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Bali Tolak Reklamasi: The Locals Are Not Giving Up Teluk Benoa!

Bali Tolak Reklamasi: The Locals Are Not Giving Up Teluk Benoa!

The fight between Governor Mangku Pastika and the voice of the people regarding the reclamation plan of Tanjung Benoa has been going on for quite some time now. Activists from different NGOs, artists, students along with a long list of local communities in Bali have been doing everything in their power to make sure that this evil plan to turn yet another area in Bali into a concrete giant ‘tourism playground’ would not happen. They have been making their points from all relevant options that this reclamation plan will put the island’s ecosystem off balance.

 

The journey fighting for the island’s sustainable environment against the ruling government has definitely not been easy, as both parties fight for something that they truly believe in; the wellbeing of the island versus big money. As if it was not hard enough, on May 30, 2014 the situation was made worse by the fact that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono decided to revise the Presidential Regulation number 45/ 2011 which protected the land around Tanjung Benoa, which includes Teluk Benoa, by removing Teluk Benoa from the list of marine conservation areas. The Presidential Regulation Number 51/2014 effectively allows the reclamation of 700 hectares of land on Teluk Benoa.

 

These final pushes have brought the elements of people on the island to continue voicing their disagreement with the government’s direction for Bali’s future. This had led into the demonstration involving over 1000 youths in Renon, Denpasar last Tuesday (07/17/2014). Their demand is for the President to revoke his latest regulation which allows the massive development on Teluk Benoa.

 

Another group of protestors are planning to ride from Jakarta to Bali on bicycles sometime next week, as an effort to gain awareness on the issue of the impacts which the government’s reclamation plan will cause to Bali’s environment.

 

The people have been fighting against the governor and now they have got to a new level, fighting against the President, during his last few weeks in office. They’re fighting for their homes; ones that they have been slowly pushed away from, after years-long of overdevelopment on this island. They’re fighting for the island’s balance; a certain balance between men, nature and God. 

 

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