addition to boosting the economy of the local community.

The ecotourism village will also offer homestays, various handicrafts of the local village, and a variety of cuisines typical to the region.

According to Sukatmono, the Great Hall of WKNP is collaborating with local NGOs to develop and manage this ecotourism village.

Given its numerous tourist attractions, the Indonesian province of Lampung is being encouraged to develop its tourism sector as an important source of foreign exchange and employment.

This will help provide viable opportunities for sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Another tourist attraction in Lampung is the Lampung Museum in the provincial city of Tanjungkarang that can serve as a historical tourism asset and will attract both domestic and foreign tourists.

The museum has an interesting and significant collection of artefacts depicting historical heritage.

Lampung is famous across the world because of the Krakatau island volcano, one of the most fascinating sites globally, and for agricultural commodities, such as pepper and coffee.

Given their central location, the Krakatau islands are accessible both from Jakarta, through the province of Banten, and from Bandarlampung, the capital of the Lampung province.

The Krakatau islands comprise three small and beautiful islands: Rakata, Panjang and Serdang.

The minister remarked that besides Krakatau, Lampung also has many other tourist attractions that will be developed properly in order to draw domestic and foreign tourists.

In an effort to boost the number of tourist visits, the government will allow international cruise ships to pass through Lampung and anchor near the tourist attractions in the province.(*)

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