Bali Discovery Tours: Homepage
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Home Bali Contact Bali Practicalities Bali News Bali Services Bali Transportation Bali Sports Bali Excursions Bali Villas Bali Hotels
Home · News · Cry, the Beloved Island
Bali Hotels, Bali Villas and Bali News from
Bali Hotels
Bali Villas
Special Deals!
MICE Handling
Bali Excursions
Culinary - Dining
Guided Tour
Bali Spas
Bali Sports
Bali Transportation
Car Rental - Selft Drive
Private Jet Charter
Bali News
Bali Services
Bali Practicalities
Bali Contact
Bali Career
Bali Update
Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!
PATA header
PATA Gold Award 2007
Bali Update
PATA Gold Award Winner 2007
Bali Contact
Bali Discovery Tours
Jln. By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra,
Jln. Pucuk 1 No. 70X
Denpasar, Bali

+62 (0)812 3819724
+62 (0)361 464 032, +62 (0)361 471 0242

Bali Discovery

Bali News

Cry, the Beloved Island

Editorial: Bali Leaders Must Do Much More to Protect this Very Special island.


As Bali joins the rest of the world to mark "Earth Day" on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, it is timely to reflect on the quality of the environmental stewardship, or lack thereof, that reigns on the island of Bali. routinely carries reports taken directly from the local press of hotels and villas being built illegally in restricted green zones; violations of set-back rules along rivers and seashores; blatant disregard of building height ordinances; overbuilding that seal off mandatory open space open-ground areas needed to permit the rain to replenish a diminishing water table; and even the demolishment of religious temples to make way for a new holiday resort.

These reports sadly remind that gone forever are the days when a strong Bali Governor compelled developers to build their resorts in Balinese-style architecture and even required staff to wear Bali-inspired uniforms. Those Bali-stlye hotels of yesteryear are becoming a rarity in "modern" Bali; lost behind an avalanche of Golden Arches, Seattle coffee shops and nondescript strip malls.

And, while reports of violations of the rules established to protect the Island's heritage appear in the local media on almost a daily basis, the actual instances in which developers are brought into line and made to rebuild or demolish structures to conform to local rules are as rare as a Bali Starling in downtown Denpasar.

Bali's tourism business has been pejoratively likened to a "soccer match conducted without benefit a referee." In Bali, zoning laws and environmental codes are held in deep contempt and rapaciously disobeyed by many. Disingenuous developers know that the key to unrestricted building is to break rules as quickly as possible; once caught, to smile sheepishly while being scolded by posturing officials; and to then wait for the inevitable official exemption to the rules, generally issued with the speed of an opening wallet.

Adding to the turmoil overtaking this once beautiful island are the many local lawyers and colluding notaries only too willing to create complex agreements that assist foreigners wishing to hold permanent claim to Balinese lands; contravening the absolute prohibitions on foreign land ownership that exists under Indonesian law.

Meanwhile, land prices rise and water table drops with no one seemingly overly concerned as to how the next generation of Balinese will be able to afford to live on their increasing crowded and waterless island.

Perhaps the ineffectiveness of local officials and the tragic consequence of such bad governance is no better demonstrated than at the once popular destination of the Kintamani volcano in Central Bali. Local businessmen who have erected illegal commercial building that now almost completely obscure the majestic volcanic-lake panorama have been "reprimanded" and then given a ludicrous "15 years" to remove their offending structures. Nearby, unregulated local vendor harass and, in some instances, even physically attack visitors who refuse to buy their birc-a-brac. Not unexpectedly, the word has spread with an increasingly fewer number of tourist visitors interested in visiting what once had the potential to be a world-class tourist attraction.

Sustainability Takes a Back Seat to Greed

Whether or not these visitors will ever return to Kintamani remains an open question. Perhaps in 15 years or so, after wiser men and women assume positions of power and decide to enforce the rules for the common good, can Kintamani begin the long-delayed job of reviving its endemic natural splendor.

Returning to our earlier soccer analogy, it seems there may be deeper and more profound insights into what ails Bali tourism no further away than the next televised Indonesian soccer match. The uninitiated witness to Indonesian soccer may be shocked by the regularity with which players and spectators brutally attack referees, the reluctance of the abused officials to enforce the rules, and the resulting general state of havoc which prevails at football matches played across the archipelago. On a very real level, the state of play of Indonesian soccer sadly mirrors the current state of tourism development on the island of Bali. Rules do exist. But no one is prepared to enforce them.

In the firm belief that pictures have the power to speak a thousand words, we include some recent images of developments now underway on along the Bukit Peninsula in South Bali.

These pictures were taken at an area once known as "Dreamland," on a an island once called "Paradise."

Listen to the wind, you can sometimes hear the sound of the Island crying.

Earth Day – April 22, 2008.


click image to enlarge

© Bali Discovery Tours. Articles may be quoted and reproduced if attributed to


Bali News by Bali Update
Subscribe to the Bali Update
Receive the latest news from Bali by email!

Our [Privacy Statement] explains how we handle the data you are providing.

Bali News by Bali Update
Explore the Archive of the Bali Update
Find related articles in our news archive!

or try to use Google Search :

Home · Bali Hotels · Bali Villas · Bali Excursions · Bali Sports · Bali News · Site Map · RSS

Bali News: More News
Weather Warning for Bali
Meteorologists Warn of Potential for High Winds and High Waves in Bali Until March 25th from Tropical Cyclone Marcus
Airspace Over Bali No Longer Empty
Bali Airport Reopens After 24-Hour Closure for Nyepi New Year Observances
Business is Sky High
Indonesia’s Aviation Industry Booming with More than 100 Million Passengers Flown in 2017
Chinese Returning in Droves to Bali
Badung Regency Official Says Chinese Travelers are Bullish on Bali
New Ubud Gallery Opens with Two-Man Exhibition
Paintings by John van der Sterren and Ketut Gede Susana Exhibiting Through July at NKRI Art at The Ayung Resort, Ubud
Bali before the Balinese
Tenganan Village Fights to Preserve its ‘Pre-Balinese’ Ancient Traditions in a Rapidly Changing World
A Rest Area on a 12-Km Toll Road
Bali Toll Road Seeks to Increase Revenues by Moving Ahead with Plans to Build a Rest Area
Proud List of Past Achievements for the People of Bali
In the Midst of IMF-World Bank Conference Preparations, Bali Governor Pastika Reflects on What his Administration has Achieved on Behalf of the People of Bali
Diplomatic Reassignment
British Consulate-General’s New Address in Bali
When Anneke Goes Coasting
Dutch Woman Undetakes Annual Marathon Swim in North Bali to Protect the Environment
Short Shrift to Trash that Drifts
Indonesia Government Frames Formal Response to Video Showing Plastic Trash Inundation at Manta Point, Nusa Penida
To the Visitor, Goes the Spa
Harper Bazaar Singles Out 8 Spas for ‘Star Spa’ Status in Bali
All [News]!