Minister Agrees to Buyan Resort
A private investor has been given the go-ahead to build a luxury resort within an area of protected forest at Lake Buyan in Buleleng.
The 100-hectare resort received the nod last week from national Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, prompting criticism from environmental campaigners.
Hasan visited the lake at the invitation of the proposed investor, PT Nusa Bali Abadi, on Friday. He said the tourism potential of the area could not be realised without a luxury resort.
“Tourists will not come here unless we have proper accommodation and places for them to stay,” he said. “We plan to enter into a cooperation agreement with PT Nusa Bali Abadi to develop tourism facilities, which will in turn benefit the local people.”
The resort area will feature hotels, villas and other tourism facilities under a 55-year concession agreement.
The minister’s move was criticised by Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, and other local legislators.
Suriadi Darmoko of environmental pressure group Walhi also criticised the decision.
“The villa and resort construction will only decrease our forest land,” he said.
Lake Buyan is a sacred site for Balinese Hindus, who have also criticised the resort plan.
However, Minister Hasan said that the money raised by the deal would be able to be used for environmental purposes.
“The compensation from the resort to the government is an increase in state income. It could be used to take care of the environment. The government’s ability to manage the forests is very limited. We need support from other parties,” he said.
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