Parapuar: Labuan Bajo’s Wild Life Zone unveils Flores Island’s natural essence – Quick Dispatch

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he enduring mystery of the tropical riches of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), continue to beckon to explorers. The marine wealth, forests, culture and its people hold unique significance for anyone who ventures to the island.

In Parapuar, the integrated tourist area developed by the Labuan Bajo Flores Authority Implementing Agency (BPOLBF), the future hub of four development zones, one of which is the Wild Life Zone, is set to unfold across 10.2 of the total 89.25 hectares of land. This zone will host facilities such as the Wild Life Information Center, the Flora and Fauna Natural Reserve Gallery, a Mini Zoo, Lumina Forest night forest tour and natural cave exploration.

According to Shana Fatina, CEO of the BPOLBF, this zone will offer a unique experience for visitors to explore the wild nature distinctive to Flores. Parapuar aims to provide a safe and comfortable environment while maintaining a balance with nature for visitors who wish to explore the Wallacean biodiversity in the Lesser Sunda Islands.

“Parapuar will be divided into four distinct zones, each with its own identity and uniqueness to capture a broader range of visitors. Visitors can learn about and enjoy the culture and natural life of Flores, immersing themselves in the tranquility and beauty of Labuan Bajo from the hilltops. In the Wild Life Zone, visitors will have the opportunity to explore and enjoy the Labuan Bajo environment, a miniature representation of the unique nature of Flores,” explained Shana.

This development is part of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve, harmonizing the needs of biodiversity conservation and social and sustainable economic development in West Manggarai regency in NTT. The development of Parapuar will emphasize harmony with nature, becoming a landmark that supports the strengthening of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve in West Manggarai.

In October 2020, the BPOLBF initiated the branding of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve through the launch of its logo, to increase awareness and attention on the reserve among both domestic and international tourists.

The branding of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve is expected to enhance and create value in destination and activities, from the perspective of both tourists as consumers and tourist stakeholders (associations and businesses). It also aims to create a “green image” for the Komodo Biosphere Reserve.

“As a region that is part of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve, the development of the Authority Area, or Parapuar, emphasizes harmony with nature and will become a landmark that supports the strengthening of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve in West Manggarai. Therefore, both the local community and tourists should understand that when talking about Komodo, the entire surrounding area must be preserved, not only its nature but also its culture. Parapuar will be a destination that showcases the integration of nature and culture, supporting the Komodo Biosphere Reserve, including its attractions, facilities and the education provided when people visit Parapuar,” Shana added.

Indonesia itself has 19 biosphere reserves covering an area of 29.9 ha, out of a total of 714 biosphere reserves worldwide, part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR). The presence of the Komodo Biosphere Reserve provides a significant opportunity for implementing and enhancing sustainable development.

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Parapuar, located only 5 kilometers northwest from the city center of Labuan Bajo and Komodo Airport, offers enchanting natural panoramas. The BPOLBF is committed to maintaining the biodiversity balance in the development of the integrated tourist area, especially through the establishment of the Wild Life Zone.

“The Wild Life Zone is built to preserve the exotic quality of the wild nature and promote natural landscapes such as hills as the best potential areas to view hillscapes, beaches, city views and capture and preserve the uniqueness of the landscape by creating a panoramic frame of Labuan Bajo and its surroundings,” Shana concluded.

The target audience for this zone is tourists seeking diverse recreational destinations and tourist attractions characterized by the uniqueness and diversity of wild nature, as suggested by the name Parapuar (Gateway to the Forest).

Protected wildlife activities in the nature tourist facility adhere to regulations such as (1) Law No. 5 of 1990 on conservation of natural resources and ecosystems, in conjunction with Government Regulation No. 7 of 1999 on the conservation of wildlife and plants, in conjunction with (2) Government Regulation No. 8 of 1999 on the utilization of plants and wildlife and (3) Forestry Ministerial Regulation No. 31 of 2012 regarding conservation institutions.

Meanwhile, the operation of the mini zoo will be carried out through collaboration with conservation institutions, while the operation of the Flora and Fauna Collection Gallery, Lumina Forest and natural cave tourism will be coordinated or collaborated with the West Manggarai regency Forest Management Unit’s (KPH) technical implementation unit (UPT).

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