Lake Buyan Investment Blocked by Governor

DENPASAR ~ Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika showed his support to protestors demonstrating against a development plan for Lake Buyan, Buleleng, saying the pristine condition of the area could not be ruined by commerce.

Speaking to demonstrators, Pastika said he agreed “100 percent” with plans to save Bali’s environment, and would not agree to plans put forth by investor PT Anantara.

“Don’t think that Mangku Pastika can be bought by investors. No matter how much is offered, I won’t be selling my head,” Pastika said to the crowd gathered outside his office last Friday.

The governor said he had not given approval to the investors in a meeting on January 9, but said it was only fair that he listened to their proposal.

“I invited them to first undertake a study that examined the physical, religious, traditional values, culture and economic implications of their proposal. And remember, I placed economic considerations fifth in order of priority,” he said.

Pastika replied to protestors who shouted “Bali is crying” by saying he was also crying for Bali.

“Every time I have returned to Seririt over the past five years, the land encroachment into Lake Buyan has increased. Now, more than 60 hectares of the lake has become land.

“Some 260 of Bali’s 400 lakes are now dry. Of the remaining rivers, 140 are on their way to becoming dry. Trees have been cut down and rivers are polluted. In 10 years Bali could become a desert if we don’t do something,” the governor said.

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