0.7% of Bali budget goes to environment 2012

The Bali administration has allocated Rp 13 billion (US$1.52 million), or 0.7 percent of its Rp 1.8 trillion budget this year to environmental conservation efforts.

Bali Legislative Council Speaker I Ketut Kariyasa Adnyana told participants at a discussion to commemorate World Environment Day that the funding would not adequately address the island’s environmental problems, saying the administration was reluctant to spend more on environmental efforts given the influx of investors to the island. “There are still many within the government more interested in attracting as many investors as possible while ignoring imminent threats to the island’s natural condition,” he said.

One of the clearest examples was the enforcement of the island’s spatial or zoning master plan, which will become a master plan for any development projects on the island to prevent further environmental disasters. “So far, no final decisions have been made on the plan,” Adnyana said.
Made Kembang Hartawan, the deputy regent of Jembrana in West Bali, said the island’s shoreline and coastal areas were experiencing massive destruction by natural and man-made causes.

“Jembrana is not a popular tourist destination in Bali, therefore it is difficult for us to ask for money  to improve coastal areas in the regency,” he said, adding that the  Japanese government provided a 9.5 billion yen grant for the rehabilitation of coastal areas and shore-lines in Sanur, Kuta, Nusa Dua and Tanah Lot.

“Jembrana is always overlooked because the area is not considered a tourist hub,” Hartawan said.
Anak Agung Alit, the founder of the Fair Trade Movement in Bali, said tourism must support the island’s conservation efforts. “Tourism causes environmental problems and depletes natural resources,” he said.

Bagus Sudibya, a tourism industry stakeholder, called on businesses in the tourism industry to channel corporate social responsibility (CSR) funding to help protect and conserve the environment.

The Bali Environmental Agency said that Denpasar had lost 10 kilometers of its 16 kilometers of shoreline. Among the worst affected beaches in the city are Sanur, Padanggalak and Serangan. All are premium tourist destinations.

Gianyar has lost 4 kilometers of its 12.5 kilometers of shoreline, with Gumicik, Saba and Lebih beaches suffering the worst degradation.

Beaches in these areas are popular among expatriates and wealthy Indonesians who want to stay at beachside properties away from the chaos of Kuta.

Coastal degradation is not limited to tourist areas, with the shorelines in other regencies also affected. The agency claims that other regencies have lost more than 30 percent of their shorelines.

The northern coastal regency of Buleleng, which at 121 kilometers has the longest shoreline, has lost 55 kilometers.