“The Waters of Benoa Bay are Under Threat Again!”
On Saturday, August 17th, 2013 Bali’s Governor Mangku Pastika announced “since Friday (16/8), after careful consideration of the situation, the letter of permit [for reclamation of Benoa Bay] has been revoked.” This decision was in answer to public rejection against efforts for reclamation of Benoa Bay, strengthened by a recommendation by the Bali Regional Representatives Council (DPRD) encouraging the Governor to reevaluate and/or revoke the letter granting this permit.
However, the Governor of Bali was not fully committed. The letter of permit was revoked, and followed by the release of a new letter granting PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWIBI) support in continuing with their plans for reclamation of Benoa Bay. This new letter (SK) 1727/01-B/HK/2013 grants permission to PT TWIBI conduct a feasibility study over the next two years to analyze the use, development, and management of the waters of Benoa Bay.
So, why is this new letter still unjust? If studied closely, this new letter in principle does not differ greatly from the permit letter that has been revoked. They both touch on the legalities relating to reclamation of the waters of Benoa Bay as requested by PT TWIBI. The difference is the pervious letter was a permit allowing reclamation of Benoa Bay including a concession right of 50 years, while the new letter is a permit to conduct feasibility studies. This tactic is going ‘one step back, and 10 steps forward.’
The Bali Regional Representatives Council, DPRD, also has shown they support the plan for reclamation of Benoa Bay. DPRD does not want to revoke the first Governor’s recommendation regarding the continuation of LPPM Udayana University feasibility study. In fact, some members of the council even insisted on continuing Udayana’s feasibility study and conducting further feasibility studies for reclamation in other pats of Bali, including the waters of Benoa Bay through an APBD (regional income and expense budget) scheme. This study is the first step towards reclamation because it is one of the requirements to release the permit for reclamation.
The policies of the Governor and the DPRD are a direct contradiction with preserving Benoa Bay as an area of conservation. When in fact the law clearly forbids any reclamation of areas of conservation, including conducting feasibility studies.
For these reasons, ForBALI (Forum Rakyat Bali Menolak Reklamasi), is critical of the Governor’s manipulative actions in releasing the letter (SK) number: 1727/01-B/HK/2013 and:
1.Demand that the Governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika, immediately stops all efforts for reclamation of Benoa Bay, by:
a. Revoking the Governors Letter (SK) number: 1727/01-B/HK/2013 released on August 16, 2013 to PT Tirta Wahana Bali International (TWIBI) granting Permission to Conduct Feasibility Studies assessing the Use, Development, and Management of Benoa Bay Waters.
b. Stop all feasibility studies on the Waters of Benoa Bay in the Province of Bali, and refuse the ideas of the Bali Regional People's Representatives Assembly (DPRD) to conduct studies regarding reclamation of Benoa Bay following the APBD scheme.
2. Demand the DPRD Bali (Bali Regional Representatives Council) stop all efforts for reclamation of Benoa Bay in the province of Bali through legal policy changes or through allocation of APBD budget and/or Bali provincial development APBD budget, by:
a. Strengthening the status of Benoa Bay as a protected area of conservation, as is in line with the legal laws in place, which is under the authority of Bali’s provincial DPRD.
b. Does not budget for research/studies related to reclamation of Benoa Bay through allocation of APBD budget and/or Bali provincial development APBD budget.
3. Demand that the Governor of Bali and DPRD genuinely and with full responsibility protect, and keep the waters of Benoa Bay as an area of conservation, and take no actions, either in secret or publicly and/or in any way and/or however small, to change the status of the area and/or move towards the implementation of reclamation of the waters of Benoa Bay on the Province of Bali.
4. Demand that the Governor of Bali and DPRD create policies that are in line with the principles of conservation and view the waters of Benoa Bay on the Province of Bali as such.
This statement has been made as a joint petition to draw the attention of the policy makers of Bali, both the Governor of Bali I Made Mangku Pastika and the DPRD of Bali.
Save the Waters of Benoa Bay!
ForBALI is an alliance of the people of Bali, made up of both organizations and individuals including students, NGOs, artists, youth and those concerned with conserving Bali’s environment and believe that the Reclamation of Benoa Bay is a step towards the destruction of Bali. ForBALI includes:
FRONTIER (Front Demokrasi Perjuangan Rakyat Bali ), KEKAL (Komite Kerja Advokasi Lingkungan Hidup Bali), GEMPAR Teluk Benoa (Gerakan Masyarakat Pemuda Tolak Reklamasi Teluk Benoa), WALHI Bali, Sloka Institute, Mitra Bali, PPLH Bali, PBHI Bali, Kalimajari, Yayasan Wisnu, Manikaya Kauci, Komunitas Taman 65, Komunitas Pojok, Bali Outbond Community, Penggak Men Mersi, BEM Universitas Hindu Indonesia (UNHI) Bali, PPMI DK Denpasar, Eco Defender, Nosstress, The Bullhead, Geekssmile, Superman Is Dead, Navicula and individuals who care about Bali.
We are sending this petition from Bali, where unsustainable development continues to encroach this paradise island.
On August 1st, 2013, the Denpasar State Administrative Court (PTUN) announced that the lawsuit filed by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (WALHI) won the lawsuit filed against the Governor of Bali. The court announced that Governor Mangku Pastika must revoke the Decree (SK) Number 1.051/03-L/HK/2012, a decree granting PT. Tirta Rahmat Bahari (PT. TRB) permission to develop 102.22 hectares of mangrove conservation forest (Tahura) for tourism.
The judges came to this decision based on the fact that the Governor’s decree was in conflict with a previous letter released by the Governor on December 27, 2010 regarding a moratorium on building permits for tourism accommodation in Southern Bali. The court also noted that the Governor released the letter of decree without the knowledge of the general public.
The PTUN court case is a small victory in a losing battle to conserve Bali’s environment from unsustainable over-exploitation for economic gain. Governor Mangku Pastika is the gatekeeper who is entrusted to protect Bali, but instead, once again, he himself is opening the very gate he should be guarding.
On December 26, 2012, outside of the public eye, Governor Pastika signed a letter of decree number 2138/02-C/HK/2012, granting permission to PT. Tirta Wahana Bali International (PT. TWBI) to exploit, develop and manage the waters of Benoa Bay. PT. TWBI was given rights to 838 hectares for 30 years; extendable for an additional 20 years.
PT. TWBI intends to build a massive tourism attraction, complete with religious buildings for five religions, parks, an amusement park the scale of Disneyland, an international hospital, university, ocean front housing with private yacht docking, beachside housing, apartments, hotels, a commercial district, a multifunctional performance hall, and a golf course.
The Governor’s decree was issued based on an incomplete feasibility study from Udayana University, which does not include or base it’s findings on Indonesian Law No. 32 of 2009 regarding Environmental Protection and Management. The Governor’s decree was issued based on Law No. 27 of 2007 regarding Management of Coastal Regions and Small Islands (WP3K), which in fact is in contradiction with the Indonesian Constitutional Court verdict. The entire article in Law No. 27, which relates to exploitation of coastal waters, was revoked for being in contradiction with the Indonesian Constitution of 1945. Hence, the Governor’s decree regarding reclamation of Benoa Bay is also in contradiction with the Indonesian National Constitution of 1945.
The Governor’s Decree also violates Article 93 of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) no. 45 of 2011 regarding Spatial Planning for Urban Area of Sarbagita (Denpasar Badung Gianyar Tabanan), which clearly states that Benoa Bay falls under an area of conservation. Presidential regulation Number 122 of 2012 regarding Reclmataion of Coastal Areas and Small Islands, article 2 (section 3) states that reclamation may not take place in areas of conservation or ocean current routes.
Governor Pastika tried to cover up the fact that the decree regarding Reclamation of Benoa Bay had been issued in violation of so many regulations. In late June 2013, Governor Pastika stated that he had no knowledge of these plans. When pressured regarding the circulation of a research document from Udayana University, only then did Pastika admit that there was a proposal from PT. TWBI.
The plans for Reclamation of Benoa Bay disregard the principles of environmental sustainability. This is especially disconcerting considering that the area in which permits are being issued for development is prone to disasters. The Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) declared South Bali as one of three points on the island which were most prone to Megathrust earthquakes; a real threat to Southern areas of Indonesia. The tectonic plates in South Bali could shift at any time, causing powerful earthquakes which could reach 8 to 9 on the Richter scale. Quakes of this much power are referred to as Megathrust earthquakes.
Through this petition, we urgently request that the Governor of Bali is consistent in following the regulations laid out in the letter of moratorium of building permits for tourism in South Bali, which he himself released in 2010. Bali is a famous tourism destination because of its nature and culture. Through reclamation, adding a man-made island will only make Bali seem artificial and less dignified.
Please sign and share this petition to help prevent more destruction to the island of Bali. Warm regards from Bali, a paradise filled with irony.
This petition is started by ForBALI, Bali People’s Forum Against Reclamation as an initiative to make a stand on the reclamation plan of 838 hectares in Benoa gulf, Bali. This forum consist of student movements, NGO’s, mucisians, and individuals that cares about Bali, among others:
FRONTIER-Bali (Front Demokrasi Perjuangan Rakyat Bali ) Bali, KEKAL-Bali (Komite Kerja Advokasi Lingkungan Hidup Bali), GEMPAR Teluk Benoa (Gerakan Masyarakat Pemuda Tolak Reklamasi Teluk Benoa), WALHI Bali, Sloka Institute, Mitra Bali, PPLH Bali, PBHI Bali, Kalimajari, Yayasan Wisnu, Manikaya Kauci, Komunitas Taman 65, Komunitas Pojok, Penggak Men Mersi, BEM Universitas Hindu Indonesia (UNHI) Bali, PPMI DK Denpasar, The Bullhead, Eco Defender, Superman Is Dead, Navicula, Nosstress, Geekssmile.