The West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) administration has said it was committed to working with all relevant stakeholders to promote the development of green or 'eco' tourism in Lombok and Sumbawa.
“For NTB, the development of the tourism sector is not only about the development of good infrastructure but also about how tourism can support environment protection and management. Tourism should not cause environmental damage,” said NTB Governor TGH M. Zainul Majdi at a national seminar on green tourism at the University of Mataram in Lombok on Saturday.
Zainul said that nationally, NTB ranked third behind Bali and Yogyakarta on tourism sector growth in the last two years.“Lombok is a tiny island and it will be difficult for all of us if development activities are not supported with environmental sustainability,” said Zainul.
The NTB administration has placed the tourism sector as its second most important for development, after agriculture.
“Tourism is important because NTB is blessed with exotic natural beauty from beaches to mountains. The province is also rich with religious culture,” Zainul said.
The head of the province’s tourism promotion board, Awanadhi Aswinabawa, said green tourism development in the province should focus on three things: conserving local wisdom, environmental protection and management and environmentally friendly policies by the local administration.
In NTB, Awanadhi said, many ideas for green tourism ideas originally came from the province’s indigenous communities.
In Segenter village, Bayan district, North Lombok, local communities still manage their indigenous forests using customary laws called awiq-awiq.