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Indonesian World Heritage Sites
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INDONESIAN CULTURAL WORLD HERITAGE - BOROBUDUR TEMPLE COMPOUNDS
Indonesia, an archipelago nation of no less than 17,508 islands stretched over 5,200 kilometers in equator between Australia and Asia (Drakeley, 2005), has been inhabited over millennia. Civilizations had been arisen and fallen, leaving numerous of legacies within the nowadays Indonesia. One of the remains from the golden age of Buddhism is Borobudur Temple Compounds, one of the UNESCO World Heritage List added in 1991, built by the once ruling Syailendra Dynasty between 750 and 842 AD (PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko, 2011). The site is located in Muntilan Village in Magelang regency, about 42 km from Yogyakarta city in Central Java, consists of three monuments: namely the Borobudur Temple and two smaller temples, Pawon and Mendut, situated to the east on a straight axis respectively 1,15 and 3 kilometers away to the main monument (PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko, 2011). It represents an outstanding example of Indonesia’s art and architecture, blending the idea of indigenous ancestor worship and the Buddhist concept of attaining Nirvana (UNESCO, 2013a). The Borobudur Temple covers an enormous area, measuring 123 x 123 meters and decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues (MTCE, 2012).
According to UNESCO (2013a) the main threat to the ensemble is from development that could compromise the extraordinary relationship between the main monument and its wider setting and could also affect the Outstanding Universal Value of the property. The approach to the property has to a degree already been compromised by weak developmental regulations. Tourism also exerts considerable pressure on the property and its hinterland. Cassel & Pashkevich (2011) note that another challenge faced by heritage sites is deterioration related to human wear-and-tear and natural decay. A resemble condition is happening on the building stone, the cause of which needs further research, a small degree of damage caused by unsupervised visitors and the eruption of Mount Merapi is also considered as one of the potential threats because of its deposit acidic ash, as happened in 2010 (MTCE, 2010).
Furthermore, the lack of control of commercial activities and the pressure resulting from the lack of an adequate tourism management strategy are other potential challenges by the complex. There are three entities that are responsible for the site management, the Borobudur Heritage Conservation Office (under Ministry of Culture and Creative Economy), a state-owned enterprise PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan dan Ratu Boko (under Ministry of Enterprises) and the local governments (Magelang Regency and Central Java Province). Each or altogether are conducting various approaches in managing the site and ensure its sustainability development. An example is a study on the integrated management of Borobudur Temple Compounds which comprises consideration for the ecosystem, social and cultural aspects, ecotourism, public and private partnership and organizational feasibility study (UNESCO, 2013a).
The management encourage the local community to participate in the activity by organizing community development programs. The programs include raising awareness among the youth about the essential values and features of the compound as heritage site, training as specialist guide and entrepreneurship workshops on small enterprises (mostly on handicrafts and culinaries). According to Cassel & Pashkevich (2013), the WH status is used for branding and promotes innovative thinking within destination development. The same strategy is implemented within the site and also Guinness World Record recognition as world’s biggest single Buddhist monument (MTCE, 2012) make valuable selling points for the site to be recognized worldwide as a remarkable tourist destination, especially for heritage tourism. Publication is also essential to promote the site and also celebrity endorsement as another used strategy, named from Maria Sharapova (Projecting Indonesia, 2013) and Richard Gere (Wahyuni, 2011) who brought up an idea to create a movie about Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles who was credited for the re-discovery of the temple in 1814.
INDONESIAN NATURAL WORLD HERITAGE - KOMODO NATIONAL PARK
Komodo National Park is well-known throughout the world for its endemic and endangered species which is found nowhere else on the planet, the Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), also considered as world’s biggest lizard. It covers 2,321 square kilometers, includes both land and marine areas, and consists of five main islands: Komodo, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode as well as several smaller islands (MTCE, 2013). The park also hosts several terrestrial faunas even though the diversity is not high, it is important for conservation as some species are endemic. In contrary, the marine area rich in diversity for marine life ranging from fishes, corals and sea mammals amongst many others (BTNK, 2013).
Located in the province of East Nusa Tenggara between Sumbawa and Flore islands, the area was declared National Park in 1980 and Marine Protected Area in 2000 to protect the endangered Komodo dragons and their environment, as well as the biodiversity of the islands. It received the status as UNESCO WHS in 1991. There are four inhabited villages within the national park with a total of about 4.250 people, as of 2010, mostly rely on fishing for their main source of income.
A study by Walpole & Goodwin (2001) on attitude of local community towards tourism activities in Komodo National Park suggests that benefits from tourism are not equally distributed. Although overall the attitudes are positive, there are some cultural impacts most noticeably from an incompatible style of dress among foreign visitors as the inhabitants are predominantly Muslims. Furthermore, the study reveals that there are not many negative attitudes toward tourism but Walpole & Goodwin (2001) note that it may change, as tourism and conservations may change as tourism develops.
Moreover, no common view on what the tourist product should be or how the role of the World Heritage should be interpreted in terms of tourism activities (Cassel & Pashkevich, 2011) could also create a problem to market KNP, as there are many features that can be commercialized into tourism activities. Aas, Ladkin and Fletcher (2005) quoted from Nuryanti that the relationship between heritage and tourism is frequently characterized by contradictions and conflicts whereby conservationists perceive heritage tourism as compromising conservation goals for profit. In accordance with study by Cassel & Pashkevich (2013) that the balance between preservation and commercialization is an ongoing issue where stakeholders have different opinions on how to best manage a site.
Increasing levels of tourism and matters related specifically to the komodo lizard are the major management issues that have been focused on to date (UNESCO, 2013b). A focus on the issue of depletion of Komodo monitor prey species stocks has resulted in some success. The single largest threat to the marine resourcesis destructive fishing practices in the area using fish bombs or other poisonous substances (BTNK, 2013). However, the park management under the Ministry of Forestry has set up the 25 year Management Master Plan to guideline the development sustainability of the KNP which includes empowerment of small industries, education and community based tourism development.
The image of Komodo dragon itself is the main selling point for the KNP to market the site as appeared in many footages, film or TV programs. Beside the recognition of World Heritage status, the New 7 Wonders of Nature and the Guinness World of Record, celebrity endorsement is also used for marketing the KNP.
LIST OF ABBREVIATION
BTNK – Balai Taman Nasional Komodo (The Office of Komodo National Park)
KNP - Komodo National Park
MTCE - Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy
UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
WHS - World Heritage Site
Aas, C., Ladkin, A., & Fletcher, J., 2005. Stakeholder Collaboration and Heritage Management. Annals of Tourism Research,32 (1), 28-48.
Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko, 2011. About Borobudur [online]. PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko. Available from: http://www.borobudurpark.com/temple/aboutBorobudur[Accessed 7 November 2013].
Cassel S.H., and Pashkevich, A. 2011. Heritage Tourism and Inherited Institutional Structures: The Case of Falun Great Copper Mountain. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism,11 (1), 54-75.
Cassel S.H., and Pashkevich, A. 2013. World heritage and Tourism Innovation: Institutional Frameworks and Local Adaptation. European Planning Studies [online]. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2013.784605[Accessed 5 November 2013].
Drakeley, S., 2005. The History of Indonesia [online]. Wesport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Jakarta Globe, 2009. Komodo Park Officially One of New 7 Wonders of Nature‘ [online]. Jakarta Globe. Available from: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/archive/komodo-park-officially-one-of-new-7-wonders-of-nature/[Accessed 8 November 2013].
Projecting Indonesia, 2013. Even Sharapova promotes the maginificent Borobudur Temple [online]. Projecting Indonesia. Available from: http://projectingindonesia.com/people/celebrity/even-sharapova-promotes-the-magnificent-borobudur-temple/[Accessed 8 November 2013].
Taman Nasional Komodo, 2013. Komodo National Park [online]. Balai Taman Nasional Komodo. Available from: http://komodo-park.com/detail.php?id=11[Accessed 7 November 2013].
UNESCO World Heritage List, 2013a. Borobudur Temple Compounds [online]. UNESCO. Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/592[Accessed 7 November 2013].
UNESCO World Heritage List, 2013b. Komodo National Park [online]. UNESCO. Available from: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/609[Accessed 7 November 2013].
Wahyuni, S., 2011. Richard Gere: Karma brings me to Borobudur [online]. The Jakarta Post. Available from: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/07/03/richard-gere-karma-brings-me-borobudur.html[Accessed 8 November 2013].
Walpole, M.J., and Goodwin, H.J., 2001. Local attitudes towards conservation and tourism around Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Environmental Conservation [online].28(2), 160-166.
Wonderful Indonesia, 2010. Red Alert Merapi Still On: Borobudur Closed to Climb [online]. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Available from: http://www.indonesia.travel/en/news/detail/175/breaking-news-red-alert-merapi-still-on-borobudur-closed-to-climb[Accessed 7 November 2013].
Wonderful Indonesia, 2012. Guinness World Record declares Borobudur Single Largest Buddhist Temple in the World [online]. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Available from: http://www.indonesia.travel/en/news/detail/791/guinness-world-records-declares-borobudur-single-largest-buddhist-temple-in-the-world[Accessed 7 November 2013].
Wonderful Indonesia, 2013. Komodo National Park: Into the Heart of the Dragons [online]. Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy. Available from: http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/106/komodo-national-park[Accessed 7 November 2013].
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