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NZAID-backed Lombok trek a world-beater

NZAID-backed Lombok trek a world-beater

An ecotourism programme in Lombok, Indonesia funded by the government’s aid agency, NZAID, has won a prestigious World Legacy Award for environmental tourism, Aid Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

The Rinjani Trek in Gunung Rinjani National Park, Lombok, Indonesia is the winner of the Destination Stewardship Award for the tourism destination that best demonstrates effective protection of its natural and cultural environment.

"The award organisers say the Rinjani Trek programme is doing superb work in protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the volcanic heart of the island of Lombok," Marian Hobbs said.

"They see the Rinjani programme as a particularly fine example of partnership between local community groups, the national park, the Indonesian tourism industry and overseas donors."

At 3726m, Mount Rinjani is the second highest volcanic peak in Indonesia and is a part of the celebrated Pacific "ring of fire". The three-day Rinjani Trek is considered one of the best walks in South East Asia.

The Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme has been developed with NZAID assistance since 1999. The NZAID contribution has been managed by Wellington-based Tourism Resource Consultants Ltd.

The Destination Stewardship Award is sponsored by Conservation International and National Geographic Traveller magazine.

New Zealand's bilateral aid programme to Indonesia totals more than $8 million per year. In addition to natural resource development, the programme also provides assistance to Indonesia in education, good governance, conflict resolution and peace building, community development and human rights.

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