Tourist will be banned from Indonesia’s Komodo Island next year in a bid to control environmental damage.
Around 176,000 visitors paid £8 each last year to visit the island, which is home to the Komodo dragon.
Governor Victor Laiskodat said: ‘It’s called Komodo Island. It’s for the Komodo, not for humans. There will be no human rights there, only animal rights.’
He wants residents moved off from the island, part of a UNESCO World heritage national park, closed for a year. It will then be reopened as an exclusive destination for a handful of visitors.
Australian academic Dr Tim Jessop, who has long argued for visitor regulation, said the number of boats and plastic waste thrown from them is having an impact on marine life.
However, residents are angry. One, Ishan Abdul Amir, said: “We have long been involved in the conservation-based tourism. The closure will deprive us of our income.”