Realwonderoftheworld.com – The government of Indonesia officially declares the withdrawal of Komodo National Park as the finalist of the New 7 Wonders of Nature (N7WN) campaign, which result will be announced on November 11, 2011.
Minister of Culture and Tourism, Jero Wacik, officially declares the statement on a press conference held at Ministry of Culture Tourism office on Monday (15/8). Other key persons present in the conference are Director General of Tourism Marketing Sapta Nirwandar, Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation (PHKA) Ministry of Forestry, Darori, international lawyer Todung Mulya Lubis, Hermawan Kartajaya, associated government institution representative from the government of Maldives Simon Hawkins (former Maldives OSC for the N7WN campaign) which already decided to withdraw Maldives as the N7WN finalist on May, 2011.
The decision must be taken in return to the act of New 7 Wonders Foundation which is considered unprofessional, inconsistent and the lack of transparency as well as trustworthiness of the foundation. According to the Minister, the withdrawal of Komodo National Park from the New 7 Wonders version of New 7 Wonders Foundation will not give any impact on the fact that the Komodo National Park has been well-known as one of the world wonder by people from all around the world based on its World Heritage status declared by UNESCO since the year 1991.
As probably many people has already known, in the beginning of the campaign, precisely on early August 2008, the Ministry has agreed to support Komodo National Park to become the New 7 Wonders of Nature by becoming the Official Supporting Committee (OSC)/ Lead Agency in the N7WN campaign, during the time (2008-2010), the Ministry has conducted various of integrated online and offline promotion activities in the country and also overseas to campaign for Komodo National Park and finally succeeded to bring the park as one of the 28 finalists of the N7WN after competing with 440 nominees from 220 countries.
On early December 2010 the N7W foundation sent an official letter stating Indonesia has been chosen to become the Official Host for the declaration of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The letter also said that the government of Indonesia must pay a 10 Million USD as the license fee for the event; the N7W also demanded the government to prepare a 35 Milion USD with sources from various private sponsors in Indonesia for the production cost of the event. This is contradictory with the fact that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has only sent a letter of interest to become the official host without signing any legal agreement or applying official bidding document as requested by the N7W foundation on their New7Wonders Official Host Worldwide Bidding Tender document.
The Ministry has then strictly refused the unrealistic budget request, in return to the Ministry act, on late December 2010 the N7W foundation threatened to eliminate Komodo National Park as the N7WN finalist, ignoring the fact that the two above matters which are the position of Komodo National Park being as the finalist of N7WN and the official hosting opportunity for the N7WN declaration is strictly two different issue and must not related one to another.
On February 7, 2011, the N7W foundation by their official press release declared to keep Komodo National Park as N7W finalist, instead they has one-sidedly decide to eliminate the Ministry of Culture and Tourism involvement in the campaign by releasing its Official Supporting Committee status. The act is absolutely ridiculous yet has no any logical reason, the N7W foundation also did not canceled the one and only legal binding document between the Ministry and the foundation which is the Standard Participation Agreement stating the role of Ministry of Culture and Tourism as the Komodo Official Supporting Committee, that has been signed between the two parties earlier.
Along the way, the Ministry has conducted a fact-finding process toward the activity and the N7W foundation itself. There are several important facts have been identified by the Ministry, which are as follow:
- The N7W foundation is a commercial organization with high profit orientation, though it declare itself as a nonprofit organization;
- The N7WN campaign process has no consistency nor transparency, specifically in their openness to the voting result among finalists;
- As an international organization that will deal with millions of dollars amount of money, it is illogical that such organization has no official domicile/ office and runs only by a few people (probably just a virtual office).
Based on all the facts mentioned previously, The Ministry of Culture and Tourism which is the Lead Agency for Komodo National Park in the campaign, officially declares that they will not continue their campaign in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition.
People from all around the world will always remember the Komodo Dragon as The One and Only Real Dragon in the World and this undeniable fact is irreplaceable. This is the reason why the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will continue its commitment along with various parties to develop and promote Komodo National Park to become a sustainable conservation area as well as an international tourist destination. Through our new branding Komodo the Real Wonder of the World, we will tell all people in the world about this wonder, said Minister Jero Wacik.
Director General of Tourism Marketing, Sapta Nirwandar has also spoken that during the last three years Komodo National Park has been promoted all around the world. Komodo National Park has been well-known by many people all around the world and visitor arrival to the destination has vastly increased. In 2007 Komodo National Park has only been visited by 16.000 tourists, however during the year 2008 and 2009, visitor arrival increased significantly to 21.000 in 2008 and 36.000 in 2009, and finally has achieved its highest record of visitor arrival by the year of 2010 with approximately 45.000 visitors arrival.
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