Governor Maps Out Coastal Zoning Plan

SANUR ~ Bali will act to map and zone coastal waters to help conserve fish stocks and create sustainable conditions for marine tourism, a key sector of the tourism market.

Governor I Made Mangku Pastika told a marine tourism conference in Sanur this week the plan will also help avoid conflicts of interest between local people and tourism operators.

The plan will also help preserve the coastal environment and codify beach development, he said.

It was important to have clarity in controlling the use of coastal areas so that planners could continue to expand tourism options and preserve the seas around the island.

Governor Pastika said the beach had an important role in local culture and religion.

The Sanur conference was held following an important session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at Nusa Dua, a meeting called to finalise positions before the December climate changes world conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

One speaker at the Sanur seminar, Yayasan Wisnu director I Made Suarnatha, said Bali, like many islands, faced the challenge of dealing with the effects of rising sea levels, a situation made more urgent in the view of many scientists by global warming that threatens to melt much of the polar ice caps.

The seminar, on Adaptation to Climate Change in Islands and Coastal Regions, discussed the problem in the context of the Climate Change Convention in 2005, which warned that rising sea levels could cause much of the Maldives (coral atolls in the Indian Ocean) to submerge and cost the Caribbean island of Grenada 60 percent of its present beaches.

In Bali, low-lying areas of Nusa Penida – especially Lembongan – were similarly threatened.

Participants also noted that weather conditions and seasons were becoming increasingly erratic, causing out-of-season flood rains and droughts, affecting crop yields, increasing pest risks in agriculture – and even making the sand too hot to lie on at the beach, such as in Kuta.

The meteorological office in Bali has reported that daily maximum temperatures were around 33-34C in October, rather than the average 31C.

Beach erosion and rising tide levels, along with coral reef destruction blamed on rising water temperatures, also threaten marine tourism.

The effect of drought and increasing use on water supplies has also been marked. In 1995 the “water deficit” (uptake measured against overall capacity) was 1.5 billion cubic metres a year, 7.5 billion in 2000 and is expected to reach 27.6 billion in 2015.

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