APEC Village Plan Has Environmentalists Offside

DENPASAR

The Bali International Park, a large conference and accommodation centre to be built at Bukit Jimbaran with the imprimatur of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and designed to house the 2013 APEC summiteers, should not be built according to the environmental group Wahli.

It has added its voice to those of local protesters who oppose the 250-hectare project.

Wahli’s Bali chairman, Gendo Suardana, has told the provincial legislature the 2009 zoning law should not be altered simply to accommodate President Yudhoyono’s wishes.

Suardana said the proposed park was a clear example of central intervention in provincial affairs. Wahli says the US$280 million project would violate zoning laws and clash with the move for a moratorium on hotel developments in south Bali.

“The development clearly represents an inconsistency on the part of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism who once recommended that Bali postpone new projects due to the estimated over-supply of 9,800 rooms.”

In his testimony to the legislature, Suardana also called for a legislative investigation into the parties behind PT Jimbaran Hijau, the company developing the project. Suardana said PT Jimbaran Hijau was allegedly set up on the instructions of the president and the ministry.

Bali’s legislature has so far made no move to investigate and Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, who championed the zoning laws that would need to be broken to accommodate the project, has said hosting the APEC summit is an honour for Bali.

The latest plan to reduce traffic congestion in the Kuta-Airport-Jimbaran area is the 11.5 kilometre “mangrove motorway” to be built on pylons through the protected estuarine forest of Benoa Bay.

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