THE Central Sulawesi administration is prepping to reopen Togean Islands National Park located in Tojo Unauna District, for tourists in mid-August 2020.

According to Head of the Togean Islands National Park Office (BTNKT) Bustang said  that’s our plan, as suggested by the stakeholders. However, there are many things to consider if this tourism object will be operational again.

“That currently his party was developing various new adaptation policies against COVIID-19, as guidelines for every tourist visiting the national park area. The Togean Islands National Park is an international tourist destination, hence it is deemed necessary to formulate strict health protocols to keep away tourists visiting the park from the corona virus,” he said.

Bustang explained we do not want to be careless, so this plan must be well considered and prepared, to make visitors and the local community feel safe. A number of attractions in Tojo Unauna District have begun to reopen based on a circular from the local district head, mainly for domestic tourists.

“The plan to reopen the national park, however, has to be conducted by applying strict health protocols with the coordination of the local authorities, the Environmental Affairs and Forestry Ministry, the military and police,” he noted.

He added that the Togean Islands archipelago, labeled the ‘Jewel of Central Sulawesi’, has been designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 2019. Togean Tojo Una-Una Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 2,187,632 hectares on an archipelago of 483 islands in Central Sulawesi.

“Located at the heart of the Coral Triangle, it features the highest coral diversity in the world, as well as mangrove forests and small island ecosystems. The Togean Islands is host to 363 plant species, including 33 species of mangrove, and various animal species such as tarsiers (Tarsius spectrum palengensis) and Togean monkeys (Macaca togeanus), cuscus, dugong, whale and dolphin. Coral reef fish are abundant, with 596 species inhabiting the Togean Islands National Park,” Bustang concluded. [antaranews/photo special]