#FORBALI : The Struggle Againts Benoa Bay Reclamation

by Kartika Pratiwi

#FORBALI or Bali Tolak Reklamasi has been one of the biggest movement in Bali to create awareness to fight against reclamation plan by some private investors. Last week, another group of protestors were riding from Jakarta to Bali on bicycles as an effort to gain awareness of the government’s reclamation plan. This is just one example of the protests that were happening in the past two years. Earlier, thousands of people gathered in the front of Bali Governor’s office last January and following by a lot of actions and demonstrations against the reclamation itself comes from activists, NGOs, artists, students, ex-pats, foreigners, celebrities Indonesians who are living abroad, local communities and members of civil societies. They have been doing everything in their power to make sure that the plan to make Tanjong Benoa become a giant tourism playground would not happen.

What is FOR BALI?

For Bali is a civil movement in Bali which consists of individuals, students, NGOs activists, artists, youth, musicians, academics, environmental consultants who believe that Tanjong Benoa reclamation plan is a destructive plan and will destroy the nature. FOR BALI leads the campaign against reclamation not only by demonstration, but they also induce people’s participation through popular media such as posters, documentary movie, comics and even launch song entitled Bali Tolak Reklamasi composed by a well-known musician Superman Is Dead, The Bullhead, Nymphea, Gold Voice and Nosstress.

Why reclamation is a bad idea?

On December 2012, Governor of Bali, Made Mangku, secretly give a legal decision letter number 2138/02-C/HK/2012 to give permission to PT. Tirta Wahana Bali International to do reclamation in Tanjong Benoa, located on the southern part of Bali, on the seashore of Indian Ocean. The reclamation plan is the corporation will build a huge tourism area and giant parks such as Disneyland, together with the international hospital, college, marina, retail district that each complete with personal docks and yacht, hotel and apartment, and golf park.

Many research proved that the corporation should not do the reclamation in Tanjong Benoa which will cause environmental damage such as flooding, social and culture disorder and giant damage for sea and land biodiversity, and even – drowning!

Besides that, Tanjong Benoa is a sacred area because of the presence of 60 natural sites including 19 estuaries and 17 small islands that emerge during low tide. Reclamation of 700 hectares of the bay for a development project by the corporation will damage all of these sacred sites.

This action and movement will not be stopped until the government cancelled the permission letter to the investor of doing the reclamation. Until today, the government still not responding to the demand of the protester and PT Tirta Wahana Bali International still have their legal permission to conduct the project, #FORBALI consists to manage an impressive number of people who are concerned about their homeland to be a subject to something that would harm the environment.

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