People power in Indonesia for Komodo


When the government fails, the people will take the lead.” So wrote the Jakarta Post on Friday in an opinion piece titled “Public initiatives revive Komodo voting“. The writer was referring to Komodo National Park, one of the 28 Official Finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature.

Disappointed with the Indonesian government’s lack of support for Komodo’s bid in the global contest, a group of environmental activists established the Support Committee for Komodo Island to continue promoting the park. Since then, an array of personalities, including former vice president Jusuf Kalla and the rock band Slank, have pledged to help the committee in its work.

“The komodo dragons are a world wonder whose original habitat is on the island. [The island’s] nomination in the competition is necessary,” Emmy Hafild, the environment activist who initiated the Support Committee for Komodo Island, told the Jakarta Post.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono voting for Komodo
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre) leading the SMS voting for Komodo National Park

After campaigning together to win the presidential and vice presidential election in 2004, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Jusuf Kalla are now campaigning together again. This time, however, they are focussing their efforts on urging Indonesians to vote in the New7Wonders of Nature. “Let us send an SMS to support Komodo National Park,” said the president recently at the official opening of Lombok International Airport. With Jusuf Kalla at his side, the President used his phone to vote for Komodo National Park. He then invited First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and all the government ministers in attendance to join him on stage to do likewise.

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