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Bali's Mangrove Forests Under Increasing Threat

Local Lawmakers Differ on Which Government Body Should Have Final Control Over Vital Mangrove Forests.

Bali News:
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Bali's southernmost regency of Badung is home to critical mangrove forests covering an estimated area of 622 hectares.

In order to preserve this important asset which offers a natural barrier to tidal waves and erosion as well as a natural habitat to a wide range of wildlife and marine creatures, a member of the Badung regional parliament is suggesting that control over the Regency's mangrove forests be given to the regional government of Badung. According to Wayan Puspanegara, a member of Commission B of the Badung Parliament, his suggestion is ďnot an arrogation of current moves for regional autonomy, but a 'good will' recommendation to preserve the mangroves from various threats."

Quoted in the Indonesian language Bali Post, Puspanegara cited risks posed to Badung's extensive network of mangroves from property developers and local businesses who are trying to reclaim the forests for commercial purposes. The local lawmaker also pointed to incidents where solid and liquid wastes are being disposed of in the environmentally sensitive mangrove zones.

Another local parliamentarian, Bagiana Karang, called for more attention to mangrove preservation to be paid by Bali's provincial government but argues "now is not the time" for control of these areas to be transferred from provincial to regional authorities. Karang called for more coordination between the Provincial Government and the Badung Regency to preserve the mangroves which Karang sees as the "lungs" of the city of Denpasar.

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